The tourist heart of coffee in Colombia beats in Salento. The small town is not far from Armenia on a mountain between valleys full of coffee plantations.
The place is a hotspot for tourists, but rightfully so. Angela advised us to visit this place and warned against coming at the weekend. For once we are lucky.
It’s Thursday and the crowds are still small.
Salento is a charming little town in the Departemento de Quindío in Colombia. The city is known for its beautiful scenery surrounded by the Andes Mountains and the Cocora Valley. The valley is famous for its tall wax palm trees, which can reach up to sixty meters in height and are considered the national symbol of Colombia.
Salento is a popular tourist destination due to its well-preserved colonial architecture and relaxed atmosphere. The city is full of colorful houses with balconies and wooden porches inspired by the Spanish colonial era. There are also many cafes, restaurants and craft shops run by local artists. Especially the doors are already painted. In addition to the coffees, numerous agencies with colorful jeeps invite you to coffee tours in the mountains.
Another highlight of Salento is the Plaza de Bolívar, the town’s main square, surrounded by beautiful buildings and often frequented by buskers and other artists. The people of Salento are friendly and hospitable, which makes us feel welcome and comfortable.
A staircase leads from the center of the village up a hill from which we have a magnificent view of the surrounding valleys.
Nice Colombians also draw our attention to other vantage points that we would have missed.
We tour the city and find a nice place to camp at a horse farm just across the river from the city’s main square. There is nobody here except us and the horses.
As in Ecuador, sanitary facilities in Colombia are excellent everywhere. Again – from the outside this campsite looks very simple. In a small hut there are absolutely clean showers and toilets.
The proximity to the old town helps us to enjoy the city together until after dark. It’s never happened that we were able to stroll through a city at night with Leon. All hell is really breaking loose now. I don’t want to know what it must be like at the weekend.
We only see tourists on the streets. Salento is part of the standard program for most visitors to Colombia. I didn’t know the place beforehand.
After Leon still had to go to sleep, Uwe and I can use the opportunity in the evening to go out into town again. At Plaza Bolivar we meet two other overland travelers with whom I have arranged to meet in one of the many Whatsapp groups.
David and Paola from Mexico and the USA have been in the city for a few days, they like it so much that they have been here for a week and we exchange good stories. Then it’s time for us to sleep. Tomorrow we drive through the valley of the Rio Quindío.