A man picks cherries at a farm in the rural highlands of Colombias coffee axis.

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The northern point of the Eje Cafetero (Coffee Axis), Manizales is a pleasantly cool, midsized university town with steep, hilly streets, surrounded on all sides by green mountain scenery. The capital of the Caldas department, Manizales was founded in 1849 by a group of Antioquian colonists looking to escape the civil wars of that time. The town's early development was hindered by two earthquakes in 1875 and 1878 and a fire in 1925, and for this reason there's not a lot of historical interest left – the real attractions are the surrounding nature activities and the town's vibrant nightlife.


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