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Kamalion Hostel

Kamalion Hostel
Avenida Circunvular #8B-23, Los Alpes, Pereira, Risaralda
+57 311.321.6359 (whatsapp/celular)
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kamalionhostel.com

Overview: If you're heading to Pereira, the best place to stay in the city is a new option on la Circunvular: Kamalion Hostel. The hostel's best feature is its location. You are just minutes from all of the excitement of the city's "zona rosa", with its nightlife, shops, fine dining options, bars, and discotecas. It's a medium-sized hostel with a mix of dorms and private rooms, and delightful common areas, including a TV lounge, kitchen, back patio, and a small terrace looking out onto the Circunvular where you can enjoy a cold beer. It is also a perfect base camp for planning adventures to places in the surrounding area, including Santa Rosa de Cabal with its lovely hot springs, picturesque colonial Filandia, charming Salento, and the breathtaking Parque Nacional Natural los Nevados, with its stunning snow-capped peaks reaching to 5,300 meters above sea level.

The staff at Kamalion Hostel have a real passion for tourism. They will quickly get you plugged in, and show you the best ways to optimize your time. The walls are also decorated with helpful maps which will aid you in getting oriented in Pereira and the surrounding countryside of Risaralda. 

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Neighborhood: The best part about Kamalion Hostel is that you are right in the heart of la Circunvular, the trendy, upscale part of Pereira, located on the eastern side of the city, on a ridge with picturesque views of the Rio Otun, downtown, and the surrounding coffee country. Here you will find a wide variety of bars, discotecas, the enormous Parque Arboleda shopping center, and a wide range of restaurants to choose from, including many international cuisine options.

The Circunvular winds its way along the eastern edge of Pereira, and offers something for everyone. Just two blocks further up the hill (to the east) you will find Pereira's finest shopping mall, the Centro Comercial Parque Arboleda. Inside you'll find shops and boutiques from some of Colombia's best know designers and companies, as well as a food court, cinema, and a large Exito, where you can buy almost anything you need.

If you're interested in both Colombian and international cuisine, there is something for everyone. Just steps away you have delightful homemade arepas and the appealing vegetarian choices of Collage. If you're looking for a menu ejecutivo (fixed price lunch), head to nearby Antojitos, where you can get a delicious and filling lunch for just $7.000. Continue 5 minutes further up the Circunvular and you will come to Pereira's gastronomic zone, located on Carrera 12. Here you will find a wide range of international cuisine: the amazingly good Argentine restaurant Lenas y Parrilla, the authentic Mexican fare of El DF, the Spanish tapas of La Cepa, and the exquisite Peruvian fare of Piura. La Exquizites also serves up delicious Colombian food at a reasonable price; Andre particularly recommends the "carne a la plancha". Or head a few blocks west on Carrera 12 and you'll find a 5 block stretch of traditional Colombian fare, heavy on grilled meats. Also make sure to stop by Parceros Coffee and Travel, where you'll find great food and coffee.  El Cangrejo also is a great option serving up internation options.

For nightlife, you won't find a stretch of Colombia where more bars and discotecas are packed in. Highly recommended is Tropical Cocktails, for its tasty adult beverages, as well as Soho which offers themed events. If you're in the mood for something a little wilder, just cross to the other side of the Rio Otun where you will find the La Badea neighborhood. This is packed with discotecas offering everything from salsa to merengue, cross over to reggaeton. A good option on Friday nights is the "Viernes Universitarios" offered by Mr. Monkey, one of the best discotecas in the area.

How to Get There: Getting to Kamalion Hostel is easy. If you're arriving to the airport, a taxi should cost between $12.000 and $15.000 and take between 15 and 20 minutes. Pereira's Matecana International Airport (PEI) offers numerous daily flights to Bogota, and Viva Colombia has just started a new route to San Andres as well. Just take the normal yellow city taxis that you will see lining up in front of the airport on the right hand side. Make sure your driver starts the taximetro. In general, taxis in Pereira are fairly inexpensive.

