Three kilometers northeast of Manizales lies this 3600-hectare cloud-forest reserve. It is an area of high biodiversity and protects numerous endangered species, including the oso andino (spectacled bear). There are 362 species of bird present in the park, including 13 of Colombia's endemics. It attracts bird-watchers from around the world, but even amateurs will be delighted by the quantities of hummingbirds, butterflies and orchids. It makes a great half-day excursion – best in the morning, as it often rains in the afternoon.
The reserve is one of the most pristine and attractive tracts of forest in the region, but unfortunately visiting is anything but straightforward. Before you can visit you must request permission (free) at least two days in advance from Aguas de Manizales. Staff here are notoriously bad at answering correspondence; you might have to show up to the office and be persistent in order to organize permission.