Exploring Manizales on foot
Manizales Travel Blog› entry 6 of 8 › view all entries
One of my favorite things about Manizales, besides the weather (mild, a little cloudy and rainy...but sure beat the blazing heat I escaped back home), the weekend nightlife, and the looks of the place...is that it was safe enough to walk around in for long distances at a time. In Medellin, there were definitley pockets to avoid, through which one should take the metro or a taxi to get from one attraction to another. Not so in Manizales, at least between the north end and the center during the day.
I started at Cable Plaza, and headed south down Avienda Santander, or Cr 23. This is the main north-south avenue through Manizales. The avenue contains loads of small shops, panderias (pastry/bread shops), and small little eateries, serving everything from steak to chicken to empenadas to more steak and chicken and empanadas.
After passing by all of the shops and eateries, as well as multiple schools and universities, I ended up in the city center; suddenly, the streets narrow and turn to smooth cobblestone and the modern buildings give way to more old, semi-historical buildings. Due to earthquakes, Manizales isn't quite as historical looking as other cities in its center, however its definitely not without its charms. There are markets and shops galore, and one can feel safe walking through here during the day. Then it all centralizes on two key blocks: plaza Boliviar, and its bizare Simon Boliviar as a condor statue, towering cathedral, and small skyscrapers; and parque Caldas, surrounded by municipal buildings and of course, yet another mall, Centro Caldas.
I caught one of the many busses that run down Av Santander to get back to Cable Plaza. These busses literally run by every 2 minutes, and cost $1.200, payable directly to the driver upon entrance. To exit, simply stand up and move to the back door of the bus, and the driver will stop to let you off.
Monday night, a few of us attempted to check out some nightlife, which we found to be completely dead. We stopped in a bar for a couple of beers, but called it an early night after fellow revelers were few and far between. Apparently, Manizales goes crazy on Fridays and Saturdays, and buckles down to work the rest of the week. Oh well. Our livers could use a break :)