Paraíso del Bambú y la Guadua

This day trip is available within the Coffee Zone

About

You won’t be in the Coffee Zone for long before you realise that guadua is very important to the region. You will see it growing in frondy copses, you will see how it is used to build some of our favourite fincas and if you come to the Coffee Zone from Pereira airport then you will pass through the stunning guadua constructed toll-booth on the Autopisa del Café.

It is then perhaps less surprising that internationally renowned bamboo expert Ximena Londoño is a Colombian and this private collection is most probably the largest international collection of bamboo that you will ever see.

Ximena will guide you personally through her private collection in a beautiful setting, imagine a relaxed and scenic walk with a scientist sharing her vast knowledge with you.

Aside from learning about bamboo and its role in an ecosystem, you will also learn of Ximena’s tale of personal circumstance and how she worked alongside authorities in Quindío to develop her own private obsession into a truly unique visitor attraction.

This is a half day tour and an ideal way to punctuate your itinerary with a dose of botany, take a day off from trekking or simply relax and be fascinated.

We offer this destination to all as a day trip for those staying in family-owned fincas in the Coffee Zone.

The tour

There’s no need to exert yourself to do this tour, it is a relaxing half day and you can start after a lazy breakfast at the finca. Expect the tour to last 4-5 hours including transport.

Transport

Your day includes transport and entrances to Paraíso del Bambú y la Guadua. Your car will wait for you to take you back to the finca or onwards to other activities that you may have booked.

Groups and private tours

Paraíso del Bambú y la Guadua is a private guided tour ideally suited for 2 to 8 people, larger groups available on request.

We say…

  • We are delighted to offer this tour, it is as rewarding as it is unusual. Your booking this tour directly helps continue conservation work.
  • Consider adding this tour to one of our short coffee tours or one of our longer multiple destination tours such as The Colours of Colombia.
  • Take a waterproof jacket and comfortable shoes.

Price includes

The price stated on this page includes the following

  • The price is per person based on a group of 4 persons
  • Return private transport from your accommodation
  • Entry to Paraíso del Bambú y la Guadua
  • An expert bilingual guide

Use our contact form to book your trip to Paraíso del Bambú y la Guadua.

Short coffee tours

Many people are short on time and thirsty for coffee. This tour quenches that thirst with a punchy and intense plan in Colombia’s Quindío department

This is a privately organised tour with almost unlimited customisation options to make it your own. It is primarily an illustration to show you the best way to see the most of Colombia’s coffee zone in the shortest possible time.

Tour Plan

The Coffee Zone is about three things. Coffee of course, stunning landscapes and the hospitality of the cafeteros.

This tour boasts all three, arguably Colombia’s best technical coffee tour, the beautiful Quindío countryside and the Cocora Valley. Most importantly, you will stay 2 nights in a family-run finca.

The sky is the limit in terms of customisations. Quite literally should you wish to go paragliding in Roldanillo. The “Options” tab will give you ideas for making this tour your own. Notwithstanding, off the peg this tour as published is a fantastic way to spend 3 nights in the Coffee Zone.

Climate

The Coffee Zone has year round spring-like temperatures of approximately 25ºC. Bring a waterproof in anticipation of occasional showers, don’t forget your swimming costume because most fincas have pools.

Group sizes

This trip is available for groups of 2 people and upwards. Local English speaking guides will be provided at the destination.

Day 1

This tour starts when you arrive in one of the Coffee Zone’s airports. The plan is costed for Armenia. You will be met from your flight by one of our drivers and taken to a family-owned finca.

The Colombian Way carefully selects fincas for facilities and authenticity, all of the fincas that we offer are located in the UNESCO protected coffee landscapes around Armenia.

Day 2

kaffeezone
The Coffee Zone

Following breakfast you will be picked up at your finca. After a brief visit to the village of Pijao you will be taken for a 4×4 tour across the Andean cordillera ending at a boutique coffee estate in Buenavista.

There you will see the culture, customs and processes surrounding the coffee cherries that grow on the hillsides and eventually become your morning brew.

After a technical tasting session in the laboratory, you will have the chance to enjoy the estate’s coffee whilst overlooking the UNESCO protected coffee landscapes of Buenavista.

We will then take you for a traditional lunch.

After lunch you will continue to Calarcá to visit the stunning botanical gardens and Mariposario. You will be returned to the finca for dinner.

