- Nature Reserve / Wildlife Observation / Safari
- Hiking / Trekking
- Culture (paddy field, coffee, tea ...)
Colombia's coffee-growing region is undoubtedly one of the country's most beautiful and picturesque areas. With its coffee plantation-covered mountain slopes, its colourful little colonial towns, its haciendas, its giant palm trees, its mist and its wonderful sunsets, it is difficult not to fall under the spell of this region when you come here when exploring Colombia.
Even though it rained a great deal when I visited the coffee-growing region, I still fell in love with the area and would be more than happy to come back again and spend a longer period of time here. The roads you travel along to get you here are quite wonderful, and once you've arrived it's difficult to leave again: the locals are warm, friendly and quite adorable; the coffee is delicious, and the hikes and horse treks you can do here are all equally incredible thanks to the wonderful scenery, with the area in the Cocora Valley containing the world's largest palm trees being just one example of that.
Manizales, Pereira and Armenia are the three main cities in the coffee-growing region and together form what Colombians refer to as the Coffee Triangle. Temperatures across this whole region can vary widely, from the glacial lows of the snow-capped peaks to the heat of the areas bordering the Cauca River, which are the region's hottest places.
I spent more than a week in Colombia's coffee-growing region and believe it's an area definitely well worth visiting. It is simply full of lush, verdant scenery consisting of mountains, valleys, banana trees and, of course, coffee plantations. For the chance to see some of these incredible landscapes, spend some time travelling around the area on the famous Chivas, the bright, multi-coloured buses that criss-cross Colombia. For me, the scenic highlight of the region is the Cocora Valley, where gigantic palm trees seem to extend off into the distance as far as the eye can see.
This is obviously the perfect region to come to if you want to visit a "finca" (farm) or coffee cooperative on your travels around Colombia. A trip to one of these gives you the chance to learn in detail about the production and manufacture of this delicious drink. You'll also be pleasantly surprised by the friendliness of the locals in this region, especially in the hostels, where you'll often be offered coffee and find that the people are very willing to listen and attentive to your needs.