Coffee picking in Salento – Colombia

I’ve been fascinated with Colombia ever since I was a child. One of the things I wanted to do most was to walk through the coffee plantations, pick coffee beans, see how coffee was made, and although I’m not a coffee drinker, I wanted to taste the coffee. Salento proved to be the perfect place for this dream of mine to come true.

Before arriving in Salento, we had trekked in the Colombian jungle, discovered the colonial jewel that is Cartagena, and gotten sick on almost each bus ride (the only flaw I could find in Colombia was the hectic driving). So you could say that it was time for us to relax a bit.

We arrived in Salento after a bumpy ride from Manizales, ready to do nothing. However, the cuteness of this town wouldn’t allow us to do that. I mean, those little streets with the colored houses, flowers hanging on balconies, artisanal shops, and all around awesome vibe. We loved it! So, instead of resting, we decided to discover the small and charming town of Salento.

Discovering lovely Salento in the Zona Cafetera, Colombia.

Discovering lovely Salento in the Zona Cafetera, Colombia.

We arrived in Salento after a bumpy ride from Manizales, ready to do nothing. However, the cuteness of this town didn't allow us to do that. I mean, those little streets with the colored houses, flowers hanging on balconies, artisanal shops, and all around awesome vibe. We loved it!

The beauty and charm of Salento

Bertrand and I love to just walk around. Whether it’s a national park, a bustling city, or a small and quiet town, we could spend hours strolling. We would stop from time to time to admire something, to take pictures, to rest our feet, or to just stare at people. Yes, we like to stare at people! :).

Salento is one of those places. So, we did what we know best, we took the time to admire the place and the people, the architecture and the slow pace … 

We arrived in Salento after a bumpy ride from Manizales, ready to do nothing. However, the cuteness of this town didn't allow us to do that. I mean, those little streets with the colored houses, flowers hanging on balconies, artisanal shops, and all around awesome vibe. We loved it!

We arrived in Salento after a bumpy ride from Manizales, ready to do nothing. However, the cuteness of this town didn't allow us to do that. I mean, those little streets with the colored houses, flowers hanging on balconies, artisanal shops, and all around awesome vibe. We loved it!

We arrived in Salento after a bumpy ride from Manizales, ready to do nothing. However, the cuteness of this town didn't allow us to do that. I mean, those little streets with the colored houses, flowers hanging on balconies, artisanal shops, and all around awesome vibe. We loved it!

We arrived in Salento after a bumpy ride from Manizales, ready to do nothing. However, the cuteness of this town didn't allow us to do that. I mean, those little streets with the colored houses, flowers hanging on balconies, artisanal shops, and all around awesome vibe. We loved it!

We arrived in Salento after a bumpy ride from Manizales, ready to do nothing. However, the cuteness of this town didn't allow us to do that. I mean, those little streets with the colored houses, flowers hanging on balconies, artisanal shops, and all around awesome vibe. We loved it!

We arrived in Salento after a bumpy ride from Manizales, ready to do nothing. However, the cuteness of this town didn't allow us to do that. I mean, those little streets with the colored houses, flowers hanging on balconies, artisanal shops, and all around awesome vibe. We loved it!

We arrived in Salento after a bumpy ride from Manizales, ready to do nothing. However, the cuteness of this town didn't allow us to do that. I mean, those little streets with the colored houses, flowers hanging on balconies, artisanal shops, and all around awesome vibe. We loved it!

Discovering beautiful Salento in Colombia.

Discovering lovely Salento in the Zona Cafetera, Colombia.

The view

North of the center there is an endless staircase leading you to a beautiful view of the city. We went at sunset and it was great. There were not too many people, maybe due to the number of stairs you need to climb, which worked out just fine for us :). 

Due to us taking a moment to admire the sunset, we missed out a bit on the good light for the photos. I wish I had some sunset images to share with you because the view was as pretty as a picture :).

We arrived in Salento after a bumpy ride from Manizales, ready to do nothing. However, the cuteness of this town didn't allow us to do that. I mean, those little streets with the colored houses, flowers hanging on balconies, artisanal shops, and all around awesome vibe. We loved it!

We arrived in Salento after a bumpy ride from Manizales, ready to do nothing. However, the cuteness of this town didn't allow us to do that. I mean, those little streets with the colored houses, flowers hanging on balconies, artisanal shops, and all around awesome vibe. We loved it!

We arrived in Salento after a bumpy ride from Manizales, ready to do nothing. However, the cuteness of this town didn't allow us to do that. I mean, those little streets with the colored houses, flowers hanging on balconies, artisanal shops, and all around awesome vibe. We loved it!

Coffee picking

Salento and the surroundings were without a doubt, the highlight of Colombia! The variety and beauty of this region are definitely worth a visit. Besides pretty Salento and the amazing Cocora Valley, there’s one more activity you can do that’s unmissable: A visit to a coffee plantation. This was my dream since I was a little girl. I’m not much of a coffee drinker, but I have a fascination for the coffee making process and the people working there. I warmly recommend a tour of a Finca where you can walk through the coffee plantations, pick coffee, and have a taste of what they say is the best coffee in the world. Who am I to disagree :).

