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Manizales, Caldas
Manizales, Caldas
Flag of Manizales
Official seal of Manizales
Motto: The city of open doorsWorld capital of coffee
Location of the city and municipality of Manizales in the Department of Caldas
Location of the city and municipality of Manizales in the Department of Caldas
Manizales is located in Colombia
Location in Colombia
Coordinates: 5°06′N 75°33′W / 5.100°N 75.550°W / 5.100; -75.550Coordinates: 5°06′N 75°33′W / 5.100°N 75.550°W / 5.100; -75.550
Colombia  Colombia
Region Andean Region
Department Caldas
Foundation October 12, 1849
 • Mayor Jorge Eduardo Rojas Giraldo
 • Total 571.84 km2 (220.79 sq mi)
Elevation 2,160 m (7,090 ft)
Population (2005)
 • Total 438,587
 • Density 770/km2 (2,000/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Manizaleño
Time zone Eastern Time Zone (UTC-05)
Postal code 170001-17
Area code(s) 57 + 6
Website Official website (Spanish)

Manizales (Spanish pronunciation: [mah- knee -sah- less]) capital of the Department of Caldas, is a city and municipality in central Colombia, and part of the region of Colombian Coffee region, near the Nevado del Ruiz volcano.

Presently, the city is the main center for the production of Colombian coffee and an important hub for higher educational institutions.


Manizales was founded on October 12, 1849, in the midst of a civil war between bipartisan followers, Liberals against Conservatives. The city was founded by a group of twenty antioquians (The Expedition of the 20), who came from Neira and Salamina. There is a strong Spanish influence in the culture and the population was very homogeneous, mostly white, until other ethnic groups migrated to the city in search of the universities.


Manizales is the capital city of one of the smallest Colombian departments. The city is described as having an "abrupt topography", and lies on the Colombian Central Mountain Range (part of the longest continental mountain range, The Andes), with a great deal of ridgelines and steep slopes, which, combined with the seismic instability of the area, has required architectural adaptations and public works to make the city safer. Even though Manizales has this very difficult topography, there are many coffee plantations in its fertile lands. The city is located in the northern part of the Colombian Coffee-Growers Axis ("Eje Cafetero"), near the volcano Nevado del Ruiz, which has an altitude of 5,321 meters (17,457.3 ft).

It is in the basin of the Chinchiná River and sub-basin of the Guacaica River. Its natural threats are earthquakes, mud slides, and volcanic eruptions.


Under the Köppen climate classification, Manizales has a subtropical highland climate (Cfb). Despite being located in the tropics, and due to its high altitude, the city seldom gets very hot during the course of the year, featuring spring-like temperatures throughout the year. Because of its tropical location, there are only two seasons in the city: the wet and dry seasons that alternate throughout the year with each lasting about three months. Monthly averages are quite uniform. Manizales receives about 1,500 millimetres (59 in) of precipitation a year, with October being wettest.

Climate data for Manizales (1971-2000)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 22.0
Average low °C (°F) 11.2
Average rainfall mm (inches) 98
Average rainy days 14 15 20 23 24 20 17 17 20 25 20 16 231
Average relative humidity (%) 81 80 81 84 85 84 81 81 84 87 86 83 83
Mean monthly sunshine hours 173.9 136.6 129.4 109.4 113.0 125.3 160.3 137.2 111.0 93.1 111.6 143.8 1,544.6
Source #1: WMO (Normal 1971-2000)
Source #2: Instituto de Hidrologia Meteorologia y Estudios Ambientales (Humidity & Sunshine) [1]


The Nevado del Ruiz of Los Nevados National Park seen from the city

Its core business traditionally has been the cultivation and production of coffee. This culture allowed the creation of new jobs and several factories, some of which remain in the metropolitan area while others have reduced their operations or moved to other cities aggravating the unemployment problem. These companies are engaged in products such as liquor, shoes, rubber, chocolate, banks, detergents and soaps, threshing and packaged coffee, sweets and metallurgy, among others. In addition there are institutions and companies involved in the coffee sector as the Departmental Committee of Coffee Growers of Caldas, Almacafé, Cenicafé, and a number of other industries involved in the process of coffee (threshers, cooperatives, exporters).

During the latter half of the twentieth century many universities were founded in the city to the point that some studies regard Manizales as the second largest University city. The universities are attended by students from various regions of the country such as Tolima, Risaralda, Valle, Quindio, Antioquia, Nariño, and Huila, among others.

