The Participatory Design Conference organizing committee decided on 10.3.20 to roll plans for an online conference in response to global developments. Details of the contingency plan are collected here as they become public. We are keeping this information here as an archive of the original plans and to encourage you to visit Manizales in the future.


Elevation 2,160m (7,090 ft)

Average temperatures 79°F (26°C) 53% Humidity

Manizales, a city of half an Andean mountain in the Colombian coffee region, is located in one of the most biodiverse regions in the world, the tropical Andean region. This region is one of the 25 priority sites for the conservation of life on earth. The city has a complex urban fabric that has evolved in response to an abrupt topography, within a natural environment of great value, as it integrates built and natural spaces, forming a diverse and stimulating urban landscape.

The quality of the landscape surrounding the city, is mainly given by the variability of climates ranging from high mountain landscapes snow-capped hills to cultivated valleys mostly coffee. These all among a wealth of forms in the relief and planes deep mountain. The altitude of the city of 2,150 meters above sea level, is an altitude that allows changing climates within 30 kilometers between 0 and 40 degrees Celsius, and heights between 5,000 and 150 meters above sea level.

From the moment when UNESCO declared the Coffee Cultural Landscape of Colombia as a World Heritage Site, the region comprising the departments of Caldas, Quindio, Risaralda and Norte del Valle, also called Ecoregion Coffee Region is recognized and included in the list of world heritage properties, which enables the region to position itself as a site of cultural and natural interest.

The historical and traditional center of Manizales has an important architectural and landscape heritage and is a lively and intense public activity center. Its cool mountain climate, with a generally cloudy atmosphere, offers an atmosphere of recollection. The traditional architecture of Manizales is sober and homogeneous, typical of the architecture of the «Antiochian colonization» with adobe houses with white walls in lime and carved woodwork. Also in Manizales there is an important urban and architectural heritage that is representative of the republican period, considered the largest architectural complex of Republican architecture in the country. 

Getting there:

From Bogota: Aeropuerto Internacional El Dorado (BOG)

The following airlines fly to Bogota: Avianca, American Airlines, Delta, United, Spirit, Jet Blue, KLM, Iberia, Lufthansa, Copa Airlines, Air Canada, Air France

Airport in Manizales is La Nubia (MZL)

The following airlines fly to Manizales (from Bogota): Avianca and EasyFly

La Nubia Airport serving Manizales, Colombia is located 8 km southeast of the city’s downtown. Due to its short runway and limited ramp space, the only aircraft that can use the airport are turbopropeller aircraft such as the Fokker 50, ATR 72, and Dash 8. Due to the mountainous conditions, one of the obstacles with La Nubia airport is the unreliability of the weather. Flights operate within a daytime schedule ONLY and are occasionally cancelled or delayed due to poor visibility.

Please note that there are NO on-site car rentals services at this location

Airport alternative in Pereira: Aeropuerto Internacional Matecaña (AIM)*

Manizales can also be reached by flying first to Pereira and then by bus or car. The city of Pereira is located 50 km (31 miles) SW of Manizales—an approximate 1 hr. drive due to the mountainous terrain.

The following airlines fly to Pereira: Avianca, Copa, United, American Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Latam, EasyFLY and VivaColombia.

On-site car rentals services available at this location

*international flights from Miami, USA (American Airlines) and Panama City, Panama (Copa and Turkish Airlines)

By bus from Bogota’s bus terminal:

Manizales can be easily reached by bus too. There are several bus operators covering the route Bogota – Manizales, some of them with very comfortable vehicles. The route is safe and very scenic but takes approximatly 8h drive (Manizales is located  167 km from Bogota, the road distance is  however 331.9 km  due to the mountains).  Buses depart from the central Bus terminal in Bogota on regular basis.

Moving around

There is an extensive network of busses running around Manizales covering the main areas. The city is also not very big and some distances are very walkable.

Taxis are also good option. Exercise caution when hailing a taxi on the street, drivers have been known to tamper with meters, and non-metered prices are often overestimated.

The following apps can help you plan:

Moovit – Free – Android – iPhone
Moovit is a mobile app used to find the fastest and most convenient bus routes in real time.

Taxia Life (formerly City Taxi) – Free – Android – iPhone
Taxia Life is a mobile app that works in 20+ languages used in Manizales for hailing taxis.

EasyTappsi– Free – Android – iPhone
One single app that allows you to request taxis or private transport services.

Other practical information:

Electricity: In Colombia the power plugs and sockets are of type A and B. The standard voltage is 110 V and the frequency is 60 Hz.