These two small coffee towns in the department of Caldas, Neira and Aranzazu, are both part of the UNESCO World Heritage listed Coffee Cultural Landscape of Colombia. Neither one are particularly worth visiting, but they both have beautiful settings and its an enjoyable ride through lush green mountains.
Neira, located about 30 minutes from Manizales by bus, is touted as a typical Colombian coffee village. That it is, but there’s nothing of interest.
We spent some time in the wide open main plaza, visited the church, had a coffee, and moved on. To get to the plaza from the bus terminal, take a motocarro for COP$1,000 per person.
The only real point of interest in Neira is located outside of town. Pueblo Rico, a small village, has excellent views of Manizales. We were on the bus and didn’t get a chance to stop, but the views from the bus were just as nice.
Aranzazu is further north from Neira on the way to Salamina. Again, nothing to see there. We made a quick stop in the plaza for ten minutes during a routine bus stop.
To get to both towns, there is frequent bus service from Manizales. It cost us COP$3,700 each to Neira. Aranzazu was an unexpected stop on our way from Salamina to Neira, which cost COP$13,000 each.