One reason why Colombia is so successful at growing the world’s favorite bean is its varying altitudes, climates and ecosystems. That’s why the Coffee Cultural Landscape is an essential part of Colombia’s exemplary biodiversity. Visitors can admire the snow on the peaks of distant volcanos on the same day they can enjoy the sight of a thousand tropical butterflies fluttering through the region’s botanical gardens.
Nature lovers will feel revitalised when they breathe the fresh and cooling air of Cocora Valley and wander among its wax palms, Colombia’s national tree. These enormous palm trees can grow to up to more than seventy meters tall. Visitors to this corner of the Los Nevados National Park can hike or horseback ride through the cloud forest here and are sure to spot clusters of brightly-colored hummingbirds flitting between the trees.
The Coffee Cultural Landscape covers the departments of Quindío, Risaralda and Caldas and even the northerly tip of Valle de Cauca. Its history is as rich as its landscapes and fertile soil, and towns such as Salento preserve the region’s traditional architecture. Salento’s colorful balconies make for the ideal spot to linger over a cup of the region’s finest coffee and admire the rolling hills stretch into the distance.
This is one part of Colombia where visitors can enjoy true agro-tourism. The best way is to visit a hacienda, one of the traditional farmhouses that have overseen the production of this magic bean for centuries. Colombia’s haciendas are at the heart of the production, processing and exportation of the world’s finest coffee. They’re the reason enthusiasts across the globe have the chance to sip a little Colombian rhythm and charm every day.
The Coffee Cultural Landscape is famous for more than its principal beverage. Visitors delight in filling their bellies with the region’s much-loved cuisine, based on ingredients that spring from the local soil. Beans are a firm favorite, whether heated up at breakfast or wolfed down with rice and a couple of fried eggs for supper, as are the lightly toasted local arepas with a touch of butter and salt. The people of the Coffee Cultural Landscape, known as paisas, swear by their mazamorra too, a sweet soup with white corn, milk and a dash of cane sugar. All these meals are served in hearty abundance in an atmosphere that ensures you’ll make friends with everyone who’s eating around you.
The friendliness of the people who live and work in the Coffee Cultural Landscape are the biggest treasure of all. They are passionate, devoted and hardworking people who are ambassadors for the art of producing Colombia’s world beating coffee. They are always ready and delighted to receive visitors and share with them their wisdom, enthusiasm and pride in the land they cultivate. It’s all part of the rhythm and charm of our country.
Accept their invitation to feel the rhythm and take advantage of all the things to do in the Coffee Cultural Landscape. Enjoy the scenery, admire the culture and traditions and taste the fruits of the labor all around you. You’ll wonder how you ever got up in the morning without it.