We arrived in Salento after a bumpy ride from Manizales, ready to do nothing. However, the cuteness of this town didn't allow us to do that. I mean, those little streets with the colored houses, flowers hanging on balconies, artisanal shops, and all around awesome vibe. We loved it!

Discovering lovely Salento in the Zona Cafetera, Colombia.

How and Where to

How to get there: We took a bus from Manizales which dropped us off not far from the entrance of Salento. From there we took a local bus.
Where to stay: We had a complimentary stay at Casa de la Ciencia, where we were welcomed by a lovely lady, Rubiela who took care of us during our stay. We loved the quietness of the place and its location, very close to the center.
Where to eat: We had a good meal at Brunch. I can recommend the peanut butter vegetarian burger :). For dinner, we tried (twice) Bernabe. If you go, don’t miss the salmon in coffee sauce, it’s epic!

Coffee tour: We chose El Ocaso and had a great time. Looking at their Tripadvisor rating, it seems like we were not the only ones :).

Photography by Bertrand Delvaux.

If you like it, why not Pin it!

Discovering Salento in Colombia.

*This post contains affiliate links.

23 Responses
  • Sara White
    November 9, 2016

    Those colours! This is definitely the kind of place I’d enjoy exploring – between adorable streets to wander and coffee plantations to experience, this town seems like it’s right up my alley. I’d probably spend hours photographing the colours and textures alone!

    • Hidden Gems
      November 14, 2016

      Thanks for the visit, Sara :).

  • india paine
    November 9, 2016

    I am absolute coffee enthusiast so would love to do this and taste the coffee! Loved your photographs too, the colours through-out the town are so bright and lovely! Hope you enjoyed your trip!

    • Hidden Gems
      November 14, 2016

      I definitely enjoyed my time in Salento, India. Thanks for dropping by.

  • Dora
    November 9, 2016

    Nice idea to visit to a coffee plantation. Your photos are great btw.

    • Hidden Gems
      November 14, 2016

      Thanks, Dora.

  • Zoe
    November 9, 2016

    I’ve also always been fascinated with Colombia, I’m hoping to go for the first time soon! I will make sure I visit Salento, looks such a nice place and I like all the colourful buildings. Love your photography! :)

    • Hidden Gems
      November 14, 2016

      Me too, Zoe :). If you go, I’m sure you’ll enjoy your time there.

  • Soumya Nambiar
    November 9, 2016

    Bertrand is a wonderful photographer. He captured the beauty of this small town Salento so beautifully. It looks so colourful too. How many steps are we talking about exactly by the way?

    • Hidden Gems
      November 14, 2016

      He is and I’m a lucky girl to have him. If I’m not mistaken, there are about 200 steps.

  • Menorca@EuropeDiaries
    November 9, 2016

    Hey..love the pictures! Wasn’t aware of the coffee picking and the colourful streets there! I esp want to go to the City of Eternal Spring. Love Spring and I’m curious to visit Colombia :)

    • Hidden Gems
      November 14, 2016

      Ahh, Medellin :). Indeed, it is pretty awesome. Less aesthetically appealing than Salento, but with a nice vibe and great food.

  • Soraya
    November 10, 2016

    How gorgeous is this place! I absolutely adore the colours and you have captured everyday life here so beautifully. Coffee picking would be such an interesting experience, especially somewhere like Columbia. I would love to experience this one day.

    • Hidden Gems
      November 14, 2016

      Thanks for dropping by, Soraya :).

  • Sara Fergie
    November 10, 2016

    I missed to visit a coffee plantation in Bali but I know I will another opportunity one day. Maybe in Colombia? I heard they have one of the best coffees in the world. It’s definitely on the countries I would love to visit in South America. Your photos are perfect captures of daily Colombian life and it just makes me want to just go there already!

    • Hidden Gems
      November 14, 2016

      I’m not much of a coffee drinker, but I loved the Colombian coffee. I didn’t Bali had coffee plantations. Now that’s another reason for me to want to go :).

  • Gabby
    November 10, 2016

    OMG girl your photos are stunning! You seriously capture Colombia. Everyone always talks about Cartagena but Salento looks magical!

    • Hidden Gems
      November 14, 2016

      Cartagena is great too. I have a post about it :).

  • Rosemary
    November 10, 2016

    Wow. What amazing photography. I feel like I am right there with you in Salento. Sounds like you had a great time at the coffee farm tour. That’s great. You got me at salmon made with coffee sauce…that really sounds delicious!! Thanks for sharing your experience and wonderful pictures.

    • Hidden Gems
      November 14, 2016

      Beautiful views and yummy food are two of my fondest memories from South America :).

  • Emma
    November 10, 2016

    I’m like you guys – I just love walking around a new place and getting a feel for it! So much better than rushing from one must see attraction to the next. If you slow down you get to see what a new place really has to offer. Great article!

    • Hidden Gems
      November 14, 2016

      Thanks, Emma :).

What do you think?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *