Enjoy the heart of the Colombian Coffee Region, its mega-biodiversity, culture and landscapes – by foot, bicycle, Chiva. Pereira, with its forever-spring climate, phenomenal road infrastructure, and culinary options, has it all! And the place to stay is Kolibrí Hostel. Daniel tells us why.
How did you decide to open a hostel?
We first decided we wanted to open a hostel back in 2012 on a sunny day in the city of Pereira, Colombia. Alexa was already working for a few years with a German couple for a travel agency and Daniel was working remote as a software developer for a company in The Netherlands, when we felt we needed a change. That day we were eating a typical Colombian “perro” or a hotdog close to where we were living. On the other side of the street, there was this old colonial house which was for sale and we started dreaming about starting our own business together: a hostel. This made us think about the great potential the city we fell in love with. Although the house we saw was unreachable due to several reasons, it led us to an even bigger and better 2-story building and we gave our all to start a successful business that is now top ranked in the “Eje cafetero” in Colombia.
What is the biggest challenge you are facing in running/managing your hostel?
Although Pereira has great potential and is nearly perfect for spending your vacation, we faced a big challenge in making a name for our hostel. Unfortunately, an unsupportive Pereiran government and bureaucratic difficulties that still exist in the country made it difficult, but with the right mindset and ideas you can and will do it yourself.
What makes your hostel unique?
Kolibrí Hostel is the perfect balance between location, price, recreation and rest. Our 13 rooms, apartment, and various social areas are designed for all tastes and budgets. We have 5 different lodging categories, from dormitories to luxurious rooms with private patios. We started our project, Kolibrí Hostel, in a house that is more than 40 years old with numerous patios, interior corridors, and large spaces. The abundance of natural light and fresh air is one of our best assets. At the end of 2015 we began a series of renovations, taking into account all of the suggestions that we collected in 3 years of operation. We are constantly innovating and improving our facilities to satisfy the needs of travelers and our commitment to sustainability. The decor has many elements, but we prefer organic designs that optimize functionality and comfort. We recently designed 3 new rooms with private patios, unique showers, and spacious bathrooms. These rooms are on par with the quality of a boutique hotel and are conveniently available at hostel prices.
What is the one thing that your guests like the most in your hostel?
We have a lot of things that our guest like, but what really stands out and what most people also mention in their comments is our upper balcony which is facing towards the mountains and the beautiful nature surrounding Pereira.
What makes your destination/city a place everyone should visit?
Aside from its privileged geographical location, in the middle of the Colombian coffee triangle, Pereira itself is becoming a must-see destination for both national and foreign tourists. Pereira is a destination to explore, and is still a pearl to be discovered. It’s neither too big nor too small, and most of Pereira can be explored either walking or on your bicycle. Moreover, tourism is still fresh, so it’s not packed with swarms of tourists. All tourist stops and points of interest can be enjoyed easily without the hassle of pushy crowds. The best tourism options to enjoy the heart of the Coffee Region, is its mega-biodiversity, culture and landscapes – by foot, bicycle, Chiva (a typical Colombian bus) or private transportation. Pereira, with its forever-spring climate, phenomenal road infrastructure, and culinary options, has it all!
What is the best time of the year to visit you?
Pereira has good weather all year round and even during the rainy seasons it is a delight to go out and visit all tourist attractions.
What would you recommend to your guests as a must see/must do in your city?
Experience the Coffee Culture: Colombia is passing through a marvelous transition from not only exporting the best coffees in the world, but also appreciating them and preparing them, as it should be! It is more common now for farms to certify their coffee processes and boast about how their coffee is smoother, richer. Moreover, many cafés are preoccupied about certificates of origin, coffee processes, and fair payment to coffee pickers. This all is located in landscapes you could never imagine. Therefore it has been registerd by the UNESCO as world heritage. It’s an unforgettable experience to appreciate, learn and drink a coffee in the heart of the coffee region! Other than the marvelous coffee culture that awaits you in Pereira, there are also its incredible nature and unmatched landscapes in the region. Being one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, Colombia has a lot of flora and fauna. Now, Pereira, is the most biodiverse of entire Colombia! For this exact reason, Pereira is very popular by biologists and bird watchers.