The Coffee Triangle – Daytours4u http://www.daytours4u.com/en Tours, activities and travel tips in South America Tue, 12 Jun 2018 11:00:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.8 96832869 Colombia’s Coffee Triangle: Tips, Tours and Things to do http://www.daytours4u.com/en/daytours4u/colombias-coffee-triangle/ Thu, 16 Mar 2017 10:00:11 +0000 http://www.daytours4u.com/en/?p=11236 The Colombian coffee region is also known as the Coffee Triangle. In this beautiful countryside zone, one can quietly enjoy nature and one of the best coffees in the world. After all, there is a reason why Colombia is the second biggest coffee producer in the world – after Brazil. This region is so important [...]

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The Colombian coffee region is also known as the Coffee Triangle. In this beautiful countryside zone, one can quietly enjoy nature and one of the best coffees in the world. After all, there is a reason why Colombia is the second biggest coffee producer in the world – after Brazil.

This region is so important they call it the Coffee Cultural Landscape of Colombia. Culture, landscapes and tradition are combined in this amazing Colombian region. It was also included in Unesco World Heritage List.

Colombia Coffee Triangle / Colombia4uColombia’s Coffee Triqangle is full of amazing natural landscapes / Picture: Lucila Runnacles – Viagem Cult

A trip to Colombia can only be considered completed after you have visited the Coffee Triangle in the center of the western Colombian Andes. Three departments (states) are part of this region: Caldas, Risaralda and Quindío. The three main cities of this area are their capitals: respectively Manizales, Pereira and Armenia. They are three of the 62 cities of the Coffee Triangle, where they produce and export coffee throughout the world.

Travelling tip: Explore the coffee capital with amazing city tours.

What to do at the Coffee Triangle

In this article we will tell you all you need to know about the Coffee Triangle so that you can make a unique trip while you will taste coffee, enjoy your own coffee beans selection, ride a bicycle and stroll for a while. Then, to conclude your day you can go to one of the coffee farm or enjoy thermal waters. Since this region is highly touristic, infrastructures are very good. There are more than 300 establishments and hotels that receive tourists with open arms to share the coffee culture with them.

For kids, the main attraction is the theme park known as the National Coffee Park. They can have fun in the roller-coasters or ride a trolley – while learning about coffee too. This park is in Montenegro, a city in Quindío state at only 15 driving minutes from the city of Armenia.

Have fun with your family in the National Coffee Park

El Quindío is one of the most touristic of the Coffee Triangle. Make sure you visit Salento, one of the most beautiful city with its colourful colonial houses. Here you can find at least 5 things to do in this little and lovely city, considered as one of the prettiest of the region. At 30 kilometers from there is the beautiful Cocora Valley, where you will be able to breathe fresh and natural air and be amazed by its countless 60 meters high palm trees.

Rent a bike in Salento and learn more about the coffee culture

Colombia Coffee Triangle / Colombia4uRent a bike and get to know this magical place / Picture: Lucila Runnacles

For those who want to be immersed in the coffee culture, how would you feel about spending a few hours in a “hacienda” to learn about coffee roasting and to prepare your own cup of coffee? For this kind of trip, there are two popular options: Recuca: Coffee Culture Tour and Hacienda Venecia Interactive Coffee Tour. If you already live in a farmhouse, take into account that, in general, these establishments offer their own coffee tours.

If you prefer sport and adventure, the Coffee Triangle is the perfect place to ride a bike or to take long walks in the wild, ride a horse or even get into a hot-air balloon.

In Armenia, one of the most important events of the year is the Yapo Festival, during the Cuyabras Festivals in October. There are dozens of jeeps, better known as Willys, decorated with furniture and flowers that pass by the streets. Those vehicles transport the coffee of the region and are one of the icons of the Colombian coffee culture. The Willys are also used to transport tourists in the area.

When asking for a cup of coffee in Colombia, you have probably heard the word “tinto”. This is how they call black coffee. Connoisseurs say the coffee is well-prepared when you do not need any sugar; but if you prefer it sweet, try the “panela”, a Colombian brown sugar..

Make a coffee tour through Colombia to taste one of the best coffees in the world.

How to get there

By plane, the Coffee Triangle is one hour away from Bogota, the capital. There are flights from Medellín and Cali too. There are three airports in the coffee routes: Edén in Armenia, La Nubia Airport in Manizales and Matecaña in Pereira.

Colombia Coffee Triangle / Colombia4uHigh palm trees are protagonists of the Cocora valley. / Picture: Lucila Runnacles – Viagem Cult

Distances

Bogotá – Pereira – 322 km
Medellín – Armenia – 267 km
Cali – Manizales – 258 km

Take into account that in this region, the roads are mountainous which can make the trip longer than expected. For instance, from Medellín to Armenia you need almost 6 hours.

How to move through the Coffee Triangle

Since there are a lot of cities and places to know in the Coffee Triangle, one of the best ways to travel it is to contact a travel agency for a tour or to rent a car. In general, travel agencies include transportation from any location within the touristic circuit of Quindío, Risaralda and Caldas. Read the complete guide to getting around Colombia.

Climate

It depends on the region you visit. Temperatures can vary a little, but generally it is around 24°C during the day and it can go down to 8°C during the night. So you can bring a coat. The three departments (states) are between 1,500 and 2,100 meters below sea level. Do not forget to bring comfortable clothes and shoes, as well as sunscreen and bug spray.

Ideal for:

The Coffee Triangle is the perfect place if you want to enjoy Eco Tours and sport. For families with children, adults of any age and tourists who like a little adventure, the Coffee Triangle is the place to go.

Tip Daytours4u

The main coffee harvest in Quindío is done between March and May. This is the perfect moment to visit the region and go to a coffee farmhouse to participate in the process. Between October and Dicembre you can go and see the “mitaca”, the second harvest.

 

By: Lucila Runnacles,
journalist and author of the blog Viagem Cult
Translation: Grégory Noël

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5 Reasons to Visit Salento http://www.daytours4u.com/en/colombia4u/5-reasons-to-visit-salento/ Thu, 08 Dec 2016 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.daytours4u.com/en/?p=10772 Salento is one of the most striking and dazzling places that Colombia can offer you. Do not miss the opportunity to visit this village.

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This coffee region in Colombia is made up of charming little towns, and the temptation to spend some relaxation time here is almost irresistible. The oldest region, and one of the most well known, is Salento, situated in the department of Quindio.

Salento is typical of the cities in interior Colombia; the people are incredibly friendly, often seen chatting in their doorways with neighbours or with tourists who enjoy getting involved.

The colours of Salento’s colonial houses and it’s picturesque passageways will enchant anyone that passes through and it would be hard to find a reason not to go. Get ready to savour the best quality Colombian coffee, to bask in the nature this place has to offer and to wander through a city that seems to be frozen in time.

What to do in Salento

There’s a lot of colour

Blues, greens, yellows and pinks… The wooden doors and window frames of almost all the houses in Salento are brightly coloured. It is a local tradition to paint parts of the houses with strong and vibrant colours. When walking down Calle Real, the high street, it would be almost impossible to choose which house is the most beautiful or charming. Apart from the colours, these houses, that are heavily influenced by colonial architecture, also have huge wooden balconies.

Calle Real is full to the brim with restaurants and shops offering typical products, souvenirs, and clothes from the region. As the evening begins, this street becomes one of the best attractions and a place to gather for both tourists and locals alike.

img_0856Walking in Salento, you will see a lot of coloured houses / Photo by Viagem Cult

The viewpoint at Alto de la Cruz

Observing this city from above offers a completely different perspective, even more so when you’re surrounded by nature. One of the best strolls to take is up to the Alto de la Cruz viewpoint in order to look down at the town below.

