The Department of Risaralda is one of the thirty-two departments that make up the Republic of Colombia, it is located in the western center of the Andean region, it has an area of 4,140 km2 which represents 0.36% of the national territory. It limits to the North with Antioquia and Caldas, to the East with Caldas and Tolima, to the South with Quindío and Cauca Valley and to the West with Choco.
Risaralda has a population of 951,953 inhabitants, a density of 229.94 inhabitants / km2, its name is Risaraldense, and its capital is Pereira with a population of 469,612 inhabitants. It is made up of 14 municipalities that in turn are classified into subregions: sub-region 1 Pereira, Dosquebradas, Marsella and Santa Rosa de Cabal, sub-region 2, Apia, Balboa, Belen de Umbria, Guática, La Celia, La Virginia, Quinchía and Santuario, and subregion 3, Mistrató and Pueblo Rico. It also has 19 rural police inspections, 687 villages and 34 townships.
Dos Quebradas is one of the most visited municipalities in this region, its capital is 15 minutes from Pereira crossing the Cesar Gaviria Trujillo Viaduct, it is an industrial municipality located between natural parks, endowed with 32 streams and micro-basins where tourist practices can be carried out and cultural, several species of birds and animals are also observed; La Virginia is another municipality in this department located on the valley formed by the Cauca and Risaralda rivers, the municipality is 30 minutes from its capital and during the tour you can see cane crops and all kinds of natural beauties, there you can also see the old suspension bridge over the Cauca river, which in previous times was used for vehicular use.
This department is located between the western and central mountain ranges and is crossed by the Cauca river; There are great elevations such as the Quindío volcano, with a maximum height of 4,800m, and the snowy Santa Isabel with 5,100m. The hydrographic network of this department is made up of the San Juan rivers which occupy 32% of the area and Cauca which occupies 68% of the total area.
The climate of this region depends on the masses of humid air over the Western mountain range and the Cauca River depression, for which there are wet times on the western slope and dry wet times on the eastern slope towards the Cauca River valley, in the western slope presents both dry and rainy times.
The Department presents in its majority a temperate climate in semi-humid and humid levels, in the extremes there are cold humid and super-humid climates, and the extremely cold climate is generally located in Santa Rosa de Cabal and isolated sectors, in limits with Choco. The rainiest months in this department are April, May, October and November and the driest months are January, February, July, and August. To the north and center of the department we find. Dry seasons little marked in the middle of the year, while to the south the temperature is increasing little by little.
The Risaralda department is supported by agriculture, livestock, manufacturing industry and commerce, coffee, banana, sugar cane, cocoa and cassava crops are part of agriculture, and food, beverages, clothing, textiles, wood, and footwear are part of the manufacturing industry, finally, the production of milk and meat make up livestock.
Historically Risaralda has had cultural influence from various regions of the country, some of its typical dances is the Baile de los Sopingueros which has its origin in the natives of Sopinga projecting the process of acculturation between the black culture and the Paisa, and reflecting the work of the sandboxes; also El Baile de la Caña which seeks to recreate everyday life and reflect the life of ” El Campesino“, with elements such as the same cane that serves as a stately bastion to pay homage to agriculture, the women’s wardrobe is a colored skirt, blouse white with long sleeves, scarf of the same color, cane hat and quotes; for men, dark work pants, colored printed shirt with long sleeves, red headscarf, machete, cane hat and quotes, and The Corridor that seeks to verify daily romances, sightings, persecuted, innocent encounters, flirtations, rejections and acceptances, where the woman wears a chapolero dress, and a bouquet of flowers as a personal arrangement, and the man wears dark denim pants, a plaid or striped shirt with long sleeves, a ruana or a pinché top poncho, espadrilles, an aguadeño hat, a handkerchief rooster tail and comb. The musical instruments used in this type of music and dance are the Organology, flute, indigenous drum, drummer or box, guiro, tiple and guitar.
Risaralda has a great musical wealth, where rhythms such as the Bambuco, the slow corridor, the dance, the guabina, the march predominate; and some of his songs that compile the rhythm of the department are Ajena, Te Extraño, Mi Refugio, El Polvero, etc.
Among the most common dishes of the typical food of this region, we find the Paisa Tray which is composed of beans, rice, chorizo, ground meat, pork rinds, fried egg, slice, avocado, arepa and banana; The Sudado that is made up of meat cooked either beef, pork or chicken, cassava, potato, banana and rice and a dish that is present at breakfasts is the Calentado that is made up of the food that is left over from the previous day, already be it beans, meat, rice, etc.
The anniversary parties of the Risaralda department are celebrated on February 1, there are different activities including the dawn and floral offering, which consists of a parade through all the main streets of Pereira, where dances, serenades, and demonstration of all the beauties of this region; in addition to its anniversary, Risaralda also hosts the Harvest Festival that takes place on the 1st of August, on the coffee harvest.
They organize gastronomic fairs, horseback riding, art exhibitions, musical concerts, etc.
The road infrastructure of the department of Risaralda is oriented to the articulation with the national trunks that seek to link the Pacific from the center and west of the country. Despite the steepness of the relief, there is a good system of roads that communicate with each other to all the municipalities of the department. The capital has the Matecaña Airport that allows national and international flights and the public transport terminal that provides 24-hour service throughout the National territory, in general its transport service is wide and easy for people to access.
If entertainment is talked about in Risaralda there is a variety of activities that you can do, The Comfamiliar library that is located in Carrera 5 # 21-48 Floor 2 and provides its services from Monday to Friday from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm and Saturdays from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, the Pereira Art Museum that has four exhibition rooms of local, national and foreign arts, its hours of operation are from Tuesday to Friday from 10:00 am. At 7:00 pm and Saturdays and holidays from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. The Lucy Tejada Cultural Center is the administrative headquarters for everything related to art and culture in Pereira. In addition, it has spaces for the realization of cultural and academic events. The Ramón Correa Mejia Municipal Library is also located, a local reading and knowledge and information center for local, departmental, and national users.
Near the transport terminal in the pink zone of the capital, the largest shopping centers in the region are located, such as the Pereira plaza shopping center and the Parque Arboleda shopping center, there you will also find discos and bars to enjoy good music, with family and friends.
Pereira and in general the department of Risaralda is one of the best tourist destinations in Colombia, it is a very complete department, in which you can carry out all kinds of activities, for all ages and tastes, but in addition to this if you are looking for a destination to live this is also your best option, all its municipalities are endowed with the best colleges and schools, both public and private to offer the best educational quality for their children, among them are, the Colegio Fundación Liceo Ingles, the Colegio Liceo Frances de Pereira and the Pereira country school.