Day 3

You will leave the finca and head towards Salento and the imposing Cocora Valley. Salento is one of the quaintest towns in Colombia with its well preserved colonial houses, handicrafts shops and traditional restaurants, many of which serve excellent local trout.

The day is your own, be it a short walk through the Cocora Valley or the full 6 hour trek to the hummingbird reserve at Acaime, you will be guided by an expert local guide. Be sure to take your camera because Cocora is a sight to behold. It is one of the only habitats of the wax palm, the world’s tallest variety of palm tree and the national tree of Colombia.

After the full day outing we return to you to a charming hotel in Salento to spend your final night in the Coffee Zone.

Day 4

Time to bid farewell to the Coffee Zone. You will be picked up from the hotel and transferred back to the airport.

Day 1

It’s entirely possible that you want to arrive early in the day on day 1. That’s your choice. Consider adding horse-riding at la Tebaida or for those with an interest in botany, an afternoon at Paraíso del Bambú y la Guadua.

Day 2

Technical coffee tours not your cup of tea? Or coffee? Ramp up the fun by going to Recuca instead for an altogether more frivolous experience.

Day 3

Stay in bed! The Coffee Zone is the ideal place to wind down, so enjoy a relaxed morning at the finca, transfer to Salento at lunchtime, check into your hotel and enjoy the afternoon taking in the ambience of the town, potter around the craft shops in Camino Real and have yourselves a coffee. Pick up the itinerary again the next day with your trip to Cocora. This is a cost effective way of slowing down your pace by adding an extra night to your itinerary.

Day 4

Take an early evening flight out of Pereira rather than Armenia and spend the afternoon exploring the waterfalls and thermal pools at Santa Rosa de Cabal. Leave your luggage in the car then continue to the airport for your outbound flight.

Prices are per person based on the number of people in the travelling party. 

Persons2345 or more
615€530€450€ Contact us for group rates 

Included in the price of this tour is the following.

  • Private transfers from the airport to your accommodation,
  • Private transfers between land destinations
  • Accommodation based on the size of the party.
  • Breakfasts every day, evening meals at the finca, lunch on day 2
  • Local English speaking guides at the destinations
  • All tours and activities included in the programme
  • All local taxes, hotel insurance fees and entrance fees

NOT included in the price.

  • Flights to and from the Coffee Zone
  • Sundry personal costs as listed in our Terms and Conditions
  • Meals and beverages not specified in the schedule
  • Optional items not listed in your travel booking schedule

Destination information

This tour visits the following destinations. Click the links below for more comprehensive information on each destination.

Coffee Zone

San Alberto Coffee Tour

Salento and Cocora

Nevado Santa Isabel

This day trip is available within the Coffee Zone

About

Parque de los Nevados is located deep within the Coffee Zone and belongs to all three of the areas’s departments, Risaralda, Caldas and Quindío. It is also possible to access the park from Ibagué, the capital of the Tolima Department.

This huge park is a true treat for trekking fanatics as it boasts a range of differing landscapes and the snowy capped peaks of active volcanoes. The most famous being the Nevado del RuízNevado el Cisne, Santa Isabel and the Nevado del Tolima.

It is not just snowy peaks that this national park has to offer, the páramo landscapes and the lagunas are populated by abundant alpine like frailejón plants which are endemic to the páramo.

The park is the perfect place to take spectacular photos, especially during the morning before the fog and clouds descend.

A trip to Nevado Santa Isabel takes you through various climatic zones and ecosystems. First you enter woodland, then the páramo, then the superpáramo. Finally you reach the snowy peaks after which the Los Nevados park is named.

We offer this destination to all as a day trip for those staying in family-owned fincas in the Coffee Zone, hotels in Salento or at Hacienda Venecia.

The tour

You need to be an early riser, this is a full day tour with 12 hours of activities. You will be picked up at 5am if you are in the city of Manizales or Hacienda Venecia or earlier if you are in Risaralda or Quindío

Your day includes transport and you will be take initially to the park entrance at 3100 metres above sea level. From there you commence your walk taking in various ecosystems and high-mountain landscapes. The tour reaches Santa Isabel’s glacier at 4900 metres above sea level.

Transport

The Colombian Way will organise your private transport to pick you up from your hotel or finca and take you to Santa Isabel, afterwards we will return you to your accommodation.

Groups and private tours

Nevado Santa Isabel is a private guided tour ideally suited for 2 to 8 people, larger groups available on request.

