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You’ll begin your journey with a collection of 9 am from your Pereira hotel for a journey through some wonderful Coffee Zone Landscape and onto the mountain top town and beautiful views of Belalcázar.
To enjoy the spectacular view of Belalcázar, you will need to travel up through a winding road between plantations of coffee and platano (similar to bananas) to the peak of Cerro del Alto del Oso. You’ll encounter fantastic views along the way, but nothing that will compare to the spectacular view from the peak of the mountain.
Here you will find a giant 45.5 m tall (148 ft) statue of Christ the King, that was constructed over a 7-year period from 1947-1954, with the hope of ending political bloodshed, and restoring peace to Colombia.
The view from the base of the statue is quite amazing, as, on a clear day you can enjoy views for hundreds of miles in every direction of 4 states of Colombia: Caldas, Quindío, Risaralda and Valle del Cauca. You’ll actually have the opportunity to climb right up into the head of this giant statue as well. Enjoying even more wonderful sites from windows all the way up into the head of Jesus himself. But a word of warning, if you’re claustrophobic you may not enjoy the narrow stairs or the limited space, that gets smaller and smaller the higher you go.
Next, you will travel down into the valley far below, and into a classic Colombian town of Viterbo. The entrance alone is worth this tour, as you’ll be travelling down the “Tunnel of the Samanes” the road is lined with huge Saman trees, with some close to 100 years of age. In recent years a local artisan has be petitioned to craft wooden statues out of the dying or dead trees. The resulting work is wooden statues ranging in size from 2-8 m (6-26 ft), with everything from a 7.5m (24ft) tall Jesus Christ, brightly coloured butterflies, peasant farmers picking coffee beans, an indigenous man, to cups of steaming hot coffee.
To ensure you enjoy the views in every direction through the entire 3 km (2 miles) tunnel of trees, you’ll be changing transportation to the back of a Willys Jeep for the journey. With a few photo stops along the way to get up close and personal with the statues, and to grab the perfect photo.
Once you’ve arrived in Viterbo, you’ll continue your tour on the back of the Willys Jeep along some of the main streets of this small town, before disembarking in the tree-filled plaza, for a brief walk around. Often, you’ll see valuable parking spots or half of the road used to dry coffee beans from the local fincas on the streets.
Next, it’s off for some lunch at one of the local restaurants before learning some of the musical and recent dark histories of this classic coffee zone town at the cultural centre of Camoloc.
To complete your cultural tour of Viterbo you’ll visit an artisan store, where you can view (or purchase) some fine handmade jewellery and some very unique hand-painted and handcrafted products ranging from decorations to ponchos, and other hand-painted clothing clothes of all styles.
Next, it’s up the mountain on the other side of the valley to the mountain top of Apia. Where you’ll enjoy a walking tour and a great cup of coffee while enjoying some more simply amazing views, before relaxing in your comfortable vehicle for your ride back to your Pereira hotel.