After climbing 253 steps, a hot drink and a refreshing break is just what you’ll need to recharge your batteries. The famous canelazo is a typical hot beverage made with spirit and cinnamon. From above, you can even see part of the breathtaking Valle del Cocora and various coffee plantations. It’s not hard to find either; you simply follow Calle Real all the way to the end.

visit SalentoAlto de la Cruz gives a great view on Salento / Photo by Viagem Cult

Valle de Cocora

Countless numbers of Palm Trees, one after the other. The Palma de Cera, Colombia’s national tree, fills Valle del Cocora, one of the country’s most popular tourist regions.

The valley is situated in the central Colombian Andes, 30 minutes away from Salento. This place is perfect for hiking and breathing in even fresher air. You can ride horses, go trekking, and watch the huge variety of birds there as well. A visit to the valley doesn’t take long either, as little as 11 km. For those who like camping, this region is perfect for relishing in the nature. Valle de Cocora lies within the stunning Parque Nacional de los Nevados. An easy way to get to the valley is by jeep, the famous Willys, that are parked in the middle of the Plaza Bolivar, Salento’s main square.

img_2228Enjoy and breathe fresh air in landscapes of the Cocora Valley / Photo by Viagem Cult

Take a bike ride

Between mountains and valleys you’ll be grateful for your legs, as you’ll need them in order to tackle the steep climbs through the heart of the countryside. Riding a bike though the coffee plantations and dirt paths completes the adventure in this region.

On a mountain bike, prepare yourself for a lot of pedalling in order to discover unknown scenery. In the city, there are various places and hotels which offer different routes outside of the city, all of which will provide you with a great trip on two wheels.

Try a delicious cup of coffee

It is impossible to visit Salento without trying its coffee. This little city is surrounded by coffee plantations, also known as fincas. At any time of the day, the city’s bars and restaurants invite visitors to sit down and savour a nice hot coffee.

For those who wish, there are also multiple fincas that offer tours, a complete immersion into the coffee culture. In the fincas you can weave through the coffee plantations, pick the grains, discover everything you need to know about the process from planting to picking and the roasting – and you can even taste the final product, a steaming cup of coffee, as the tour comes to an end.

img_0930Enjoy one of the world’s best coffees in the heart of the Coffee Triangle / Photo by Viagem Cult

How to get there

The easiest way to get to Salento is to go from Armenia, the capital of the department, Quindio. Armenia is 26 km away from Salento. The most direct route, that links both cities, passes through Pereira. From there, it’s a beautiful, windy, paved 9 km journey to Salento.  

The climate

As Salento is at 1,800 metres above sea level, the temperature there is usually pleasant during the day, but at night it can be quite chilly. The average temperature is around 18°C.  Don’t forget to bring a coat for when the sun goes down.

Perfect for…

Salento is the perfect destination for a couple’s getaway, a trip with friends, or a family holiday. A place for those who seek a rural destination and enjoy strolling and pedalling through nature.

By: Lucila Runnacles, Journalist and author of the Viagem Cult blog / Translation: Lucy Galvan

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Colombia’s National Coffee Park: A Must-See for Coffee Lovers http://www.daytours4u.com/en/colombia4u/national-coffee-park/ Tue, 13 Oct 2015 14:10:40 +0000 http://daytours4u.com/en/?p=8397 Colombia is famous for producing some of the best coffee in the world. As such, this drink has significant cultural importance in the country. Along with the culture of drinking it, there is also a long tradition in the growing and preparation of this exilir of life. To really get to know Colombian culture, you [...]

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Colombia is famous for producing some of the best coffee in the world. As such, this drink has significant cultural importance in the country. Along with the culture of drinking it, there is also a long tradition in the growing and preparation of this exilir of life.

To really get to know Colombian culture, you need to understand it’s coffee culture. For this reason, be sure to add a visit to the National Coffee Park, or Parque del Café, to your itinerary. This theme park is dedicated to the culture and history of coffee and has a number of fun and informative attractions. Located in Colombia’s Coffee Triangle (Eje Cafetero), in the department of Quindio, this park – which receives about 450,000 visitors each year – offers a variety of attractions and activities.

