Exploring Manizales on foot

Manizales Travel Blog

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Simon Boliviar statue in Plaza Boliviar

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.

Cathedral in Manizales
  Sorry, Colombians know what they like and specialize in, and do it over and over.  Not that I complain, because those are my three favorite things to eat :)

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.

Side-street in the city center of Manizales
  Both areas are good for people watching - Boliviar has more students and business people, while Caldas has alot more elderly folks and rowdy youth.

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 :)

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Simon Boliviar statue in Plaza Bol…
Simon Boliviar statue in Plaza Bo…
Cathedral in Manizales
Cathedral in Manizales
Side-street in the city center of …
Side-street in the city center of…
Cable cars leading from the bus st…
Cable cars leading from the bus s…
Uptown Manizales from mid-town
Uptown Manizales from mid-town
photo by: alexindc