The Best Day Trips from Manizales, Colombia

Salamina, Caldas, Colombia
Salamina, Caldas, Colombia | © Chris Bell 
Chris Bell

The small city of Manizales is located in the Colombian Coffee Region, between Salento and Medellín. It’s an increasingly popular stop with travellers due to its pleasant atmosphere, beautiful views of the Nevado del Ruiz Volcano and an amazing and diverse array of day trips. If you are planning a trip to Manizales and want to get out and experience the surrounding areas, here are some great day trips to consider.

Loved by over 40s

Los Nevados National Park

The most popular day trip from Manizales is up into the high-Andean National Park of Los Nevados. The active Nevado del Ruiz Volcano can be seen from the city on a clear day, but there’s nothing quite like getting up into the wild, windswept moors of the park and experiencing the wonderful nature firsthand. A day trip usually includes a stop at Laguna Negralake and the main park entrance centre, and you will also have the chance to explore the páramo, the high-altitude moorland that is unique to the northern Andes.

The beautiful landscapes of Los Nevados National Park

Rio Blanco

This stunning bird reserve is set in more than 49 square kilometres (12,000 acres) of beautifully preserved cloud forest and is one of the jewels in Manizales’ ecotourism crown. Located just 45 minutes from downtown Manizales, Rio Blanco makes for a perfect day trip for anyone with a love of nature, but birders will especially love it, as it is famous for its many species, including five members of the elusive antpitta family and the rarely seen (apart from at Rio Blanco) masked saltator.

Termales del Ruiz

Being a city surrounded by volcanos, Manizales has its fair share of thermal baths and hotels, but none are nicer than Termales del Ruiz. This wonderful luxury hotel, with thermal baths and a hummingbird observatory, is an easy day trip from the city, and for just US$10 you can spend the day swimming in the natural thermal pools and enjoying beautiful views of at least 10 different species of Andean hummingbird. There’s also a restaurant and bar on site, so you don’t need to worry about meals.

Termales del Ruiz

Hacienda Venecia

A gorgeous coffee farm just outside Manizales, Hacienda Venecia is, with good reason, one of the most well-renowned boutique hotels in the region, but you don’t have to stay over to enjoy a visit to this working coffee farm. Hacienda Venecia also offers a guided coffee tour, for which they organise transport to and from Manizales. You will learn all about the coffee growing process, before sampling some of the Hacienda’s finest product.

The beautiful main house of Hacienda Venecia

El Recinto del Pensamiento

A nature park just 11 kilometres (seven miles) from downtown Manizales, Recinto del Pensamiento is set in a beautiful cloud forest and is the ideal place to spend a lazy day in nature just outside the city. With a great café and restaurant on site, as well as guided tours through a cloud forest trail, a hummingbird observatory, a butterfly house and a natural orchid garden, El Recinto is a peaceful and tranquil place. There are also early morning birding tours, so check in advance if you want to attend.


One of the longer day trips on this list, the pretty little Heritage Town of Salamina lies around two hours from Manizales by bus. However, if you’re looking to escape the tourist trail for a day and experience one of Colombia’s most delightful and overlooked little towns, then it’s absolutely worth getting up early and making the effort to visit Salamina. Its beautiful historical buildings and famous carved wooden balconies are unlike those of any other town in Colombia.

Salamina, Caldas, Colombia

Nevado de Santa Isabel

Part of Los Nevados National Park, but worth a separate day trip, Nevado de Santa Isabel is one of the only snowcapped peaks in the park to which there is still access. Day trips to the glacier of the Nevado are an incredible way to experience high mountains in Colombia, and trekking on the surface of an actual glacier is always an unforgettable experience.

culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.