We say…

  • Given the restrictions at Nevado del Ruíz, this is the tour that guarantees you access to a glacier.
  • Bring your trekking A-game. This is a full day of high-altitude, medium-difficulty trekking. A good level of fitness is required.
  • It’s going to be cold up there, wear layers, bring a lightweight rain jacket and gloves, and ensure you have good walking boots for the challenging variety of terrains that you are going to encounter
  • Despite being cold it is also sunny, wear a hat and apply a high SPF sunblock
  • You burn more calories when exerting yourself at altitude. Don’t skimp on the carbohydrates the previous evening and drink plenty of fluids

Price includes

The price stated on this page includes the following

  • The price is per person based on a group of 4 persons
  • Return private transport from your accommodation
  • Entry to the Nevados park
  • An expert bilingual trekking guide guide
  • Breakfast en-route and a typical lunch on the way back
  • Accident insurance

Use our contact form to book your trip to Nevado Santa Isabel.

Hacienda Venecia

Hacienda Venecia is a big-hitting heavyweight in Coffee Zone tourism. It is included in our portfolio as a destination in its own right. 

Imagine if you can a beautiful coffee hacienda set in stunning secluded grounds and plunging hills. Now imagine it is also is the home of a large scale coffee processing facility. Finally imagine bringing those two elements together, wrapping it up in slick management, and creating an authentic coffee experience and relaxing stay all in one. That is Hacienda Venecia.

Located a short distance from Manizales, Hacienda Venecia is our suggestion for those wanting to visit the northern end of the coffee zone.

The hacienda offers communal style dining, everyone eats the same meal at the same time. Expect freshly prepared Colombian farmhouse staples. Beverages are available around the clock with an honesty bar system in place.

Hacienda Venecia is not available for families travelling with children under the age of 12.

Programme:

Hacienda Venecia is a short drive from La Nubia Airport in Manizales and is also ideal for those wanting to arrive overland from Medellín for a taste of the Coffee Zone within a short timescale.

Whilst there you can prebook as much or as little as you wish. The hacienda has its own coffee tour which runs daily, you can add on yoga or other activities and destinations in the area.

At Hacienda Venecia you are ideally situated to include our Rio Blanco birdwatching tour in your plan, or for the fit and headstrong, our full day trek to Nevado Santa Isabel. If you prefer to wind down then simply enjoy the grounds and tranquility.

For those that have time to venture south then Hacienda Venecia is also an ideal stop off on the way to Salento and Cocora.

Price:

The price shown on this page is per person for a two night break based on two adults sharing a twin or double room in the main farmhouse. Breakfast is included in the room rate. Other meals and drinks, and any additional services requested from Hacienda Venecia are paid locally.

The price listed does not include the cost of getting there, any additional activities and excursions or onward travel to other destinations.

Please use our contact form to talk to us about including Hacienda Venecia in your Colombia tour.

Cocora and Los Nevados 3-day treks

Three days, three tours and three options for combining the majestic and otherworldly Parque de los Nevados with the spectacular Valle del Cocora. These tours are not for the faint-hearted. All options will place demands on your fitness but you will be rewarded with incredible landscapes and vistas, not to mention a sense of achievement at the end of your trek.

These tours all commence in the accessible town of Salento and can be undertaken as a standalone tour or included within a feature packed tour of the Coffee Zone or indeed an extended tour of Colombia. We can readily transport you to Salento to commence your tour if you are staying in hotels or family-owned fincas in Risaralda or Quindío.

Programmes

We offer three different options for three-day treks in Cocora and Nevado del Quindío.  All programmes are 3 days and 2 nights. All overnight accommodation is based in remote simple family-owned posadas.

Paramillo del Quindío

El Paramillo del Quindío is one of the highest peaks in the Los Nevados National Park. Reaching 4750 metres above sea-level. It is located at the southern end of the park.

Day 1. Valle del Cocora to La Primavera 17km

Your tour will commence in the Cocora Valley after transferring there from Salento. After 8-9 hours of walking through various ecosystems, the Cocora Valley itself and forested mountainsides, you will reach La Primavera at an altitude of 3850 metres above sea-level. Overnight stop in a country house.

Day 2. La Primavera to Cima Paramillo Quindío 18km

On your second day you will cross ancient ancestral walkways that have remained virtually unchanged for centuries. You will pass through unique páramo landscapes and eventually reach El Paramillo del Quindío. After visiting El Paramillo del Quindío you will return to La Primavera to relax and share experiences in the farmhouse’s kitchen.

