Getty Images/iStockphoto

Pereira

Hardworking Pereira is not your typical tourist destination. In fact it's not really a tourist destination at all. Almost all visitors to Pereira come for one thing – to do business. Founded in 1863, Pereira is the capital of Risaralda and the economic powerhouse of the Zona Cafetera – a hot commercial center most noted for its throbbing nightlife. Pereira doesn't offer much in the way of attractions, but if you want to experience a fast-paced yet friendly Colombian city away from the gringo trail and with a good dining scene, it certainly fits the bill. Pereira is also the gateway to Parque Ucumarí and Santuario Otún Quimbaya, a pair of top nature reserves, and the relaxing thermal springs of Santa Rosa and San Vicente.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Pereira.