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If you’re traveling through South America and want to get off the beaten track, you simply have to visit Pereira, Colombia. Located in the heart of Colombia’s luscious coffee region, Pereira is a mountainous town just a few hours from the more popular and well-known city of Medellin and its international airport. From exploring coffee farms to hiking in natural parks and going wild in a theme park, here are the best things to do in Pereira.

By Luisa Leal Photography

1. Go on a Coffee Farm Tour

If you’re in Colombia’s coffee triangle, you have to go on a coffee farm tour to find out more about one of the world’s most popular beverages. Pereira is known for its delicious Arabica beans, which are imported all around the world and have an award-winning flavor. On a tour (which can be booked through most hotels and hostels) you’ll find out tons of interesting facts about the growing and roasting process.

By posztos

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2. Cafe Hop

Now you know how Colombian coffee is made, it’s time to spend a lazy afternoon sipping ‘liquid gold’ in one of Pereira’s many cafes. Our top picks include Mrs. Coffee and Cafe Jazmin where you can find delicious coffee, cakes, and pastries.

By Africa Studio

3. See Hero Simon Bolivar

Visit the city’s main plaza, Bolívar Square, which has a large statue of Simon Bolivar who brought independence to many parts of the South American continent. Statues of Simon Bolivar can be found throughout South America, however, this statue in Pereira is a naked Bolivar on horseback, making it that bit more interesting. The square is also a nice place to sit and people watch.

By Turismo en Colombia

4. Visit the Cathedral of Our Lady of Poverty Pereira

The Church of “Our Lady of Poverty”, or more simply Pereira Cathedral, sits in the heart of the city. The Cathedral features centuries-old brickwork and impressive wooden architecture and is one of the top places to visit in Pereira, Colombia.

By Pinterest

5. Explore Colombia’s Railway System

Estacion del Ferrocarril is a traditional railway station that is one of Pereira’s top historical heritages. The Colombian railway system only existed for a short time, but many cities are nonetheless very proud of their former stations. The Pereira Estacion Ferrocarril is a charming building and a nice place to explore for an hour or so.

By Flickr | Leoncillo 2009

6. Go Wild at a Theme Park

Parque del Cafe is a theme park located in the heart of a coffee plantation. At the park, you can ride roller coasters, splash around on water rides, and go horseback riding. When it’s time to relax you can sip delicious coffee in the luscious, green setting.

7. See Animals in Parque Regional Natural Ucumari

Parque Regional Natural Ucumari is a park-come-zoo where you can see various species of animals and find out more about them. It’s a beautiful space with stunning views of the surrounding luscious countryside. There are also plenty of hiking trails where you can enjoy the scenery.

By Colparques

8. Bike to the Cauca River

If you have time, consider going on a bike tour where you’ll ride through the beautiful plantations in the Andes Mountains and descend to the mighty Cauca River.

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