El Eje Cafetero: Manizales
After our rather eventful time in Salento (you can read about that here and here and here), we bid the town goodbye and headed to Manizales. Manizales is a more commercial city in the Eje Cafetero that is famous for the national parks surrounding it. After arriving, we took a metrocable from the bus terminal to downtown and then walked to our hostel.
Hostel Kaleidoscopio was clean and charming with huge full-sized beds for each person, but the heart of this place was its owner. Marta was like a mother to us. She was funny and sweet. She was accompanied by her small fluffy dog, named Gizmo. She was also extremely helpful at all times.
By the time we reached Manizales, we were somewhat tired and didn’t feel the need to do constantly. We had already accomplished all but one of our “have-to’s” for the trip. Thanks to Marta’s guidance, we explored the cathedral in Manizales which was really impressive. We cooked dinner together, took lots of naps and went to a national park outside the city which had hummingbirds, ostriches, orchids and a shiitake mushroom gazebo. There was one day where we all took a nap and I didn’t wake up. Eventually, my dear friends woke me and informed me that dinner was ready! Waking up to a hot dinner is one of the perks of traveling with kind and generous people. Don’t worry, I did my fair share of cooking the next day.
We stayed two nights in Manizales and greatly enjoyed Marta’s homecooked breakfasts and the break from being busy.