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.
Moreover, Manizales is in the country town with as many training institutions or artistic practice (visual arts, dance, theater, literature and music) registered per million inhabitants (Competitiveness Council 2008) and the Coffee is annealed as cultural and university by its more than 100,000 students, 14 universities, 12 research and development center for computational bioinformatics largest in Latin America research and development.