The small village of Pueblo Rico, located about three hours from Pereira, has almost nothing to offer. I visited on a short trip with my girlfriend Marisol and spent about an hour there. Pueblo Rico has a high indigenous population. It was interesting to hear them speaking in their native tongue.
The only thing we found worth visiting was the plaza. It is surrounded by a few colonial buildings and an ordinary church. The mountains in the background make for a great setting.
The center of the plaza very nice with tall palm trees and an interesting bust of Simón Bolívar. Marisol said it was the first time she had ever seen a painted bust of Bolívar anywhere in Colombia.
We were there on a Sunday, which was market day. Several people were selling goods around the plaza. There were butchers selling meat, farmers selling vegetables and fruits, and even a few people selling clothes.
From Pueblo Rico, it’s easy to visit a couple other towns – Apía and Santuario. Buses from Pueblo Rico pass by both towns on the way to Pereira. Pueblo Rico is about 45 minutes to the north of Apía and can be reached via private car for about COP$5,000 per person (when 3 people show up) or bus for COP$6,000 each. Both can be found in the plaza. To get to Santuario, it’s possible to take a bus headed to Pereira for about 20 minutes past Apía and get off at La Marina. From there, stand on the road and flag down a jeep or bus going to Santuario. It’s a 10 minute ride into town.