Coffee region practical Guide: All you need to know to visit the zona cafetera

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The coffee region is one of the most visited areas on a trip to Colombia. With the presence of the Cocora Valley, the country’s most visited tourist site, it would be hard to imagine it any other way!

And yet, while most travellers stop off in Salento and Cocora, the three departments (Quindio, Caldas, Risaralda) that make up the famous “cafetero cultural landscape” are full of secrets just waiting to be discovered!

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Coffee Region General information

Colombian cofee Region Travel Guide

Colombia’s so-called coffee region consists mainly of three departments around the cities of Armenia, Pereira and Manizales.

It is a coffee-growing region whose landscapes have been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO under the name “cafetero cultural landscape”.

Contrary to what this name might suggest, coffee is produced almost everywhere in Colombia, from north to south on the slopes of the Andes and the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.

  • UNESCO listing: 2011
  • Natural region : Andes
  • Departments: Quindio, Risaralda, Caldas
  • Main cities: Pereira, Manizales, Armenia
  • Population: 2.5 million
  • Maximum altitude: 5321 m (Nevado del Ruiz)
  • Climate: hot to cold
  • Dry season: December to March and June to August
  • Rainy season: March to May and September to November
  • When to go: all year round

Best things to do in the coffee region

Colombian cofee Region Travel Guide

The stars of the region are, of course, Salento and the Cocora Valley. But as you’d expect, there’s much more to see and do in a region that boasts some of the most beautiful scenery in Colombia.

There are many villages just as beautiful and colorful as Salento, including Filandia, Pijao, Marsella, Salamina and Aguadas. In the same spirit, the Cocora Valley is not the only place to admire the famous wax palms: you can also see them in Pijao and in the Samaria Valley in Salamina.

The Los Nevados Natural Park is an ideal playground for hiking enthusiasts. It can be reached from Salento, Murillo or Manizales. And of course, Eje Cafetero is synonymous with coffee, and this is one of the regions where there are numerous coffee fincas to discover the whole coffee-making process, from plant to cup.

Best places to visit in the coffee region

Our post about the coffee region

Colombian cofee Region Travel Guide

Visit San Felix and the Samaria Valley travel guide: the other wax palm forest

Carbonera Valley travel guide: visit the largest wax palm forest

Visit Salento travel guide: the most famous village of the cofee region

The 5 most beautiful villages in Colombia’s coffee region

Cocora Valley Travel Guide: hiking in one of the most beautiful landscape of Colombia

Alto Bonito, homestay where to stay in Salamina (bed and breakfast)

Visit Salamina travel guide: Best things to do in this beautiful village of the coffee region

Los Nevados National Park travel guide: best trekking in the coffee region

Visit Filandia travel guide: Best things to do in this pretty village near Salento

Visit Pijao travel guide: the slow village of the coffee region

Where to stay in the coffee region

Colombian cofee Region Travel Guide

Filandia, the best hotels

Casa Laureles

Finca

Casa Laureles

Double room : $150.000 to $200.000 COP

We chose to stay in this beautiful cabin in Filandia and can’t recommend it highly enough. Gloria is a great host! You’ll find yourself in a peaceful setting, just 15 minutes from Filandia’s main square.

Filandia, the best hotels

Bidea Backpackers Hostel

Hostal

Bidea Backpackers Hostel

Dormitory : $25.000 to $50.000/Double room : $0 to $100.000 COP

We chose to stay in this beautiful cabin in Filandia and can’t recommend it highly enough. Gloria is a great host! You’ll find yourself in a peaceful setting, just 15 minutes from Filandia’s main square.

Filandia, the best hotels

La puesta del sol Hotel

Finca

La puesta del sol Hotel

Double room : $150.000 to $200.000 COP

A good option for combining the beauty of the Filandia landscape with proximity to the village center.

Salamina, the best hotels

Hotel las Marias Salamina

Hotel

Hotel las Marias Salamina

Double room : $150.000 to $200.000 COP/Double room : $200.000 to $250.000 COP

A hotel inside a beautiful colonial house, very well located on Salamina’s main square. Very good service, good breakfast. One of the best rated on booking.

Salamina, the best hotels

Hotel la leyenda 1860

Hotel

Hotel la leyenda 1860

Double room : $100.000 to $150.000 COP

Small, well-located hotel on Salamina’s main square. With a very pleasant interior patio that doubles as a café. Neat decor, clean, good service and apparently very good breakfasts.

Salamina, the best hotels

Hotel boutique La Estancia

Hotel

Hotel boutique La Estancia

Double room : $150.000 to $200.000 COP/Double room : $250.000 to $300.000 COP

This is a small hotel very close to the main square that was recommended to us. Nicely decorated, clean, very good service! The owners are very friendly, and even agreed to do our laundry even though we weren’t staying with them.

Pijao, the best hotels

Flora del Rio

Finca

Flora del Rio

Double room : $100.000 to $150.000 COP/Double room : $150.000 to $200.000 COP

We loved our stay at Flora del rio! The bedding was just perfect, and the hosts were top-notch. Very good breakfasts with coffee from the finca. The hotel is right in the middle of nature and just a 10-minute walk from the village.

Salento, the best hotels

Salento Plaza Hotel

Hotel

Salento Plaza Hotel

Double room : $200.000 to $250.000 COP

A superb hotel in Salento, in a beautiful colonial house very close to the main plaza. We would have loved to have stayed there, to tell you the truth! The decor is superb, and there’s a small interior garden that invites you to relax. The rooms are spacious and the bedding looks comfortable. Highly rated

Salento, the best hotels

Hotel Vista hermosa

Hotel

Hotel Vista hermosa

Double room : $0 to $100.000 COP

A nice hotel, and above all, very attractively priced for a city like Salento! This is where we stayed on our last trip in February 2022 Basic but comfortable rooms, perfect cleanliness, good service.

Salento, the best hotels

El Viajero Hostel Salento

Hostal

El Viajero Hostel Salento

Dormitory : $25.000 to $50.000/Double room : $150.000 to $200.000 COP

A chain of hostals found in Cartagena, Cali and San Andres. Newly installed in Salento, El viajero offers a wide variety of rooms to suit all budgets, and can accommodate up to 90 people. Having said that, we have to admit that the location they have chosen has everything to seduce!