Pereira City Guide
OVERVIEW: Located in the west of Colombia, in the coffee producing region. It is situated in a small valley between Colombia's three major cities: Bogota, Cali and Medellin. You may know it as Catalina's hometown from the critically-acclaimed telenovela Sin Senos no hay Paraiso. Then again, you may not.
WEATHER: Comfortably warm (17-26 °C). Gets a bit of rainfall all throughout the year.
SAFETY: Pereira can be dangerous, and people from other Colombian cities will not hesitate to tell you this. Enough time in Pereira, and you'll probably get robbed in some fashion. The good news is is that the crime isn't usually too violent, and common sense and a bit of street smarts go a long way.
MUST DO: Plaza Bolivar. To see the naked Bolivar statue.
RENT AN APARTMENT IN PEREIRA: $3o0.00. Spend more to get more. In Pereira, you might want to lest you end up with a terrible apartment in an unsavoury area. You can cross over to neighbouring Dosquebradas for slightly cheaper rent.
HOSTEL DORM BED/NIGHT: $12. Cheap hotels will run you about $25.
NIGHTLIFE IN PEREIRA: 7.5/10
Pereria has a very respectable nightlife scene. There are a number of bars located on and around La Circunvalar near the Kolibri hostel. There are some more bars between Parque Policia and Parque El Lago, but the stuff around Carrera 13 is better. Stick to this area if you're only in town for a short stay.
BOTTLE OF BEER: $1.75
CHANCE OF HOOKING-UP IN PEREIRA: 8.25/10
Pereira has a reputation in Colombia for having easy girls. This reputation is not unearned: sackplay here comes easier than in any other Colombia city (except maybe Cali). However, there is one caveat: it is somewhat hard to meet girls at a bar or club if you go alone or even as a duo. This is basically the case in all of Colombia. In Pereria, I'd suggest trying to meet girls during the day at the park or the mall, or going to a sit down bar/restaurant in the early evening to try and find a group to hit the town with (don't worry, this will all be easier to do than you think). Even a group of gringos is better than nothing, but if you can get in with some Colombians you will tear the lid off the place.
***If you want to meet girls in Colombia the easy way and set up dates before you arrive in the country, I highly recommend checking out Colombian Cupid.
ARE GIRLS HOT IN PEREIRA?: 8/10.
Not as hot as Medellin, hotter than Bogota. Probably the best "value" of any Colombian city in terms of the (very scientific) hooking-up to hotness of female ratio. Girls in Pereria look more like Catalina Denis than they do Shakira...which isn't a bad thing if you ask me. Walking around Pereira, you will fall in love at least ten times a day.
If you want to meet women in Colombia, you will need to speak some Spanish. The Pickup Spanish Program is the only course of its kind, designed specifically to teach you Spanish for meeting Latinas in Latin America.
GROCERIES: Milk (1L)= $1.20 Loaf of Bread= $1.50 Eggs= $2.00 Water (1.5L)= $1.20 Cigarettes= $2.00
JOB OPPORTUNITIES: In Pereira, I'm confident that you could find work as an English teacher. Most teachers go to Medellin and Bogota, so the markets there are somewhat saturated. But in Pereira there is a bit of demand.
TAXI: Should be $2.00 or somewhere around $2.00
NOTES: So far, I've probably made Pereira sound like paradise. There's beautiful women, great nightlife and easy sex. Ready for the downside? Here it comes: the city itself is awful. It's ugly, industrial and there is nothing to do. You will get so bored if you're here longer than a week. The girls would be enough to keep me here for awhile except for the fact that - in addition to being gritty and dull - Pereira isn't very safe. It's a shame because with some polishing Pereira could be one of Latin America's hidden gems.
OVERALL RATING: 7.5/10
*More city guides from Colombia here!