One of the things that makes Colombia so famous worldwide is its high-quality coffee and its recognition as one of the best coffees in the world. There are many aspects that have helped Colombia to get this fame. The way the coffee is grown and harvested and several handmade processes in which farmers make sure the coffee beans are properly divided into high-quality and regular quality, as well as the appropriate roasting point that helps the properties and characteristics of the coffee to be easily perceived: natural sweetness, acidity, and low bitterness, etc. But there is also something else: the place where the coffee is grown.
The coffee region also known as the coffee triangle is a region in the southwest of Colombia. It is one of the places that has historically produced more coffee in the country, although nowadays it is possible to find high-quality coffee almost around the rest of Colombia.
It gathers the right conditions for the farmers to grow the coffee beans: altitude, weather, and soil properties. Due to this reason, the culture of these places has been based on the production and harvest of this product. Haciendas, stores, squares and parks where people spend their time have always something that relates to this peaceful, yet hardworking peasant lifestyle and it becomes a magical experience to have.
In this blog, we recommend you the 4 best cities and towns that you should not miss when coming to the coffee region.
Salento is the oldest place of this region, and it is known for the traditional architecture of houses made of bahareque (adobe or mud) that reminds of the ancestors and the colonial times. It’s a joyful town of small streets, colorful houses and balconies overflowing with flowers and ferns.
Besides its lively environment, Salento, as most of the places in the coffee region are privileged in terms of nature. Not only you can find several coffee farms in which you can learn about the product, but you can also hike around the mountains and inside the rain forest. Some of the places that are near Salento is the natural park of Los Nevados, where you can hike to the snowy mountains and discover a whole different ecosystem. Or the Cocora Valley, a must-see natural reserve famous for its wax palm trees that grow tall through the misty mountains. There are different ways to get to Cocora Valley, one that we recommend is the horseback riding, but you can also take traditional jeeps, bikes or by foot.
Filandia is a small town that promises to be a strong attractive for tourists who visit the coffee region. It is a place surrounded by diverse fauna, lush nature, incredible landscapes, a warm cozy weather. It also has traditional colonial houses, coffee growers, peasants and hardworking people that are always happy to show their culture and customs. You can walk this small town and visit its main square and you can visit either the coffee farms or the natural park and reservoirs in which you will be able to see creeks and small waterfalls. Besides, getting to this town is really easy, as it is close to Armenia, one of the main cities of the coffee region. And from Armenia to Filandia you can find a lot of fun plans, such as being a farmer for one day and experience how to obtain the coffee, from its growing to the harvesting, roasting and tasting process, all of this in the middle of a traditional coffee farm. An authentic way of learning more of this world!
Armenia is one of the three main cities that belong to what is called the Coffee Cultural Landscape. As it is bigger than the other places, we recommend you visiting the downtown, where you can find the main square, the cathedral and some important buildings around. And, if you want to keep moving around the city you could visit the Cielos Abiertos shopping mall which has a pedestrian natural path.
But definitely, if you are coming to the coffee region, Armenia is surrounded by coffee farms and natural attractions where you can learn about coffee as well as having fun in the great landscapes. One of the places you could visit is the hot springs of Santa Rosa de Cabal, a small natural reserve with waterfalls in which you can enjoy the medicinal and relaxing properties of the hot springs. An experience worth doing once you are in this place.
Last but not least, the last place we recommend you is a small town called Buenavista after the great view you can have from its lookouts. Because of the steep streets, the whole village seems like a balcony from where you can see the western mountain range of the country. Actually, the best plan to do while there is paragliding to see the famous coffee cultural landscape. And after having the best view of this region you can also hike and walk around the hills to get in contact with the nature of this beautiful place.
And if that is not enough let us remind you that besides having the natural experience of visiting the coffee region you will also meet many warm farmers and people from these small towns that will definitely welcome you and always make you feel at home. We know you were already thinking about visiting the coffee region, we just wanted to give you one last small push.