Coffee drinkers from all over the world – from North America to Europe – will readily associate good coffee with Colombia. However, only a select number of those millions of coffee connoisseurs are aware that the best Colombian coffee originates from the region around the city of Pereira, Colombia. The city’s strategic location in the center of the coffee growing region is more familiar among locals who have always been aware of how the fertile volcanic soil of the Andes Mountains contributes to the top quality of coffee originating from Pereira.
Because of this reputation, the initial settlers of Pereira, Colombia in the 1800s organized an annual Fiestas de la Cosecha or Harvest Fest in order to reinforce the region’s coffee producing reputation to the rest of he country. This long history of this festival has given rise to different idiomatic expressions in Colombian Spanish that refer to the coffee merchandising lifestyle of the Pereirans.
This mercantile spirit is very much alive in the downtown area of Pereira, Colombia which proliferates with modern shopping malls that can rival the liveliest malls found in North America. These malls are strategically located near interesting landmarks around the city such as the Naked Bolivar or Bolivar Desnudo Monument and the Viaduct built in honor of former president Cesar Gaviria who was born in Pereira. Furthermore, visitors can drop by the Matecana City Zoo which is the largest city zoo in the country.
Soccer season is a good way to mix with the locals who are ardent supporters of the home team, Deportivo Pereira. Regular matches are held at the massive Hernan Ramirez Villegas Stadium that can accommodate more than thirty five thousand spectators.
Those who are looking for a quick glimpse of the archaeological and cultural treasures the city’s pre-Hispanic native population has left behind, a visit to the Museo del Oro Quimbaya is a worthwhile endeavor. The museum houses excellent artifacts, pottery and gold treasures of the Quimbaya people.
Tourists going around the city will surely notice the presence of oversized green buses. Locals call these El Megabus. This El Megabus system of transportation was launched on August 2006 which resulted in the easier mass transit between Pereira and the neighboring cities of Dosquebradas, Cartago and Santa Rosa de Caba.
There is truly more to Pereira, Colombia than its reputation for excellent coffee. The city is alive with different social activities and points of interests that tourists from all over the world have appreciated and will continue to appreciate.