Day 3. La Primavera to Valle del Cocora 19km

The third and final day of the walk offers you an alternative route back to Cocora from La Primavera. En-route you will stop at Finca La Argentina for lunch with another mountain family. The estimated end time is 5pm

Statistics

Minimum altitude: 2390 metres above sea-level

Maximum altitude: 4750 metres above sea-level

Total walking distance: 54km

Trek Grade: Demanding. Medium-high altitude and some tough ascents.

Glaciar Shimmer, Nevado del Tolima

El Nevado del Tolima is a stratovolcano located in the southern part of the Los Nevados National Park. The volcano’s last major eruption was almost 3600 years ago. Minor eruptions took place in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The last being in 1943. At an altitude of 5215 metres above sea-level it is the third highest volcano in Colombia.

In a three day trek that takes you to the edge of Glaciar Shimmer, you will walk through an impressive páramo landscape, one of the most beautiful and important ecosystems in The Andes. This landscape renowned for its ability to produce water is only found above the Andean forest line and below the limits of the snowy peaks.

Day 1. Valle del Cocora to La Primavera 17km

Your tour starts with a 6.30am breakfast in Salento followed by a transfer to the Cocora Valley. You will ascend through cloud forests until you reach the páramo, finally arriving at La Primavera, your resting place for the night.

Day 2. La Primavera to Glaciar Shimmer 21km

Your second day starts earlier, you have more distance to cover and some steep ascents leading up to the Helipuerto sector. With a final ascent towards the edge of Glaciar Shimmer you will have reached your maximum altitude of 5000 metres above sea-level.

Day 3. La Primavera to Valle del Cocora 19km

The third and final day of the trek takes you back to Cocora via a different route to afford you new panoramas of the ecosystem. Anticipated finish time is 5pm back in Salento

Statistics

Minimum altitude: 2390 metres above sea-level

Maximum altitude: 5000 metres above sea-level

Total walking distance: 57km

Trek Grade: Demanding. Medium-high altitude and some tough ascents.

The Andes and its Communities

The shortest and most laid-back of these three trek options, the trek remains primarily within the Andean forests and affords the participants the chance to connect with ancient customs and traditions. Follow old and well trodden paths through stunning landscapes. Admire El Paramillo de Quindío from farther afield and spend evenings in friendly family fincas high up in the hills.

Day 1. Valle del Cocora to Finca Argentina 9km

Every day of your tour starts with breakfast. On the first day after breakfast you will commence a 5 hours walk to the country house Finca Argentina where you can relax for the remainder of the evening

Day 2. Finca La Argentina to La Primavera 8km

A second leisurely day of trekking will see you ascend to 4200 metres above sea-level where a rest break at a lookout will be programmed for you to enjoy views of El Paramillo del Quindío. From this point you begin your descent towards La Primavera, relaxing once again in the friendly ambience of a family farmhouse.

Day 3. La Primavera to Valle del Cocora 19km

You will be expected to up your pace for day three because it is by far the longest day of walking. You will descend back to the Cocora Valley with an anticipated finish time is 5pm back in Salento

Statistics

Minimum altitude: 2390 metres above sea-level

Maximum altitude: 4200 metres above sea-level

Total walking distance: 36km

Trek Grade: Moderate. Medium altitude

Package

The package price shown on this page is based on a party of 4 people and includes the following

  • Transfers from and back to Salento or accommodation in Armenia, Pereira, Quimbaya, Filandia or The Colombian Way preferred fincas
  • Professional Spanish speaking mountain guide for the duration of the trek
  • Overnight accommodation each night in family run farmhouses
  • All meals, snacks and drinks
  • Entrance to the Los Nevados National Park

Use our contact forms for more information or to begin planning your Cocora and Nevados trek

Nevado del Ruíz

This day trip is available within the Coffee Zone

About

Parque de los Nevados is located deep within the Coffee Zone and belongs to all three of the areas’s departments, Risaralda, Caldas and Quindío. It is also possible to access the park from Ibagué, the capital of the Tolima Department.

This huge park is a true treat for trekking fanatics as it boasts a range of differing landscapes and the snowy capped peaks of active volcanoes. The most famous being the Nevado del RuízNevado el Cisne, Santa Isabel and the Nevado del Tolima.

It is not just snowy peaks that this national park has to offer, the páramo landscapes and the lagunas are populated by abundant alpine like frailejón plants which are endemic to the páramo.

The park is the perfect place to take spectacular photos, especially during the morning before the fog and clouds descend.