A vista of the Coffee Triangle from the National Coffee Park

The National Coffee Park is in the heart of the coffee growing region / Source

National Coffee Park: Cultural Heritage & Amusement Park

Founded in 1995 by the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia, the National Coffee Park is a non-profit initiative for the preservation of the cultural and coffee heritage of Colombia, aimed at promoting cultural, recreational, and ecological tourism. The park was designed by architect Diego Arango Mora and is located 12km from Armenia, the capital city of Quindio.

Visitors are welcomed to the park by a delicious aroma and a 22 meter high gazebo from where you can get a panoramic view of the park and its surroundings.

A view of some of the buildings in the coffee park

The Park offers a variety of activities within its 12 hectares / Source

Book a tour to the National Coffee Park

Coffee Park Attractions

Besides its 120 thousand square metres, exotic vegetation and modern infrastructure, the National Coffee Park also offers 36 attractions for all ages. These attractions are divided into three categories:

1. Mechanical & Water Rides

There are a total of 19 mechanical and water attractions for adults and children, most with a coffee theme. These attractions include the “Barco del Café” (Coffee Boat) which simulates open sea navigation; the Tren del Café (Coffee Train), which takes you on a tour through the history of Colombia; and the Cafeteritos, a dedicated area for children up to 1.30 m in height, and includes a carousel, aquatic mountain and more.

A bridge through some of the lush nature in the park

The park also provides ecological adventures and walks / Source

2. Themed Attractions

The Interactive Coffee Museum is one of 15 themed attractions in the park. The space has four rooms which tell the story of coffee using interactive 3D videos. You can also visit the Casa Campesina, a typical coffee hacienda (farm), characterised by its L-shaped building, spacious corridors with balconies and colourful doors. Among the other themed attractions is the Sendero del Café, a beautiful and pleasant path through the gardens.

The Interactive Coffee Museum in the park

Get to know more about coffee in the Interactive Coffee Museum / Source

3. Shows

El Secreto de la Naturaleza (The Secret of Nature) is a new show which boasts 24 robots and electronic elements, as well as animated projections on holographic screens. With an entrance fee of about USD $5, this show is about the Colombian environment and is focused on spreading the message of conservation. The Show del Café (Coffee Show) is the other show and a must-see in the park, taking you through the entire history of this grain, cultural traditions and coffee producing regions. There are 22 artists in a light show, dancing, juggling and typical Colombian music. Entry: USD $6.

How to get there:

The National Coffee Park is located in the Quindio department in the heart of the Coffee Triangle, approximately 20 minutes from the city of Armenia.

By car:

Take the road to Montenegro and follow the signs to Pueblo Tapao. The park is 3.5 km from Montenegro.

By bus:

There are minibus services and vans that go from the Armenia Transport Terminal to the National Coffee Park, approximately every 15 minutes. There are also minibus services running from Montenegro to the park.

By tour:

If you wish to visit the park without having to worry about transport, book a tour to the National Coffee Park. This includes transport from anywhere in the Coffee Triangle, including the Risaralda and Caldas departments.

No visit to Colombia is complete with getting to know more about the country’s coffee production. After all, Colombian coffee is considered one of the most aromatic and soft brews in the world.

Explore Colombia’s coffee-growing region by booking the best Coffee Triangle tours with Colombia4u!

By: Luiza Cavalcante / Adapted by: Nicole Eberhard

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How to Order Coffee in Colombia http://www.daytours4u.com/en/colombia4u/how-to-order-coffee-in-colombia/ Wed, 04 Mar 2015 10:00:26 +0000 http://www.colombia4u.com/blog/en/?p=59 So you took a course in Spanish, learned the basic phrases for your trip and you sit down to order a coffee in Colombia, look at the menu and the options are: tinto, perico, pintado and carajillo. Now what? How are you going to get the coffee you need? We at Colombia4u are here to [...]