The service sector has thrived, mostly to the tune of call centers, and is one of the city's primary economic activities.

Manizales won first place in the special category of business promotion in the V Iberoamerican Digital Cities Award, organized by the Latin American Association of Research Centers and Telecommunication Enterprises (AHCIET). In a 2010 study conducted by the World Bank, Manizales was ranked as the best and easiest Colombian city to do business.

Street of Manizales near the major square


Main Roads[edit]

Because of the topography, traffic on east-west direction and vice versa, is flatter and faster than in a north-south or south-north, therefore the avenues Santander, Parallel, Kevin Angel, are arranged longitudinally most of its length. The few avenues with a north-south or south-north are the Centennial and October 12, the first most important because it connects the center with one of the station where major access routes merge towards the city.

  • Santander's Avenue. Was the first avenue of the city, formerly called Cervantes. It is the most important avenue of the city. This makes travel in the east-west direction (2 lanes) and west-east (2 lanes). This avenue does his entire route of the Carrera-23 from 32nd Street in the industry founders to Calle 71 in the battalion sector and vice versa. All around are some of the most important places of the city like: Founders Theatre, Alley Building, Plaza 51, The Triangle, Panorama Towers, University of Caldas, Catholic University, Cervantes Building, Park Antonio Nariño, Instituto Universitario de Caldas, Herbeo Tower, General Cable Plaza and the Zona Rosa. Mobility in this avenue: – 9 Traffic (West-East), 9 Traffic (East-West) – 2 `bridges.
  • Parallel Avenue. was the second city avenue. This makes travel in east-west direction (2 lanes) and west-east (2 lanes). This avenue does his entire tour of the street race 25 from 33 in the Founders Park to Calle 71 in the Palermo neighborhood and vice versa. All around are important places of the city such as St. Stephen's Cemetery, University of Caldas, Palogrande Stadium. Mobility in this avenue: – 5 Traffic (West-East), 5 Traffic (East-West) – 3-2 `bridges Glorieta.
  • Alberto Mendoza's Avenue.
  • Kevin Angel's Avenue
  • Panamerican Highway

Manizales Aerial Tramway[edit]

Manizales Aerial Tramway was inaugurated on October 30th, 2009. It connects Downtown Manizales with Villamaría. with a length of 2.1 km (1.3 mi). Each car has a sitting capacity of eight passengers and can carry 1,530 passengers per hour. It has three stations in its route. it consist of the following 4 stations.

  • Downtown Manizales.
  • La fuente.
  • Manizales Los Cambulos Bus Terminal.
  • Villamaria.

Air transport[edit]

Manizales has a domestic airport called La Nubia Airport which has a runway of about 1,400 meters and provides services from 6 am to 6 pm. Due to weather conditions, it is often closed due to low visibility. Meanwhile, the existence of buildings over two stories close to the landing head make it topographically unfeasible to expand the airport, which in turn has become an obstacle to regional development;[2] For these reasons, the International Coffee Airport is being built within the metropolitan area, in the town of Palestina, 25 minutes from the city. It will have a runway of 2,800 meters to 1,525 m, which would be extended to 3,500 meters in order to receive long-range aircraft. It is expected that the new airport will function 24x7. It is currently being studied for its adequacy of ground motion.

Arts and culture[edit]

The most important cultural events held in the city are the Manizales International Theater Festival,[3] which is one of the major theater events in Latin America and the Manizales Jazz Festival which gathers jazz musicians from all over the world, and is held annually.

The Manizales Fair was born in 1951 on the first centenary of the city.[4] It began with bullfights and the typical "Manolas" parade (Spanish parade). Due to its hospitality, more shows and presentations have been brought into the fair, such as the International Coffee Beauty Pageant which together with the bullfighting season are the main events of the fair. Currently the fair includes activities such as horseback riding parades, typical presentations, "trova" concerts, other parades, sports, national and international musicians and bands, expositions, and cultural shows. It is an important celebration in Colombia, as is the Barranquilla Carnival.

Coffee International Beauty Pageant[edit]

Coffee International Beauty Pageant (from Spanish: Reinado Internacional del Café) is an international beauty pageant held annually in Manizales as part of the Feria de Manizales, a feast promoting the region known for its flagship product, coffee.

The current winner is Maydeliana Liyimar Diaz , from Venezuela.

