Blogs from Salento, Quindío, Colombia, South America


South America » Colombia » Quindío » Salento July 23rd 2018

The Valle de Cocora, with its 60 meter high wax palm trees towering above you backed by green countryside and jungles. It's definitely a place to visit and that's why most people do! Salento is the place to base yourself for the Valle. Its a small town with colourful buildings and a place to slow down and relax...if you have the time! The colours are great and create a joyful and friendly atmosphere to the town. There are plenty of hostels and restaurants in Salento, just make sure when you visit that you check when the national holidays are. We happened to visit at the same time as the Colombian Independence Holiday and almost couldn't get any accommodation. It also meant that visiting the palm trees was more noiser and busier than we would have liked. ... read more
Valle de Cocora

South America » Colombia » Quindío » Salento June 23rd 2018

From Medellin we took a six hour bus to Salento which is in the coffee region and we were looking forward to spending some time out of the city again. We had also arranged to catch up with Conor, Caoimhe, Jess and Daniel who we had met on The Lost City Trek. We arrived late and unprepared but luckily Conor was slaving away in the kitchen with plenty of bolognese going spare to feed us as well. He had also had an ample supply of beers which he kindly shared as well! We stayed at a place called La Serrana and when we woke up for breakfast the next morning we were greeted with lots of green and 360 degree views of the hills in the surrounding area. The next day the six of us headed ... read more
Hummingbird feeding
The end of the Cocora Valley walk
Old coffee machine in Pijao

South America » Colombia » Quindío » Salento February 28th 2018

An emotional goodbye on Monday to my host family. Well, not really. I didn't understand much, but they insisted on driving me the 500 yards to where I'd arranged with someone from the school to store my bag. Newbie came and bombarded me with questions before she started school. I'm pretty sure the dad said something about being welcome if ever I want to return before he hugged me (otherwise it might be weird). And I tried to find as many sentences to put 'gracias' in as possible. Then the bus to Salento. The timetable says six hours to make the trip from Medellin, so I stocked up on supplies (deep fried things - including an exceptional rice/meat empanada) and found my seat. Immediately, the guy in front of me reclined his and, as usual, my ... read more
On the way to the finca
My considerable haul

South America » Colombia » Quindío » Salento February 9th 2018

Our next stop was Salento, 6 hours and 3 buses away. Salento is a small town in coffee country where we joined a British couple who we met in Jardin for a nice hike and coffee farm tour. There was a big cycling race finishing a stage in Salento that day and the town was full of teams and fans. Our hiking route took us on the gravel road into town where there was a constant stream of amateur mountain bikers following the tour at their own pace. After the long hike we had a phenomenal dinner at a lovely restaurant called Brunch run by an American expat. The other main reason for coming to Salento is to hike in the Cocora Valley. It's a stunning valley comprised of small farms, dense forests, interesting birdlife and ... read more
Valle Del Cocora

South America » Colombia » Quindío » Salento April 10th 2017

Zona Cafetera Was difficult to pry ourselves away from our perch in Medellin, but the coffee region was calling. Salento was the first destination. This small town is surrounded by fincas, once only producing coffee, but now growing a range of crops including avocados, plantain, and more. The town itself is a tourist draw for its look as well as what’s to see around it. Jairo and I took a 6 hour hike in the Valle de Cocora, a striking landscape that includes a cloud forest and grasslands. The first part of the hike is uphill, making the return trip a welcome downhill walk. The second day in Salento was a shorter 3-hour walk from the town itself through a number of coffee fincas to Boquia. From there, a bus back to Salento. It’s possible to ... read more
Willys to Cocora
Valle de Cocora

South America » Colombia » Quindío » Salento June 19th 2016

The flight from Cartagena to Pereira was only 35$ with the discount airline VivaColombia. After an easy one-hour flight (I snuck through the gate even though my bag was an inch too long; follow their requirements or else there are fees, like RyanAir, etc.) we took a taxi to the bus station and just made the 9:30 AM bus to Salento, a tourist center surrounded by picture-perfect fincas, coffee farms, and the fabulous Valle de Cocora, which boasts the tallest palm trees in the world and is on the edge of Los Nevados National Park and contains trails that lead into the paramo. Finca La Serrana- Eco Hostel The reviews of this place on Hostelworld are hyperbolic (a slice of heaven, the most beautiful place in the world), but they're pretty difficult to argue with. If ... read more
Adjacent Finca
Adjacent Finca
Peggy and I in the palms

South America » Colombia » Quindío » Salento May 4th 2016

Being traditionally British we aren’t the biggest coffee drinkers (tea is our fave tipple), it’s safe to say that although Salento is a part of the zona cafeteria, we were not just coming here for the coffee. No, we were also coming here for the mountainous scenery and the nearby cloud forest holding its own little secret. Salento, a smallish colonial old town with pretty colourful stripes lining most rows of buildings, the obligatory main square filled with locals predictably socialising and relaxing. The main stone church standing elevated over the surrounding buildings and a stunning lush green mountainous backdrop. Coming from Bogota, Salento certainly had its charm - greenery everywhere you looked in this quaint and colourful town. All buildings were around 2 stories high and the surprise of a steep incline or decline around ... read more
Somewhere up in the clouds
Coffee: From the beginning to the end

South America » Colombia » Quindío » Salento March 2nd 2016

Last night was quite the party scene here in Salento. The Colombian National Futbol club were playing their Mexican counterparts. There were a lot of drunken vaqueros riding about the main square and getting absolutely hammered on aguardiente which is a Colombian traditional liquor. Tastes like black licorice. I saw many a drunken cowboy fall off his horse and there were lots of broken bottles everywhere. It was a great scene though as the local bar put a 42" LCD on display outside so everyone could watch the game. The Colombian team won 2-0 and the vibe was great. Everyone was having a good time, no problems at all. So after all of this inspiration I decided to rent myself a horse. Now I've never been on a horse before and this was no novice trail ... read more

South America » Colombia » Quindío » Salento February 29th 2016

After my trials and tribulations in getting to Salento I checked into my hostel (Hotel Las Palmas $11) and knew that this was going to be a special place. My first day here I wandered around the town to get my bearings and to see the routine here in this sleepy village. Apparently this region is known for its wild trout - trucha en espaniol - that flourish in the Rio Quindio in the valley below Salento. I have had wonderful grilled fish for lunch here in town ($4). After lunch I walked up the hill to the Mirador that is perched above the Valle de Cocora and was rewarded with this stunning panorama. After seeing the view I knew that the next day I would go into the Valle de Cocora and see everything first ... read more

South America » Colombia » Quindío » Salento October 21st 2015

After 11 days in the city we decided to go to the countryside to relax a bit. 6 hours later and we were in Salento, a pretty city in Colombias coffee region. The town itself is small but very pretty, but its attractions lie in its surrounding areas. On the first day we decided to do a trek which promises amazing views of the area. Gary wasnt feeling up to it so me and Corrina went ourselves. They said it was 15k round trip, but was actually 20! You had to take a jeep (called Willies!!) for half an hour then walk the trail. I am not a natural hiker so i did find it very tough. Tough, but the scenery was so nice that it was really fun. Plus the weather was perfect and nothing ... read more
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