Pereira vs Manizales vs Armenia: 3 Cities in Colombia's Coffee Triangle - Medellin Guru
Pereira vs Manizales vs Armenia: 3 cities in Colombia’s Coffee Triangle, which is the best city to live in? We compare the cities in 14 categories.

Pereira vs Manizales vs Armenia: 3 Cities in Colombia’s Coffee Triangle

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16 thoughts on “Pereira vs Manizales vs Armenia: 3 Cities in Colombia’s Coffee Triangle”

    1. Loren Lowe January 8, 2021

      I have lived in all three cities. My favorite places in the coffee region are Manizales and Armenia. I have no idea who is claiming Manizales is cold. someone that never lived there much or at all Ill assume. It is hardly cold, and nothing like Bogota that gets bone-chilling cold at night sometimes. Armenia is far from boring and where I currently live for the past 3 years. I lived in Pereira for about 8 months. it is a crap hole. Yes, it has some nice areas, and some fantastic stores, malls and everything else. I agree with that. but it is filthy and way too hot. Everything here is ruled by microclimates. Armenia, a few miles away at a similar altitude has a constant breeze causing it to never be too hot. In Pereira, the air is often dead air. And traffic! Not as bad as Medellin I guess, but it is still terrible. I love some areas of Pereira. i go to price smart as well. But you quickly get tired of the endless vagrants and beggers that flood the streets and parks. something I never contend with to any extent in Manizales and Armenia. Pereira has a “big city” fel so I can see why some would love it. Manizales is broken into pieces, so never feels big city even though the population is similar to Pereira. Armenia… well there is the North and South mostly. I live in the north, and it feels like a village with all the big city amenities. I love it here. How great that there are some excellent choices. Now lets discuss Bucaramanga!

    2. Shirley Koch October 6, 2020

      Since Medellin Guru puts great emphasis on keeping posts current, I thought you would like to know –
      there is a FACEBOOK website Expats of Armenia.
      I have read the newsletter for years and recently added Patron membership.
      You publish a fantastic amount of great information, THANK YOU!!!

    3. Armenia area is the best by far. You also have Salento and Filandia which might just the best two small towns in Colombia. I spent 13 years living in Poblado sector of Medellin and dont even like to leave Filandia, Quindio to go back to visit even though I have 3 homes in the MDE area. When I want city I drive just 15 minutes to Armenia. I just love it and no more pollution.

    4. Thanks for the nice article, I agree that Pereira is the nicest city in the Colombian coffee triangle.

    5. geoffrey March 28, 2019

      I find that the accent of those from Pereira is pleasant to listen to. Those I’ve met from there tend to speak clearly and distinctly compared to many Latin American cities. In my opinion it would be a good place to study Spanish.

    6. Nice post and I agree with everyone that Pereira is a much nicer city in the coffee region than Manizales and Armenia. The airport in Manizales closes all the time and only has a few flights so better driving an hour or so to Pereira to the airport there. And Manizales gets pretty cold at night. I like the climate much better in Pereira where no jacket is required.

    7. I agree 100% that Pereira is better than Manizales and Armenia. Who would want to live in Manizales the “world’s riskiest city” and be cold every night. I went there and was disappointed immediately and never will return. And Armenia is too small for me and boring. Like you said Pereira is like a mini-Medellin without the pollution and traffic. That is a very good description in my experience.

      • Charlie March 27, 2019

        Hi Mark I agree with you and this article. Pereira is a much nicer city than Manizales and Armenia and worth spending some time there. It is very walkable and I always stay near the Parque Arboleda mall with many nice restaurants and bars within walking distance and during the day can walk to El Centro which is an easy walk and much less of a mess than in Medellin.

      • Sebastian July 23, 2019

        I disagree with you, Pereira is boring and ugly, Manizales is the Best City to live in Colombia, Manizales doesn’t have traffic, Manizales is very beautiful and has an historical part and a part with tall buildings. Most of the People in Colombia prefer Manizales than Pereira, Manizales now has the biggest Mall in this region, the Mall is called Mall Plaza and is The biggest and the most innovative. The only problema that I see in Manizales is the airpot.

        • Mall Plaza in Manizales has less than 120 shops according its website so not the largest. Parque Arboleda mall and Unicentro mall in Pereria are larger, both with over 150 shops.

          • Yes, I agree that Mall Plaza is smaller than Parque Arboleda. I have been to both. Also if “most of the People in Colombia prefer Manizales than Pereira” then why do more people live in Pereira? Manizales is cold and hilly. I prefer Pereira.

    8. Jeff,
      it’s “La Nubia”…. not “La Numbia”… otherwise as always pretty comprehensive, though, as you probably know by now, I disagree with the ranking… On a more ironical note: do the hills (in Manizales and El Polado) speak against “walkability” or against the physical shape of people 🙂

      • Thanks for catching the typo, fixed. Yes El Poblado has hills but that isn’t most of Medellín. The hills making El Poblado less walkable is a downside of El Poblado but not the rest of the city – https://medellinguru.com/downsides-of-el-poblado/

        Most of Medellín including Laureles-Estadio, most of Belén, El Centro and many other neighborhoods in Medellín are quite walkable. I would say perhaps 75% of Medellín is walkable and has much less hills than in Manizales.

      • Loren Lowe January 8, 2021

        When I lived in Manizales, I lived on 23. This runs the length of the upper part of the city, with almost all the malls and stores etc. If you walk from one end to the other, you can spend hours doing so. And this is all relatively flat. it is only when you go down to various barrios do the hills become steep mountains and you feel like a mountain goat. But honestly, there is not really a reason to ever have to leave that mountain top as far as walking goes, except maybe a bit of a hill going down to Home Center, but that isn’t much at all. Living that way, I would say it is extremely walkable. I walked it nearly every day, and i am a fat old man!

    9. Nice article. I have been wanting to check out Pereira but haven’t been yet. Manizales is too cold for me like Bogota.

      • Loren Lowe January 8, 2021

        It isnt like Bogota at all. It is temperate, even hot at times. I never needed a jacket when I lived there. The most I could say it some nights it gets cool. Never cold.

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