The international beauty contest originally began in 1957 and was held every two years (1957, 1959, 1961, 1963) under the name of Continental Queen of Coffee. However, to give a wider scope, in 1972 its name was changed to Miss International Queen of Coffee Pageant, thereby increasing the participation of coffee producing countries from other continents. Manizales is the permanent home since its inception.

Other events[edit]

  • Annual Fair of Manizales (Feria de Manizales) [January]
  • Bullfighting Season of Manizales [January]
  • International Coffee Beauty Pageant [January]
  • Image Festival [April]
  • International Theater Festival [September/October]
  • Manizales Jazz Festival [September/October]


The Cathedral of Manizales, a neo-Gothic church
  • Gold museum of the Banco de la Republica
  • Museum of Natural History Universidad de Caldas
  • Museum of Art Universidad de Caldas
  • Archaeological Museum Universidad de Caldas
  • Botanical Garden Universidad de Caldas
  • Natural Museum of Histories CC
  • Museum of Science and the Game Universidad Nacional de Colombia


  • Cathedral of Manizales, the third tallest in Latin America, at 113 meters
  • Nevado del Ruiz Natural Park (with caves and snow)
  • Thoughts Recinct Park (El Recinto del Pensamiento)
  • Los Yarumos Ecological Park
  • Ruiz Hot Springs ("Thermal Waters")
  • Otún Hot Springs ("Thermal Waters")
  • La Rochela Resort
  • Santagueda Resort
  • Simon Bolivar square
  • Bosque Popular park
  • (Francisco Jose de) Caldas Park
  • Manizales Country Club of Golf

Dining/ Nightlife[edit]

  • Milan Area: Its a neighborhood that has over 50 restaurants to choose from. Whether you’re in the mood for a casual burger spot, like Shake Shack, or to dress up and make it a nice dinner night, Milan definitely has something for you
  • Cable Area: It is an area located at the Santander's Avenue, that has over 20 Night Clubs and Cafés, it´s one of the most representative sectors of the city for tourists, for in there you can find the Torre Horveo, known as the Cable Tower, which is a stately 54 meter-high wood tower built between 1913 and 1919 by the British engineer James Lindsay's firm The Dorada Railways. The tower is made up of around 1500 wood pieces, and used to be one of the towers that held the cable for the Lift chairs that used to connect Manizals to Mariquita, located in the town of Herveo, once the lift chair was dismantled in the 60s, a group of students from the faculty of Arquitecture of the National University of Colombia, Manizles, decided to move the Tower to the Yard of the Former Chair lift station in Manizales (now the campus for the faculty of Arquitecture of the National University of Colombia), thus honoring the endeavor of its builders.


CRC Palogrande Stadium – ESP 2011

Manizales has several sports centers, the main one being in the area of the Palogrande Stadium. The city also has a football team, Once Caldas, which is housed in the Palogrande Stadium, winner of the prestigious South American Copa Libertadores 2004, and 4 time champion of Category First A of Colombia, being in the historical position as eighth, also has had two basketball teams Caldas Bancafetero Aces and Wise Caldas which have become champions of the Colombian Professional Basketball in 1989 and 2000 respectively, both played in the Coliseo Mayor Jorge Uribe venue and both are currently inactive, and also in the sport of futsal cup microfútbol in both male with Real Caldas FS and female with Real Caldas, and the FIFA Futsal League in Club Deportivo Linear which won the 2011-II championship, all these in the Coliseo Menor Vargas Ramón Marín venue.

Manizales has also been home to sporting events such as the Fourth National Games in 1936, South American Football U-20 in 1987, the Copa America 2001, the South American U-20 2005 and most importantly World Cup 2011 U-20.


Manizales is an important regional cultural and educational center. It has more universities per capita than any other city in Colombia.[citation needed] The city has a student population of some 30,000 that attend 7 colleges and universities:

International relations[edit]

Twin towns – Sister cities[edit]

Manizales is twinned with:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Cartas Climatologicas - Medias Mensuales - Aeropuerto La Nubia (Manizales)" (in Spanish). Instituto de Hidrologia Meteorologia y Estudios Ambientales. Retrieved November 23, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Documento Conpes 3270" (PDF) (in Spanish). p. 2. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 20, 2009. Retrieved August 16, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Festival de Manizales" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2012-03-27. 
  4. ^ "Feria de Manizales: lo más destacado de la tradición taurina en América en el escenario del café" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2012-03-27. 
  5. ^ "Town Twinning Agreements". Municipalidad de Rosario - Buenos Aires 711. Retrieved 2014-10-14. 

External links[edit]