The 12 Best Places to Visit and Tours to Enjoy in Colombia’s Coffee Region
The Colombian Coffee Zone is filled with amazing landscapes, friendly people, fantastic activities, and some of the best experiences you’ll ever have in your life! Below is our list of the top 12 activities, experiences, and places to visit, in the Coffee Zone of Colombia!
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Visit or preferably stay a night or 2 in the colonial town of Salento. The colorful colonial architecture, artisan shops, great restaurants, cafes, hotels, and its proximity to the Cocora Valley makes this place a must-visit. Salento is a great place to base yourself for a few days, as it’s very easy to enjoy a number of tours in the coffee region from Salento. Popular experiences and excursions from Salento are to the Wax Palm Forest, Hiking Acaime, Horse riding, and Coffee Tours.
- If visiting during the weekend, go early in the day before the crowds.
- If staying overnight during the weekend choose a hotel away from the center, as during the weekend people are out partying loudly into the early hours.
*Interested in the best towns in Colombia’s Coffee Zone to visit? Then don’t miss our article on the Top 10 Towns of the Eje Cafetera (Colombian Coffee Axis)
#2. The Cocora Valley
Enjoy a short or long hike through the Cocora Valley and the Wax Palm Forest. This valley is spectacular by itself, but when combined with the forest filled with the tallest wax palms in the world, it becomes an almost spiritual experience. You can spend just an hour or 2 here walking through the Wax Palm Forest, or you can do a 5–6-hour hike of the Acaime mountain range, including a hummingbird sanctuary. There’s also birdwatching, glamping, horse riding, and several good restaurants to enjoy in this area.
#3. Coffee Tour
You can’t really visit the coffee zone of Colombia without doing a coffee tour! There are a couple of very popular coffee tours to do that are close to Salento and Armenia. But really there are many scattered around the coffee zone that are smaller coffee tours on boutique fincas. (We prefer the smaller fincas, as it’s more personal, and we feel more authentic).
- Our favorite coffee and cacao Finca next to Viterbo is Don Pedro
- Our favorite boutique coffee Finca next to Salento is La Aurora
- You can also enjoy a horse ride and coffee tour to La Aurora
Visit one of the most colorful towns in Colombia; Filandia. Famous for its gastronomy, wonderful Colombian Culture architecture, and fabulous views. Walk around the town taking fantastic photos, enjoy a coffee or lunch at one of the many fine restaurants, and don’t miss the mirador (viewing platform) with spectacular 360′ views. You can also go on a tour in search of Howler Monkeys in a reserve only 15 min away from Filandia.
*Interested in trying some of the traditional dishes from the Colombian Coffee Zone? Check out our article on the 15 traditional Coffee Zone meals to enjoy.
#5. Santa Rosa Thermal Pools
Los Termales de Santa Rosa (The Thermal Pools of Santa Rosa) is truly one of the most picturesque locations you can visit while in Colombia. Set in a valley surrounded by tropical rainforest the hot springs are fantastico. But even more impressive is the amazing waterfall that looks straight out of a movie set.
Stay a night or 2, and check out the authentic coffee country town along with the beautiful surrounding landscape. Centrally located within 40min of the wonderful small towns of Belalcázar, Apía, and Belén de Umbría (visiting all 3 is perfect for a day trip from Viterbo). Viterbo is off the beaten path and not on the radar for international tourism. Not yet anyway!
- Coffee + Cacao + Tropical Fruit Tour
- Coffee + Cacao + Tropical Fruit + Panela Tour
- Belalcázar + Viterbo + Apía
- Viterbo + Belalcázar + Panela Factory
- Belalcázar + Belén de Umbría + Apía
- Horse riding
- Tatamá National Park
*Looking to create a custom itinerary of the Coffee Zone? Then contact us through our Get a Quote Page to receive a free itinerary!
#7. Cacao tour
There are a few good Cacao tours in the Colombian Coffee Zone, where you’ll get to enjoy a walk through the Finca and learn the entire process. Along with a sample or 2 of the finished products. Fun, informative, and delicious tour!
#8. Panela Tour
Colombia is the 2nd largest producer of Panela and the Trapiches (Panela factories) are small, authentic, and artisanal. The production here runs all year long and begins in the fields with the backbreaking work of cutting the sugarcane by hand with a machete. The sugarcane is then transported to the Trapiche on the back of a mula (a cross between a donkey and a horse) where it is pressed to allow the green sugarcane juice within to escape. Then starts a process of boiling, stirring, mixing, and scooping the boiling liquid from the pan to pan. Continuing until the syrup has processed enough to be removed to a tray where it begins to cool and thicken. At this time, it is twisted and turned until it begins to take a new fudge-like form. A very cool tour, and genuinely unique!
*Starting the planning of a trip to the Coffee Zone? Then be sure to check out the full list of Colombian Coffee Zone Tours and Private Transportation here!
#9. Botanical Garden of Quindio
The Jardin Bonatico del Quindio is 11 hectares (27 acres) of natural Andean Forest and one of the largest Mariposarios (Butterfly Garden) in the country, featuring a collection of over 1000 butterflies, and 30 different species all native to this region.
Can there really be a better way to see the amazing landscape of the Colombian Coffee Zone?
*Working out the budget for your travels to Colombia? Then be sure to check out our article on the costs of a package tour to Colombia, and our article on how much money you’ll need while traveling through Colombia.
#11. Quimbaya Fauna and Flora Sanctuary
Enjoy walking through the natural setting of this untouched sanctuary. Home to over 330 species of birds, a family of howler monkeys, speckled beers, pumas, tapirs, and over 250 species of flora. If you’re interested in nature and/or bird watching, this is a must-visit and/or stay the night to really immerse yourself in the natural surroundings.
#12. Salamina and San Felix
Stay a night or 2 in Salamina and visit the amazing and beautiful Wax Palm Forest of San Felix! These small towns and this forest (larger than the wax Palm Forest of the Cocora Valley) are off the beaten path and not big on most tourists’ radar. Not yet anyway!
- Salamina + San Felix Wax Palm Forest
Like to create or customize a fantastico package tour of Colombia? Then contact us through the Get a Quote Page for Free Tour Videos, a Free Itinerary Creation, and an Obligation Free Quote!