A trip to Nevado del Ruíz takes you through various climatic zones and ecosystems. First you enter woodland, then the páramo, then the superpáramo. Finally you reach the snowy peaks after which the Los Nevados park is named.

For 5 years this tour was impossible because Parque de los Nevados was closed at the Nevado del Ruíz entrance due to volcanic activity. Now we are once again able to offer this destination to all as a day trip for those staying in family-owned fincas in the Coffee Zone, hotels in Salento or at Hacienda Venecia.

The tour

Bank on an early start, this is a full day tour with 10 hours of activities. You will be picked up at 7am if you are in the city of Manizales or Hacienda Venecia or earlier if you are in Risaralda or Quindío

Your day includes transport and you will be take initially to El Refugio at 4800 metres above sea level. From there you commence your walk taking in various ecosystems and high-mountain landscapes. Your tour will take in such sights as Laguna Negra, Aguacerales, Arenales, Valle de Luna, Valle del Silencio, Volcán de la Olleta and finally back to El Refugio.

Bring your swimming costume because at the end of all that walking you will have a chance to relax in volcanic thermal baths.

Transport

The Colombian Way will organise your private transport to pick you up from your hotel or finca and take you to the Nevado del Ruíz, afterwards we will return you to your accommodation.

Groups and private tours

Nevado del Ruíz is a private guided tour ideally suited for 2 to 8 people, larger groups available on request.

We say…

  • Subject to local conditions and accessibility, this day trip may vary slightly from the description
  • Bring your trekking A-game. This is a full day of high-altitude, medium-difficulty trekking. A good level of fitness is required
  • It’s going to be cold up there, wear layers, bring a lightweight rain jacket and gloves, and ensure you have good walking boots for the challenging variety of terrains that you are going to encounter
  • Despite being cold it is also sunny, wear a hat and apply a high SPF sunblock
  • You burn more calories when exerting yourself at altitude. Don’t skimp on the carbohydrates the previous evening and drink plenty of fluids

Price includes

The price stated on this page includes the following

  • The price is based on a group of 4 persons
  • Return private transport from your accommodation
  • Entry to the Nevados park and thermal baths
  • An expert bilingual trekking guide guide
  • Breakfast en-route and a typical lunch
  • Accident insurance

Use our contact form to book your trip to Nevado del Ruíz.

San Alberto Coffee Tour

This day trip is available within the Coffee Zone

About

San Alberto is a Colombian high-end boutique coffee brand whose estate is located in Buenavista in the heart of the UNESCO protected coffee landscape.

The San Alberto coffee tour is the most technical and comprehensive “seedling to cup” coffee tour that we offer. It is the tour that we most frequently include in our extended tours of Colombia.

If you are passionate about coffee then this is the perfect tour for those staying in family-owned fincas in the Coffee Zone or hotels in Salento.

The San Alberto coffee tour also affords you the perfect opportunity to see why UNESCO protects these special landscapes. Rolling mountain slopes and coffee plants as far as the eye can see.  Expect to see winding roads, crystal clear streams, exotic and colourful birds, and otherworldly flora on the roadside.

The tour

Expect to start your day at 8-9am. You will be picked up and taken to Pijao for a brief visit to the village. You will then be driven across The Andes in a 4×4 to Buenavista and San Alberto’s coffee estate.

Your expert guide will take walk you up to the nurseries initially to see the whole coffee process in chronological order. You will continue through the plantation until you get a chance to see their industrial processes and packing facilities.

After touring the coffee plantation you will be taken back to their laboratory for a highly technical coffee tasting. At the end of the tour you will have free time to enjoy a single lot coffee from San Alberto’s own café overlooking the Buenavista valley.

The tour last approximately half a day and can also be undertaken during the afternoon.

Transport

The Colombian Way will organise your private transport to pick you up from your hotel and take you to the reserve, afterwards we will return you to your hotel or finca.

Groups and private tours

San Alberto is normally a private tour ideally suited for 2 to 8 people, larger groups available on request.

We say…

  • If you are on a quick tour through the coffee zone and want a thorough immersion in coffee, then this is the tour for you
  • Coffee grows on the side of mountains, this tour involves some steep walks and a moderate level of fitness is required
  • Consider making a full day of it. San Alberto is easily combined with a trip to the Botanical Garden and El Mariposario at Calarcá

Price includes

The price stated on this page includes the following

  • The price is based on a group of 4 persons
  • Return private transport from your accommodation to San Alberto. Prices shown are for pick up from our own preferred fincas,  or accommodation in Quimbaya, Salento and Filandia
  • Entry to the plantation
  • An expert bilingual coffee guide

Use our contact form to book your trip to San Alberto.

