Some friends had told us about their travel history in the municipality of Salento and in their casual story they managed to arouse our interest in this destination that was perfect to enjoy real days of rest.
So we selected a weekend, we searched the internet for the type of hotel in Salento we wanted and the activities that had been recommended by our friends and we prepared to visit this place north of the department of Quindío that we had good references.
Its greater fame is centered in the hot springs, spas to which many people go in function of walk. Nevertheless its attributes are also expressed in its landscapes and its coffee plantations and in that natural corridor that gives way to the natural national park of the snowy ones.
It is almost a fact that some materials and techniques used in the construction of the colonial houses of Salento no longer exist as a consequence of modernism and the elaboration of other products for the market.
Of course, we are talking about houses with more than 200 years of age, a condition that gives them a certain charm and exclusivity with respect to what the new constructions offer.
Although, that forces any restoration to become a real challenge, it is also the answer to what it means to preserve details to make works special pieces of permanent admiration.
When you decide to visit Salento, Quindío, you do not have to look for anything because everything arrives in a splendorous way in your eyes.
And if the reason has to do with the desire to observe the goodness of the Coffee Cultural Landscape at its best, there is no better place in the region than this northern municipality, a surprising place and in love.
The first thing that attracts your attention is the landscape that appears complacent and the different shades of green, many lush trees, crops of different fruits and birds that adorn your arrival. We recommend you to do this tour slowly so that you can capture this first gift that nature offers you.
It is known as Camino Nacional, Camino Real and even as the Camino de los Indios. This route is due to the existence of Salento, a multicultural municipality, lavish in landscapes, architecture, cradle of the Palm of Wax and one of the ten most wanted by Colombians as a tourist destination.
Having this in mind, one of the things to do in Colombia is visiting the Eje Cafetero. This is one of the most spectacular places to visit in Colombia and will allow visitors to see at least one of the many coffee fincas in the country, where they will be able to experience the full process of coffee production, from picking to toasting and sipping.
Places to visit in Colombia: Eje Cafetero, or else the Colombian version of Switzerland
The best starting point for a visit of the Eje Cafetero is Salento, located at 1800 meters above sea level and one of Colombia tourist attractions in itself. This is a picturesque village, where colonial architecture meets the paisà style. It is a lovely, small and colourful colonial town surrounded by hills and forest, with a main street full of artesania shops, many relaxing bars, a chilled atmosphere, making it one of the places to visit in Colombia. From here, it is possible to visit a number of fincas.
On the western edge of the Parque Nacional Natural Los Nevados, the pueblo of Salento (pop. 7,000) is one-stop shopping for those seeking a quintessential coffee region experience. The town, an enchanting pueblo, home to coffee growers and cowboys, is adorned with the trademark colorful balconies and facades of Paisa architecture.
It was one of the first settlements in the region during the 19th-century Antioquian colonization. In the nearby countryside, coffee farms dominate the landscape. Here you can be a Juan Valdez, the iconic personification of Colombian coffee, during a coffee tour in which you harvest coffee beans, learn about the bean-to-bag process, and sip the freshest coffee you’ve ever tasted.
There are some truly remarkable treks possible in this region, from hikes of a few hours into cloud forest to 5-day treks to the base of snow-capped mountains, and beyond!
Salento, is one of the better destinations in Colombia for trekking in terms of infrastructure. There are reasonably well marked trails and occassionally some signposting, although it is still quite easy to get lost.
For this reason, I strongly recommend not going alone unless you’re just planning on strolling around the lower valley.