Salento, la zona cafetera 

From Medellin we made our way South by bus – 7 long hours but with nice views of the coffee region. We arrived in Salento in the evening and our hotel was just around the corner from the main square. 

Salento is a great base to enjoy the region. There is plenty to see but since we only bad limited time we picked a few highlights. 

A 45 minute stroll away coffee fincas are offering guided tours. We learnt about the cultivation up until the drying and roasting at one of the organic farms. Colombia exports the majority of its coffee production to the United States and keeps only little amounts for national consumption. The Coffee bean has been imported from Ethiopia and crossed with stronger breeds from Indonesia to resist insects and sicknesses. The local climate allows farmers to harvest during the entire year.

Coffee bags
Picking coffee beans
Drying of coffee beans

The next day we headed to Cocora valley, a 20minutes Jeep drive away from Salento. It looks like an Alpine region but with palm trees and hummingbirds. We hiked for 5 hours through tropical forest, unfortunately we got caught by rain during the last hour. 

Only means of transportation to the valley
Cocora palm trees

For our last day we headed to Armenia to stay one night in a coffee farm called Hacienda Combia. The place features a pool, jacuzzi and sauna so all we did was eat, sleep and chill.

Breakfast with a view
Enjoying the pool

Tips:

Hotel Casa Borbon Salento: amazing value for money. Free breakfast. Staff helped us plan every day.

Restaurant Bernabé: in the heart of Salento you can find craft beer and yummy food mixing local products and international recipes. 

Restaurant Camino real: sit around a campfire and enjoy grilled meat, the baby beef was yummy 😊.

Hacienda Combia: expensive rooms but beautiful setting in the countryside. Facilities like pool, jacuzzi and sauna. 

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