“Art is something that makes you breathe with a different kind of happiness.”

~ Anni Albers

Manizales is a city of approximately 500,000 people  located high in the mountains above Colombia’s Eje Cafetero (coffee-growing region) in the west central part of the country. It’s known mainly for its many universities and colleges, its position as the business center for Colombia’s economically important coffee exports and for its steep hills–

heavy breathing here–

Manizales’ rather short list of attractions and cultural offerings can’t compete with those found in the capital Bogotá or Colombia’s  second-city of Medellín. However, as I discovered on a recent visit, it does have a street art scene that–while smaller in scope–compares favorably with its bigger sisters in quality.

Most of the street art in Manizales is located either in the city center’s business and shopping area or in the Cable Tower nightlife and entertainment zone on Manizales’ main east-west drag of Santander Avenue (also known as Carrera 23). The Cable Tower area is comprised of the city’s largest universities which create an energetic street atmosphere that makes it a pleasant area for walking, people watching and viewing art.

The largest concentration of street paintings can be found along the route of Carrera 25 as it heads east of Calle 45 all the way to the main campus of the University of Caldas (Universidad de Caldas).

The city’s first settlers chose to build on the tops of several high mountain ridges, rather than settle in the valley’s below. As I trudged up and down the San Francisco-like hills (except they’re much higher in Manizales!) on a recent visit to this vertical city, I couldn’t help but question the founders’ choice of location.

But don’t let the steepness of the streets turn you off. The fabulous art found on retaining  walls (remember those slopes?) and buildings, especially in the area around the University of Caldas, is well worth the effort!

Here’s a taste…

peace~henry

Posted by Henry Lewis

Unconventional artist, writer, videographer and teacher. Personal Quote: It isn't easy being me ;-)

47 Comments

  1. amazing. thank you so very much for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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      1. always a pleasure. truly.

        peace ✌

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This is going to my readers at Timeless Wisdoms 😌

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  3. Great stuff. So much facial expression for street art.

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    1. Hi Ken,

      Yes, I think some of Manizales’ street artists were conveying the complexity of human emotions. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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  4. Love the street art. An explosion of vibrant colors.

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  5. Wow, the street art is incredible!
    Many thanks for stopping by my Travel and Photography blog.

    Liked by 1 person

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      1. I would love to travel through Colombia for a while but not just to capture the street art. I’ve only been to Leticia, which is the tri-border with Peru and Brazil, deep in the Amazon.

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      2. I highly recommend it. Colombia offers an amazing variety of landscapes, plus being the world’s 2nd most bio-diverse country assures you’ll see lots of exotic plants and birds. From big city Bogotá with its good museums and restaurants o small colonial towns surrounded by lush forests, the country really offers a colorful mix.

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      3. I’m sure Colombia would be fantastic. I need to return to South America.

        Maybe you can read some of my posts, which I’m still writing and let me know what you think 🙂 https://imageearthtravel.com/category/south-america/

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I’d love to read more of your posts. I’m currently on the road and trying to keep up with my own writing, plus struggling to improve my Spanish so it’s difficult for me to focus at the moment. I saved your link and will definitely dedicate some time to exploring your blog. I really enjoyed the posts I’ve read so far!

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      5. Great thank you! Know what it’s like when you’re on the road – no time for anything but enjoying life. 😉
        I’m trying to learn Italian – it’s not easy.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I’d settle for a bit more enjoying life at the moment. I’m feeling pressured to find a more suitable town in which to live. This is not a complaint and I feel so lucky to have choices since so many in the world don’t. Good luck with your Italian studies!

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Well I’ve been living in southern Italy for a couple of years and although it’s wonderful living here, the bureaucracy is oppressive and worse than SE Asia!
        Thank you!

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      8. I understand–no place is perfect and we carry the challenges and expectations of being ‘us’ wherever we go. We are very fortunate, however, to have a choice. Enjoy a gelato for me. 🙂

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      9. True and wise words. I definitely will. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Henry, I love the street art photos. They show such imagination and are a great portrayal of culture. Which city are you living in? -Rebecca

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    1. Hi Rebecca,

      I’m currently in the small mountain town of Guatapé, about 2 hours east of Medellín. I keep scouting other town/cities, but haven’t found the right fit yet. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts!

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      1. I looked up Guatapé. What a stunning town! I can see why you’re staying. The water, the colorful buildings, the vista from the Piedra lookout! -Rebecca

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      2. Guatapé is your writing central home currently? -Rebecca

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      3. Hi Rebecca,

        Yes, I have an apartment in Guatapé that I’m using as a base for exploring more of Colombia. It’s a fascinating and extremely complex country due to its tragic history. So, Guatapé is home for now, but I’m not ruling out a move to a larger city with a university and more cultural offerings. It’s difficult to find the right fit. 🙂

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      4. Colombian history must have left many scars that are difficult to heal. Hope we can support rebuilding the society and economy. As for larger cities, have you traveled to Cali?

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I’ve been north and south of Cali but not into the city yet. There’s a list hahaha and I’m ticking them off.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Very beautiful art indeed. ❤

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    1. Thanks for your support Dracul!

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  8. […] via Street Art in Manizales, Colombia — my quest blog […]

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    1. Thank you for the reblog!

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      Reply

  9. Lovely collection of shots here Henry! Colombia is so rich with street displays and you collected some excellent memories of them 🙂

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    1. Yes, the street art scene in Colombia is really amazing. I still have many more cities to visit. Thanks!

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  10. Thank you for the tour of some distinctive and vivid street art in a place I’m unlikely ever to visit.

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    1. Hello Judith,

      It’s interesting to find such amazing artistic talents in these quite out of the way places. Thanks for visiting!

      Liked by 1 person

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  11. Such talent! The hand picture looks so realistic.

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    1. Hi Melissa,

      I agree. Street artists often have such an ingrained sense of space and know how to get just the effects they want in the most direct way. No sitting in front of an easel and constantly mixing oil paints for them. It’s true talent! Thanks for commenting!

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  12. Art from a different part of the world that I live and travel. Thank you for this introduction. L.

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    1. And thank you @kobrigama for visiting and sharing your thoughts!

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  13. I love street art and these are wonderful. 😊

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    1. Thanks! Me too Martina!

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  14. I’m blown away by how wonderful this art is!

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    1. I agree Kristy. I never expected to find such talent tucked away in that mountain town. The quality is better than most of the big city stuff I’ve seen.

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