After a fantastic night’s sleep at the finca, yesterday’s plan was to explore the nearby town of Manizales and local hot springs, or termales. We had a great day and are so glad we visited Manizales town and termales.
Manizales is part of a beautiful landscape but I could never live here. The driving up and down and around winding mountains is too much for my motion sickness! I have taken gravol before every single drive into and out of this coffee farm and I am still feeling it!
visit to the town
We took the Hacienda Venecia van to the highway and the lovely Angela from the hotel accompanied us into town. We hitched a ride with a collectivo jeep for a 15 minute journey that cost 5000 COP for the two of us (about $2.20 Canadian). Cool trip – the views along the mountains are lovely. I just would be addicted to Gravol if I lived here.
We walked around the town a bit, visited some plazas and a cathedral.
manizales from above
But the majority of our Manizales time was spent riding the air cable cars. Because the city is built into these mountains, driving can be slow. With all the hills, this city is 10x worse than San Francisco. I can’t imagine cycling here! The cable cars are a really easy way to get around for locals, and a fun sightseeing thing for us tourists! You can ride both sets of cable cars round trip for 1,700 COP each (75 cents Canadian).
authentic colombian lunch
We also stopped into a lunch spot for the most authentic meal of the region, the bandeja paisa (yes, we heard about it from Bourdain). We were very smart and got one order to share. Thank God because the serving was massive! It includes ground meat, beans, rice, avocado, fried plantain, chicharrones, french fries, chorizo, salad… and the whole meal including soup, a beer for Brian and a juice for me came to 21,500 COP (Less than $9.50 Canadian!) Thank god we split it.
Then we headed to the outskirts of town to check out one of the regions’ “Termales” or hot springs. We got so lucky and had the place to ourselves for an hour and a half. We got to switch between the hot spring and the even hotter spring, enjoy the springs in the rain and in the sunshine, and have a couple of cervezas while giving our muscles and minds some relaxation. Thank you Tierra Viva! Amazing!
After the baths, we bussed back into town to the Cable neighborhood, which was full of hotels, bars and restaurants. We spent a few hours there before heading back to our oasis at the coffee farm. We had a very enjoyable day with lots of beauty. I loved this experience and would recommend a trip to Manizales town and termales when you visit Colombia’s zona cafeteria!