If you are arriving by bus, you will arrive at the Terminal de Transporte, just 800m to the southeast of the hostel. It's only a 5 minute taxi ride and it should cost only $6.000. From the Terminal you can catch buses to almost anywhere in Colombia. The most popular routes include heading east to Bogota (7 hours), north to Medellin (5 hours), or south to Cali (4 hours).

Management/Staff:   The hostel was founded a year and a half ago by David Hernandez. He chose the name kamalion "chameleon" in English, because it is an animal with a great degree of adaptability and flexibility. In the same way, he hopes to offer the same degree of flexiblility and adaptability to the guests and tourists that pass through Pereira.

Also at the hostel are Jhon Edison and Andre Bueno, brothers who will make you feel right at home.

Rooms: Kamalion Hostel has space for 23 guests, in clean and comfortable dormitories and private rooms. 

Shared Rooms: There are four dormitories, each with four beds respectively. The second floor dormitories cost $27.000, while there is a also a dorm on the first floor that costs $20.000 per night.

Private Rooms: There are three private rooms: one has a bunkbed and costs $37.000 for one person or $60.000 for two people. There is another private room that features a private balcony, double bed, and television. It costs $67.000 for one or two people.  Finally, the hostel offers one private room with private bathroom that features hot water and cable television, as well as a truly luxurious bathroom with tub. This room costs $87.000 for one or two people.

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Amenities: 

Breakfast: A light breakfast with toast, fruit, and juice is included in the price.

Kitchen: Guests are welcome to use a kitchen, that is open from 6am to 10pm.

Restaurant: Around the hostel you'll find a variety of dining options, with a range of prices and cuisines. You are also welcome to use the hostel's free local telephone to call up restaurants to ask for "servicio domicilio": home delivery to the hostel.

Bar: Beer is available for purchase for $3.000. While there is no bar per se, there is a delightful terrace overlooking the Circunvular where you can enjoy your beverages.

Terrace/Patio: There is a patio out back with a table and chairs, as well as an umbrella to shield you from the sun.

TV Lounge: Yes. With cable TV.

Computers: There is one computer available for guest use.

Wifi: Yes. Both in the common areas and bedrooms.

Lockers: There are lockers in all of the dormitories.

Bicycles: Currently the hostel does not offer bicycle rentals, but they are planning to offer this service in the future.

Credit Cards: Yes.  All major cards are accepted: Visa, Mastercard, and American Express.

Luggage Storage: Yes

Check-in Time: 2pm (or earlier if there is availability)

Check-out Time: 11:00am

If you are interested in outdoor activities, there are plenty of options. The Santuario Flora y Fauna is a nature reserve just 20 minutes away that features 3 trails with ample opportunities for birdwatching. There are also multiple routes to access PNN los Nevados, the most stunning feature of the Coffee Zone. On guided tours, you can reach the Nevado del Ruiz, or the Nevado de Santa Isabel. To arrive all the way to the Laguna de Otun, it is a three days' walk. In addition to hiking, mountain biking is an activity that has really blossomed throughout the Eje Cafetero.

The city of Pereira itself also offers much to do and see. Kamalion Hostel is soon starting free historic tours of the city. Make sure to see the Plaza Bolivar with its famous statue of Simon Bolivar, Parque el Lago, and the Viaducto Cesar Gaviria.

The Eje Cafetero also offers a wide variety of interesting towns, distributed among Risaralda and Caldas. At the top of your list, you should see Salento, Filandia, Marsella, and Santa Rosa de Cabal. If you want to venture a little further into Caldas, you can also experience the indigenous village of Belem, and the Valle de los Umbras, where the Umbra and Emberrachami cultures continue their traditions.

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Conclusion: If you're heading to the Coffee Zone, don't miss out on Pereira, Colombia's 10th largest city, and a great place to enjoy a less touristy area. The best place to stay in Pereira is Kamalion Hostel. The staff is friendly and has a great deal of experience in helping tourists plan their travels in Pereira and the Coffee Zone.

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