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So you took a course in Spanish, learned the basic phrases for your trip and you sit down to order a coffee in Colombia, look at the menu and the options are: tinto, perico, pintado and carajillo. Now what? How are you going to get the coffee you need? We at Colombia4u are here to help you order a coffee in Colombia the right way, so here are our tips to get your dream cup of joe!

The classic red wine coffee

The traditional Colombian tinto is a black coffee - not a wine!

The traditional Colombian tinto is a black coffee – not a wine! / source

If someone offers you a “un tinto” in the morning: don’t worry worry, it’s coffee, not red wine! Tinto, or tinico as it is also called, literally translates to “ink” and is your classic black coffee. This is your basic cheap coffee and it is almost a religion in Colombia to drink a cup in the morning before starting the day, usually in a small mug accompanied by a glass of water. The issue of sugar is optional; some Colombians like to sweeten their coffee with panela (sugarcane juice) and others with a cinnamon branch. The only rule is a glass of water and, of course, good coffee. A good quality black coffee in Colombia, unmasked by milk, is never difficult to find.

Perico or Pintado, here’s the coffee with milk!

Elsewhere in the world, a coffee with milk, or a latte, is standard to order, but here in Colombia it is called a Perico or Pintado (painted), and is not as popular as the tinto. This is because, as you may know, Colombian coffee is a worldwide favourite and real coffee lovers would hardly mix such quality beans with milk. But we know that sometimes all you want is latte with an arepa (a traditional Colombian flatbread made with corn). You can grab your Perico in a small cup or a plastic cup on the streets or in café. A Perico is easy to find on any corner in Colombia.

The quality of Colombia's coffee beans are second to none - hence no milk required.

The quality of Colombia’s coffee beans are second to none – hence no milk required. / source

Warm up with El Carajillo

Arriving in Colombia in winter and want to order the coffee of the season? What you want to order is El Carajillo. Don’t be surprised by the flavour when you take the first sip: this classic Colombian winter drink is mixed with rum or aguardiente, different to the drink of the same name in Spain with mixes brandy with the coffee. This drink was concocted to encourage soldiers in the war. It was a bit of liquid courage before each battle, so it was called coraje (meaning courage), which over the years turned into Carajillo. It remains a coffee for the bravest and is well worth a try!

Got your head wrapped around the different coffee terms? Good! Now it’s time to order your coffee in Colombia, and enjoy the country’s finest coffee. Even Bruce Almighty knows it’s the best! Have a good trip to Colombia and buen provecho

To learn more about coffee in Colombia, make sure you visit the Coffee Triangle on your Colombian vacation.

Written by Thalles Santos / Adapted by Nicole Eberhard

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7 Must-See Landmarks in Colombia http://www.daytours4u.com/en/colombia4u/must-see-landmarks/ Wed, 25 Feb 2015 10:00:58 +0000 http://www.colombia4u.com/blog/en/?p=71 Colombia is a wonderfully diverse country, in terms of its nature and rich cultural heritage and history. This means that there are many stunning places to visit. From cool and modern Bogotá to the cobblestone streets of Cartagena, and from the Caribbean coast to the Amazon jungle, Colombia has plenty to offer, whatever you’re interested [...]

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Colombia is a wonderfully diverse country, in terms of its nature and rich cultural heritage and history. This means that there are many stunning places to visit. From cool and modern Bogotá to the cobblestone streets of Cartagena, and from the Caribbean coast to the Amazon jungle, Colombia has plenty to offer, whatever you’re interested in. It can be difficult to narrow down where to go, so we’ve listed 7 of the most spectacular landmarks in Colombia to help you plan your vacation.

1. Monserrate, Bogotá

One of the defining features of Bogotá is Monserrate mountain rising up over the city, 3,512 metres above sea level. At the top is a church, making it a very popular pilgrim destination. There are also restaurants and cafés to allow visitors to spend time at the top, absorbing the incredible panoramic views over the entire city. It is especially pretty over the Christmas period due to the lights and decorations. Travellers have the option of taking a funicular or a cable car to the top, walking or going as part of a city tour.

