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.
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 …
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 :).
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 :).
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.
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