Manizales, city (1993 pop. 303,136), alt. 7,063 ft (2,153 m), capital of Caldas dept., W central Colombia, on the slopes of the Cordillera Central. It is a commercial and agricultural center in a region that produces a large share of Colombia's coffee. There are minor industries in the city and some gold and silver mines nearby. Manizales was founded in 1847 by gold prospectors. The city was destroyed by an earthquake in 1878 and by fire in 1925. It is the seat of Caldas Univ.

Manizales is a city and municipality in central Colombia, capital of Department of Caldas and part of the region of Colombian Coffee-Growers Axis, near the Nevado del Ruiz volcano.

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


The city of Manizales is described as having "abrupt topography"; it is built in a mountain region with a number of ridgelines and steep slopes. Combined with the seismic instability of the area, this has required architectural adaptations and public works to make the city safer. Even though Manizales has a very difficult topography, there are a lot of coffee plantations in these fertile lands. The city is located in the north of the Colombian Coffee-Growers Axis ("Eje Cafetero"), near the volcano Nevado del Ruiz, at a height of about 2153 meters.


Manizales was founded October 12, 1849, in the middle 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), which came from Neira and Salamina. There is a strong Spanish influence in the culture and the population was very homogeneous, mostly whites, until other races and ethnic groups migrated to the city in search of the outstanding universities. A big deal of tango is enjoyed in the city and there is a new appetite for jazz.


Basin of the Rio Chinchiná and sub basin of the Guacaica River.

Natural threats

Earthquakes, slides, and volcanic eruptions


The most important cultural events held are the International Festival of Theater City of Manizales, which is one of the major theater events in Latin-America, the Manizales Jazz Festival which gather Jazz Musicians from all over the world, it's held annually.

The Manizales Fair was born in 1951 with the first centenary of the city. It began with the presentation of grand Bullfights and with typical "Manolas" parade (Spanish parade). Due to its huge welcome by people, more shows and presentations have been brought into the Fair, such as International Coffee Beauty Pageant which together with the bullfighting season turn into the main events of the Fair.

Currently within the Fair you can enjoy activities as: Horseback riding Parades, Typical presentations, "Trovas", other parades, National and International Musicians and Bands, Expositions, and Cultural shows. The Feria de Manizales (Manizales Fair) is the second biggest celebration in the country, after the Barranquilla Carnival.


  • 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

Periodic Events

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


Manizales is an important regional cultural and educational center, The city has a student population of some 30.000 people that attend 6 colleges and universities:


Manizales' economy is based on Coffee production and processing, steel and other metal manufactures, car parts manufacturing, food industry and educational services.


Sports and Entertainment

The city is also known as the home of the football club Once Caldas, the great winner of the 2004 Libertadores Cup, South America's main club competition.

Tourist Sites

  • Neo-Gothic Cathedral
  • 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
  • Santágueda
  • Simon Bolivar Park
  • (Francisco Jose de) Caldas Park
  • Rustic Club
  • Manizales Club
  • Route of Nereidas
  • Route to Neira
  • Route of Rioclaro
  • Route of Chinchiná
  • Route of La Cabaña
  • Murillo Route
  • Route of "Cerro Bravo"
  • Paramo Cocteles

Sister Cities


  • Capital city of one of the smallest Colombian departments
  • The city with the most universities per capita in Colombia
  • Strong Spanish ancestry.
  • Houses a rare and beautiful Neogothic cathedral made by an Italian architect
  • Its harsh topography makes it the most difficult city to drive through

See also

Photo Gallery


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