Admire the breathtaking views of the capital city from atop Monserrate

Admire the breathtaking views of the capital city from atop Monserrate / source

2. Botero Plaza, Medellín

The City of Eternal Spring is also the city of endless artworks. One of its most photographed features in Medellín is the Plaza de Las Esculturas, also known as Botero Plaza. This beautiful space lies in front of the Museum of Antioquia and the Uribe Palace. Its name comes from the 23 statues by the celebrated Colombian artist Fernando Botero adorning the plaza. The iconic statues, such as “The Hand,” “Eve,” and “Maternity” are out in the open, free for all to enjoy. You can also learn more about them on a Fernando Botero Walking Tour.

Fernando Botero’s iconic statues are a big part of Medellín’s identity

Fernando Botero’s iconic statues are a big part of Medellín’s identity / source

3. Castillo San Felipe, Cartagena

Cartagena’s busy Caribbean port was once filled with many envoys of slaves and treasures, making it the most looted port in the New World, and forcing the Spanish to build a castle and fort to protect it. The result: Castillo San Felipe, the strongest fortress of all their colonies. Home to many battles, including a loss to a French privateer, and an impressive defence against an English Admiral with his army of 23,000, this impeccably preserved castle is striking to visit with its maze of tunnels and great views of Cartagena.

Visit Cartagena’s imposing Castillo San Felipe for a glimpse back in time.

Visit Cartagena’s imposing Castillo San Felipe for a glimpse back in time. / source

4. Mompox, River Magdalena

Officially named Santa Cruz de Mompox, and also known as Mompós, this beautiful little town on an island on the Magdalena River looks like something straight out of a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel. No surprise really, given that he spent his childhood navigating up and down this river. Despite being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it takes a fair amount of determination to get to, involving boats, ferries and buses. The most direct route to get here is from Santa Marta, although Cartagena also offers a number of options. The trip is worth it to see this colonial town where time seems to stand still.

Travel back in time to Mompox, in the heart of the Magdalena River.

Travel back in time to Mompox, in the heart of the Magdalena River. / source

5. The Lost City – Tayrona National Park

Deep in Colombia’s Sierra Nevada, are the ruins of Ciudad Perdida. The Lost City was thought to have been founded in 800AD, an entire 650 years earlier than Machu Picchu, by the Tayrona people. Unconnected to the El Dorado legend, whose mysteries are to connected to Guatavita Lake near the capital city, the Lost City holds other charms. With limited numbers allowed in, and a tough 5-day trek from Santa Marta, you won’t find the crowds of Machu Picchu. Instead, prepare for a rewarding jungle hike surrounded by pristine nature and ancient ruins.

The Lost City takes some effort to get to, but is definitely worth it.

The Lost City takes some effort to get to, but is definitely worth it. / source

6. Zipaquira Salt Cathedral, Bogotá

One’s of country’s biggest tourist attractions, the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira is in an incredible engineering feat. Initially built by miners of the salt mines as a sanctuary before work, it was later extended, with a capacity of around 8,000. After structural concerns, a new cathedral was built and opened in 1995. It’s an incredible sight, an underground labyrinth, illuminated by colourful lights. You can visit it from Bogotá on a tour to Zipaquira and Guatavita Lake.

This cathedral outside Bogotá is one of a kind

This cathedral outside Bogotá is one of a kind / source

7. Coffee Triangle

The concentrated coffee-growing region of Colombia, known in Spanish as the Eje Cafetero, is an incredibly lush and scenic area, with its many green hills and valleys, and tall waxy palms. It’s hard to pick just one spot here, since the small area invites you to explore its many secrets. Two unmissable spots, though, are the town of Salento and the nearby Cocora Valley. A visit to the Coffee Triangle is a must during your vacation in Colombia.

Cocora Valley, with its waxy palms, is one of the Coffee Triangle’s many natural attractions

Cocora Valley, with its waxy palms, is one of the Coffee Triangle’s many natural attractions / source

Colombia has plenty of other top attractions!
For more ideas on where to go and what to do in Colombia, visit
Colombia4u.com.

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