Blogs from Salento, Quindío, Colombia, South America - page 5


South America » Colombia » Quindío » Salento May 14th 2011

Day 111 -112 Today we continue our journey south to Salento a little town nestled in the foothills of the Andes and in the middle of the coffee region. After 5 hours, 2 buses and one willy Jeep we arrive at our hostel farm which feels like an oasis of calm. We are slightly worried that we have no lock on our door but draw the conclusion that our stuff will be safe from the cows. We spend the afternoon reading whilst listening to the cows munching the grass. The farm is a dairy farm and offers fresh (unpasteurised) milk and milk products (yoghurt and rice pudding) which are delicious. We choose to eat at the farm that night and are impressed by the thai chicken curry that is served (so good it reminds me of ... read more
Setting Off
Chewing the Cud
Shades of Green

South America » Colombia » Quindío » Salento November 24th 2010

There was lots to do in Medellin, meeting lovely people and seeing the city. I got in trouble one night after walking home from a club alone. The man who owns the hostel said 'where have you been' and I replied that I had been out with friends. He asked me why I was alone and got very angry with me when I replied I had walked home. I promised I wouldn't do it again and realised I have no idea if it is dangerous here. It just feels so safe. I left Medellin with Ronnie from Switzerland and we shared the nicest room in Salento you can imagine in a hostel, it even had a double bed. We met in Medellin at the hostel Casa Kiwi, you kind of get to know everyone there as ... read more
road. Here is said road.
View from my window in Salento
Salento town square

South America » Colombia » Quindío » Salento October 22nd 2010

We crossed the border on the 18th, but we are really fed up with the big cities. All we tend to do is hang around at the mall. Which isn't why we went traveling. We're spoiled, I know that.. But there are limits to how many ruins, buildings and museums you can actually see and still find interesting after seeing heaps of them! So, we stayed only a couple of days in Cali before we decided to head inland to the Zona Cafetera and a place called Salento. This is a fantastic area with lush green vegetation, and the reason is RAIN. Yes, it rains a lot there! Or at least it did when we visited. But, if that is what it takes for it to be such a beautiful place - so be it! We ... read more
Photo 3
Photo 4
Photo 5

South America » Colombia » Quindío » Salento September 25th 2010

We left Medellin's internationally tarnished reputation heading for an area of Colombia which is much more politically correct and for which Colombia is equally famous. The Coffee Country. This was both a convenient way to break up the long bus journey from Medellin to Popayan and a journey of love for someone who needs a litre of coffee just to start the engine in the morning (Felicity). It also turned out to be a great area of natural beauty to visit. Our first destination was Manizales a 5 hour trip South, with the driver being slightly more reserved at overtaking than most of his colleagues we'd experienced so far. It was probably fortunate that he was also very alert too as we had to break hard to avoid a large branch of a tree which filled ... read more
Manizales: Cable Car view-1
Manizales: Cable Car view-2
Manizales: Carrera 39 sculptures-1

South America » Colombia » Quindío » Salento September 12th 2010

The residents of Salento seem to live in a different era to those of the other towns that I have visited. Cowboys saunter through the cobbled streets, and their neighbours congregate in the town square to chat and watch the world not go by. The locals seemed unaffected by the packs of backpackers wondering around - it appears that the town is firmly on the backpacker trail. I hadn't seen so many, well pretty much any, backpackers since I left the Caribbean coast. From the hill overlooking the town - on which of course there is a big crucifix - I could see the grid of pastel painted adobe buildings united by the church on the edge of the main square. From the look out point on the other side of that hill I could see ... read more
View from look out

South America » Colombia » Quindío » Salento August 17th 2010

Tahlei Travelling in a country where tourism is an emerging industry, and on a budget as tight as ours, makes for some varying accommodation standards. We´ve had some damn uncomfortable mattresses, paper-thin walls, mosquito-filled rooms, the full range of cleanliness levels, previously mentioned barely existent bathroom walls and we´ve gone as simple as hammocks on a beach. But after Medellín we decided to splash out and spoil ourselves with three nights on a coffee finca. We did a fair bit of research on the internet and decided on Finca Villa Maria, 12 kms from Pereira in Colombia´s zona cafetera. We were told to take a bus to a crossroads outside of Pereira and then continue to the finca in a "jeep". They use this term loosely. We were ushered into an ancient Renault which we were ... read more
Valle de Cocora
Valle de Cocora

South America » Colombia » Quindío » Salento July 27th 2010

Salento is a very pretty small town. We decided to stay at a hostel recommended to us by a fellow volunteer in Salasaca. I was called La Serrana or something and it it was a ten minute walk out of town into the hills. It was quite good but although it advertised hot water, there wasn't any. And it was chilly. We mentioned it to the owner, a New Yorker, who told us, "I know, I've changed the cards so that they say 'warm water'." I don't know why he bothered because this was also a lie. The hostel did have sofas, though, and a film collection, and a very cute kitten who kept sleeping with the guests. That first day, Adam went out with some other hostel guests to find some mushrooms while Anna and ... read more
Salento (4)
Salento (10)
Salento (13)

South America » Colombia » Quindío » Salento July 24th 2010

Now Salento was more like it! Everything we were hoping Manizales would be (and wasn't quite) Salento was! It's a teeny little town set in a hushed foggy mountain valley. There are only a few streets and one main plaza like in all the tiniest towns we have visited. It's quiet here, no moaning buses and screeching vendors and the views are so splendid you can spend all day just looking at them. All the men are genuine certified cowboys; donned in cowboy hats, ponchos and gumboots and riding horses everywhere! Plantation House, the only hostel listed in the Lonely Planet was full, but we discovered that there are about 30 other hostels in the town. We stayed one night at the republic artisans which was a little bit expensive but came with, I kid you ... read more

South America » Colombia » Quindío » Salento July 20th 2010

In my opinion, Colombia has the best coffee in the world. And the best spot to visit a coffee farm is the Zona Cafetera, the coffee zone. And the best spot in Zona Cafetera is Salento: a little colonian village with loads of coffee farms in its neighbourhood. And the Valle del Cocora where the highest palms in the world grow.... read more
Step 4: roasting the coffee beans
rosted coffee beans
Step 5: grinding the coffee beans

South America » Colombia » Quindío » Salento June 23rd 2010

After Medellin, we took a bus to the very small town of Salento. Salento is known for the Valle de Cocoro where the national tree of Colombia, la palma de cera (the wax palm), grows. When we arrived in the evening, we tried to check out a few different hostels, but most of them seemed to have their doors shut. So we went back to the first place we checked out, La Casona de Lili. Unfortunately, the only room they had available had been filled after we left to check other hostels. But, no worries!! Lili, the owner and quite possibly the most friendly person on the planet, offered us her own room for the night and said we could move to a different room the next day. In just a few minutes, she had it ... read more
Park overlooking Salento
Typical meal in Colombia
Another way to hitch a ride

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