Manizales, located at the very heart of the country and coloured with a bold European tinge, is where you can trace the Spanish strand of Colombian culture most readily. This ¨City of Open Doors¨ is one of the most spectacularly located cities in Colombia. Owing to its location in the Andes, the city is dwarfed by the snow-capped mountains that loom spectacularly over its horizon.
15,000 university students make Manizales home, and ensure that its cultural calendar is packed. Come at the start of the year for the Manizales fair, which celebrates this culture, that related to it´s being the Colombia Coffee Triangle Capital, and another, perhaps more controversial art, that of bullfighting. There´s plenty to see just outside the city itself, in particular, the beautifully ominous presence of the snowcapped Nevado del Ruiz.