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Manizales, Colombia – Cable Car, Coffee, And Latin America’s Ugliest Building

by on February 25, 2012

in Colombia, Happy Nomad Tour, Latin America

Even though it’s a relatively small town and I only spent a couple days in Manizales, I’ll never forget it. I got robbed for the second time there, I got sick, and I spent an amazing day on a coffee farm. This post will show some pictures of the city.

New Metrocable

New Metrocable

Manizales, like Medellin, has a cable car transport system. I used it to go from the bus station to the city center the night I arrived to meet my ride. Very cool! But Manizales, being in the important zona cafetera/coffee zone, had an industrial metro cable a long time ago. It was used to transport goods across the city for export, often coffee and fruit.

 

Old Metrocable

Old Metrocable

Old Metrocable

Old Metrocable

Old Metrocable

Old Metrocable

Old Metrocable

Old Metrocable

Manizales, like the whole coffee zone, is very hilly and mountainous. You can get really nice views of the city at some points as a result.

City View

City View

City View

City View

Plaza Bolivar is the city’s main square. Manizales is the capital of the state (departamento) of Caldas. In the square is the administrative headquarters for the state as well as the cathedral. There is also a unique statue of Simon Bolivar, the liberator of South America, with the head of a condor (I think). Before, the statue was facing the cathedral, which meant Bolivar’s reproductive organ was facing the church. They objected, so the city turned the statue 180 degrees. Apparently the cathedral prefers to face his butt…

Plaza Bolivar

Plaza Bolivar

Plaza Bolivar

Plaza Bolivar

Plaza Bolivar

Plaza Bolivar

Manizales has the honor of having the building voted most ugly in Latin America. It’s a mall and I had a coffee inside. I don’t think it’s terribly ugly, but I’m not much of a judge of beauty when it comes to arcitechture.

Ugliest Building In Latin America

Ugliest Building In Latin America

There were a couple other churches I found appealing. They are below.

A Church

A Church

A Church

A Church

Nice Afternoon Snack

Nice Afternoon Snack

During the day I found a bakery that had pera de mani, something wonderful I discovered in Medellin. I took a lactose pill and devoured it. I think it’ll be my last one. They are just too sweet and rich. The Colombian Coffee is always wonderful though.. :)

I really don’t have much else to say about Manizales. It was my introduction to the coffee zone, it’s where I got robbed, and it’s where I got to visit a coffee farm. I only spent a day in the city. It seemed nice enough, but I see myself less and less as a city person now.

About Adam Pervez

In mid-2011 I left my cushy corporate job and took the plunge into a life incorporating my passions of traveling, writing, volunteering, learning, educating, and telling stories. I study what happiness means to others, offer what I can from my engineering/MBA background as a volunteer, and try to leave each place better than how I found it. Read more.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Greg Rafalski March 30, 2012 at 9:20 pm

I think the problem with this building is that it looks like it is still under construction with tarps and scaffolding

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Happiness Plunge March 30, 2012 at 9:20 pm

That is what I thought too!

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Martin Schleckman March 3, 2013 at 3:12 pm

Hi Greg,
I’m from Cleveland, Ohio, and my wife is from Manizales. We spend a month there every other Xmas & New Years, and I love the city. Sorry to hear you got robbed, but there are a lot of street type robbers around Manizales or any other Colombian city or town, it’s a way of life in Colombia I guess. The best thing to do is make yourself not very noticable, don’t waer anything flashy, and don’t look like a tourist. Personally, I have never had a problem in the many times I have been in Manizales over almost the last 20 years. The Feria is a great time to visit Manizales, or just any time except the 2 rainy seasons. Down the mountain a hour is the Rouchella, a great resort thats always hott. Santa Rosa has the Thermals or volcanic hot spring pools, and plenty of good food and nice parks to enjoy. The comercial Center in the park of Caldas is pretty ugly, dosen’t fit the rest of the downtown buildings, but plenty of good shops inside. Like any city ( even Cleveland ) you can find a bad element if your not careful, next time your in Manizales, go to Armania and the “Coffee Park”, its a beautiful and fun attraction park and even has a rollercoaster, its worth the beautiful drive just to get there.
I enjoyed reading about your trip to Manizales, don’t let your robbery experience keep you from giving the city a second chance. By the way, Cambells Soups just bought their soccer team; Once Caldas.
Martin & Adriana Schleckman
Avon lake, Ohio 44012
[email protected]

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Adam Pervez March 3, 2013 at 11:02 pm

Hi Martin,

Thanks so much for your note. I don’t harbor any resentment toward Manizales despite the robbery. It could have happened anywhere in Colombia, or anywhere in the world for that matter.

But this experience is unique to the coffee triangle and will always be what I remember Manizales for. http://www.happinessplunge.com/2012/02/an-amazing-day-on-a-colombian-coffee-farm/

Thanks!
Adam

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