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Salento – The Touristic Heart Of The Zona Cafetera

Wax-Palm Trees in the Valle de Cocora, Salento, Zona Cafetera, Colombia

Wax-Palm Trees in the Valle de Cocora

Salento has changed A LOT since my last visit in 2009… The once quiet village that young backpacker would flee on weekends because it was too quiet now seems to be on everyone’s itinerary in Colombia… Nonetheless, this small Pueblo has kept its laidback and relaxing charm, and is a good introduction to the Zona Cafetera, especially if you have little time at hand!

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Jardín – So Close & Still Off The Beaten Track

Basilica Menor de la Inmaculada Conceptión, Jardín, Antioquia, Colombia

Basilica Menor de la Inmaculada Conceptión

For years, la Zona Cafetera has been one of the most popular areas of Colombia, and large numbers of visitors, Colombian & foreigners alike, have flooded this part of the country. Jardín, a comfortable 3 hour ride from Medellin, is a welcome change! So close from the main tourist centers, and so much Off The Beaten Track: even if the city is no longer completely a well-kept secret, only a handful of “Gringos” can be seen there…

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Valle De Cocora

Wax palm trees (Copernicia alba), Valle de Cocora, Salento, Zona Cafetera, Quindio, Colombia, South America

Wax palm trees (Copernicia alba), Valle de Cocora, Salento, Zona Cafetera, Quindio, Colombia

Wax palm trees watching over the Cloud Forest

This out-of-the-world-scenic valley stretches to the east of Salento. Jeeps starts early in the morning from there and after 30 minutes drop you off at the trail head. The first hour of the hike takes you through a narrow valley with slopes and ridges dotted with mega-tall wax-palm trees. Although we started off on a very sunny morning, big clouds of mist floated through the valley hiding the palm trees, but soon setting them free again. The other part of the trek takes you straight through the cloud forest, the canopy immediately closes overhead and you feel completely immersed in green, lush rain forest. Continue Reading →

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“Ojala Que Llueva Café En El Campo”

Coffee tree, San Agustin, Huila, Colombia, South America

Coffee tree, San Agustin, Huila, Colombia

No, it does not rain coffee, as this popular song claims, but nevertheless there is plenty around here in the Zona Cafetera. Even though we visited quite a few coffee plantations in other countries, like Bolivia or on Atiu, Cook Islands, we could not resist joining Tim, or Don Eduardo, as he likes to call himself, our host, on a tour through his new “Finca”. No regrets, he explained with great expertise and enthusiasm every step of the process that it takes to finally enjoy a cup of coffee. Continue Reading →

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Salento – Gateway To The Valle De Cocora

Salento, a small colonial village, Zona Cafetera, Quindio, Colombia, South America

Salento, a small colonial village, Zona Cafetera, Quindio, Colombia, South America

Salento is a small village perched on the foothills of the Andes in the middle of Zona Cafetera. Apart from the scenic surroundings, the village’s particular charm stems from its picturesque “Paisa” architecture. The small houses are painted in bright white, but the wooden shutters that serve as windows and the doors come in all colours. Often a tiny balcony adorns the home. Especially the plaza around the village church features some impressive buildings, which all host a bar on street level. Continue Reading →

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