Posted by: SaraTheAccidentalTourist | September 16, 2012

Coffee Triangle – Colombia III

Happy Sunday everyone!

Our next step is the Colombian Coffee region (Eje Cafetero). It is called an “Eje” since it has 3 different departments: Quindío (capital Armenia), Caldas (capital Manizales), and Risaralda (Capital Pereira).

If you have plenty of time it is worth checking all three. In my case, since I only had 3 days, we were recommended to stay in Quindío area. So we flew into Armenia. As we were flying from Bogotá, I was astonished by the views I was seeing from the plane! It was a huge green mantle: full of  coffee and bananas plantations…

As for our stay, we choose an amazing hotel which is actually a Coffee Plantation houseFinca Combia. Located in a small mount surrounded by coffee fields, it has with breathtaking views to the valley and the Andes. As amazing as the views, it was the food and the service – which was exceptionally gentle.

The Two MUST things to do when around are: visit a coffee plantation and a hike in Cocora Valley.

Keep one day to visit a plantation – one I can recommend is Recuca. Not only you walk around the fields and they explain you the coffee process, but also you can be a part of it. Plus, you can taste one of the best coffee in the world! If you have time for little more über dinning, go to La Fogata Restaurant in Armenia. Get also some time to chill around the pool and enjoy the sunset in the valley.

Get ready for a some hard hiking in the Cocora Valley – but all effort pays off once you are on top on the mountains! A day plan would be getting early since you a 5 hour hike lays ahead, where you will see the national tree of Colombia: the wax palm (which can get up to 60m high). Watch out with the altitude sickness… Get some energy back in one of the restaurants of the valley: try the patacón (made of banana) and the trout. To end a perfect day, go to Salento – a small town close by – and enjoy the local architecture in Calle Real.

All the visit was organised by LivingTrips (Mantaraya agency recommended them) and I would recommend them as well! We had private tours and were 100%flexible and customized to our needs. Perfect experience!

The Eje Cafetero has been one of the most beautiful places I have ever been: its nature and its people make it a unique place in the world and a must if you ever get to visit this surprising country.

Sara, The Accidental Tourist

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