A short 10-minute taxi ride (COP$10,000) from Pereira, Finca Don Manolo (Vereda el Estanquillo Dosquebradas, Ruta al Alto del Nudo; tel. 6/332-1831; 4-hour tour COP$30,000) offers welcoming, personalized tours of the family-run coffee finca. Don Manolo and his son Miguel elucidate the history of coffee in Colombia and the international coffee market followed by an interactive immersion into the coffee-production process; kids especially love donning a traditional chapolera (campesino from Antioquia) outfit, picking and sorting the beans and operating the traditional roasting/grinding machines and implements. The luxuriant finca is home to countless hummingbird species, a mini guadua forest, and banana plantations. Along with coffee tastings, you’ll be served homemade brownies and ice cream, and you can pick and taste fruit from the trees of their orchards. It’s also a great place to stock up on deliciously smooth coffee at just COP$12,000 per pound.
Less than an hour drive/taxi ride (COP$25,000) from Pereira, Termales Santa Rosa (Km 9.5 Vereda San Ramón, Santa Rosa de Cabal; www.termales.com.co; tel. 636/365-5237; 9am–11:30pm; entry $36,000 weekend/high season, COP$22,000 during the week;) is a worthwhile half-day trip from Pereira. There are four thermal pools, a breathtaking series of waterfalls which cascade (with unreal, CGI-style precision) down the mountainside, spa treatments (a 60-min. massage costs COP$80,000), and a modern, business convention-style hotel with smart, Alpine-inspired rooms (from COP$240,000, all meals included). There are also guided hikes through the gorgeous valley (COP$13,000 on the weekend/holidays, or COP$9,000 during the week). You can take the bus from Pereira (frequent services from the bus terminal) to get to Termales Santa Rosa, but you’ll need to change at Santa Rosa de Cabal; total journey time 90 minutes.
Some 35km (22 miles) from Pereira, and at a much higher altitude, Termas Naturales de San Vicente (Km 19 Vía Potreros, Santa Rosa de Cabal; www.sanvicente.com.co; tel. 634/333-6157; COP$45,000) offers a more multifaceted hot spring/spa experience with therapeutic pools and springs, a zipline, rappel, and guided walking tours through an incredibly biodiverse landscape. Despite the cheesy title, the main attraction is the Pozos del Amor (Wells of Love); enshrouded with primary forest that teems with resplendent birdlife, seven thermal pools create a magical spa experience. If you want to stay the night, Hotel San Vicente (on-site) offers basic cabins (which sleep up to six) from COP$160,000 per person. Transport can be arranged from Pereira as part of a package.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.