El Eje Cafetero is a region with colorful villages along with the green of the mountains and the coffee plantations.
Highs & Lows
Filandia is a very quiet town with friendly locals
Accommodation in Salento is a little more expensive than in other pueblos in Colombia
Colombia coffee region is one of the most touristic regions in Colombia, it is formed mainly by three departments: Quindio, Risaralda and Caldas. These three municipalities form what is known as the coffee triangle whose capitals aren't the interesting ones in this region, but are the gateway to the main coffee region tourist spots, as they have airports and large transportation terminals.
The small towns are the ones that stand out for their colorful architecture like filandia, pijao y Salento, also the valle del cocora are the most interesting places to meet. If you have time, the eje cafetero has a lot of other beautiful villages, coffeehouses and even enjoy one of the thermal pools in the town of Santa Rosa de Cabal.
It's one of the oldest towns in Quindío and the most visited, it is a good example of what a typical Paisa town is. It is surrounded by mountains, at an altitude of almost 2,000 meters.
On the main street, Calle Real that leaves from Plaza Bolivar, is where almost all the tourists crowd. a street full of color with craft shops, bars, cafes, typical restaurants and houses that preserve very well the traditional architecture of the Paisas towns. And at the end of it there are some stairs that take you to Alto de la Cruz, from where you can see the Cocora valley and a panoramic view of the town.
The tourist route in Salento is complemented with the pleasure of enjoying traditional gastronomy. trout in its different presentations is the town's most famous dish. The packets of coffee beans with chocolate are without a doubt the best memory to take home. I also recommend a lot for those who like coffee is to stop in the center of town, look for a place with a table on the street to order a coffee and sit down to enjoy it because for me it was a very special moment.
Near Salento there is a highly recommended coffee farm, the Finca Ocaso that you can walk (about 45 minutes) or take a jeep in the central square of the town. They have guided tours every hour in which you can learn all the steps of the coffee industry; from the sowing and cultivation of the coffee plants to the roasting and grinding of the beans. And, also taste different types of coffee. The farm has a room for guests if you want to stay to sleep.
In El Valle del Cocora is the Quindío Wax Palm, which is the national tree of Colombia and reaches 60 meters high and only grows at an altitude of between 1500 and 3000 meters above sea level. El Valle is about 25 kilometers from Salento.
To get to the valley you have the option of renting a car, taking a jeep to be charged per person that leaves every day from Plaza Bolivar, you can also rent a bicycle that is available in some hostels.
We went by bicycle and it took us 2 hours to arrive, at the entrance there was a person who informed about the routes that could be done, we chose the most frequented path. On the way there were hanging bridges, streams, the palm tree forest, mountains with viewpoints, which allowed us to enjoy the nature of the park and the beautiful landscapes of the Cocora Valley.
Filandia is another architectural town from the Antioquia colonization, it is the town that I like the most because it's a very quiet place, with very friendly local people in which it made me feel very comfortable.
In the center of the city is the Bolivar Park, the place frequented by the townspeople and tourists, the preserved colorful houses of Antioquia architecture. There are cafes with affordable prices that locals frequent in the morning and afternoon to have a coffee and chat.
One of the most beautiful places in Filandia is "the Street of Stopped Time", a colorful architectural complex that contains houses that maintain the original architecture, structure and appearance of when they were built.
Towards the outskirts of the town is located the Mirador "Colina Iluminada", which is a 27 meter tower. The tower has a 360 ° panoramic view of the town and on clear days you can see Pereira and certain surrounding towns. The viewpoint has several balconies for bird watching.
Q & A
What would you have changed?I would have stayed longer in filandia as it is a beautiful city very quiet and with few tourists, but many people will recommend us to spend more time Salento so we booked more days of our trip to Salento.
Anything go wrong during the trip?Salento usually has a very pleasant climate as it is not very hot, but on the day I went to the Alto de la Cruz viewpoint, there was a lot of sun and I didn't take the sunscreen and that's why my skin got sunburn.
Restaurant recommendations?La Gran Trucha Restaurante, It has a delicious plate of fried trout with patacón, rice and salad.
Packing tips?This region has a temperature between 8 and 24 ° C, therefore it is convenient to bring light and warm clothing to wear depending on the weather. Bring comfortable clothes and shoes for the tours, a hat or cap and sun protection.