Birdwatching at Río Blanco

This day trip is available within the Coffee Zone

About

Río Blanco is broadly accepted as being one of the best birdwatching sites in the world.

The semi-private Río Blanco has traditionally been notoriously difficult to access. Now we are able to offer this destination to all as a day trip for those staying in family-owned fincas in the Coffee Zone, hotels in Salento or at Hacienda Venecia.

Ecosystems, flora and fauna

Río Blanco is a stunning 3600 hectare nature reserve situated between 1300 and 2300 metres above sea level. The reserve is interwoven with trails and crystal clear streams.

For many Río Blanco will be all about the birds. Expect to see Buff-tailed Coronet, Speckled Hummingbird, Bronzy and Collared Inca, Mountain Velvet-breast, White-bellied Woodstar and Long-tailed Sylph. In total there are 362 species including 13 endemics in the reserve.

For those interested in glimpsing the shy and difficult to spot Andean bear, there is one that lives at the reserve under the management’s protection.

Activities

It’s an early start for anyone planning on birdwatching at Río Blanco. From Manizales expect your day to commence at 5.30am. From Armenia and Pereira expect to leave even earlier.

Your day includes transport and approximately 4 hours of birdwatching. Walks will be tailored to your own personal preferences, to hike a trail up to the reserve’s peak requires a degree of fitness. Don’t let that put you off, you can be driven up and head straight for the birds.

Transport

The Colombian Way will organise your private transport to pick you up from your hotel and take you to the reserve, afterwards we will return you to your hotel.

Groups and private tours

Río Blanco is normally a private tour ideally suited for 2 to 8 people, larger groups available on request.

We say…

  • Arguably the best birdwatching anywhere in Colombia
  • Early in the morning due to the reserve’s altitude it can be cool. Wear layers for warmth and bring a waterproof jacket. If you aim to do some walking, make sure you are wearing a pair of walking shoes with good tread

Price includes

The price stated on this page includes the following

  • The price is based on a group of 4 persons
  • Return private transport from your accommodation to Río Blanco
  • Entry to the reserve
  • An expert bilingual birding guide

Use our contact form to book your trip to Río Blanco.

Santa Marta and Tayrona

Santa Marta is the oldest city in Colombia, the city has a harbour with a very international feel and a wonderful noted cathedral. The colonial city centre has been improved over recent years, several boutique hotels have emerged and it has become a worth destination for the mainstream traveller.

The fascinating thing about Santa Marta though is not the expensive yachts nor that it is becoming the playground of the wealthy, rather its attraction is that it is the centre of the pre-columbian Tairona culture. It is the ideal city from which to visit La Ciudad Perdida and El Pueblito, an inhabited Tairona village in Parque Tayrona.

The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta which rises majestically behind Santa Marta is the world’s highest coastal mountain range. Its peaks Pico Colón and Pico Bolívar are Colombia’s highest peaks at a height of 5700m and at a distance of only 42kms from the sea.

The Tayrona National Park is one of Colombia’s most cherished highlights, idyllic beaches and coastal tropical rainforests await you. The park boasts numerous ecosystems and pristine high energy beaches.

The region has many delightful highlights, such as Palomino, a small hamlet situated directly on the beach, a little further east towards La Guajira there are numerous nature reserves to visit. On a clear day from the park you can also see the now capped peaks of the impressive Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.

Santa Marta boasts the Rodadero beach, a site that has been embraced by mass tourism, especially at Christmas and New Year, and during the Easter high season. In the low season it is far quieter and you should take that into account when planning your trip, if relaxation is one of your goals.

We recommend an excursion out of Santa Marta to the village of Minca situated further up into the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. This is the oldest coffee growing region in the country and is blessed with incredible vegetation.

The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is also the origin of many rivers such as the Pozo Azul, also further up the Sierra Nevada you can find many rare bird species, a true hot spot for birdwatchers. Avid birders should consider a visit to the El Dorado reserve.

You will normally arrive to Santa Marta by aeroplane or by road along the coast from Cartagena. There are numerous daily flights from Bogotá and Medellín.

Important.

  • Santa Marta is on the coast and has an equatorial climate unrestricted by the altitude as the Andean regions are. It can be extremely hot, you should take precautions to protect your skin, avoid sun stroke and keep yourself hydrated.
  • In Parque Tayrona the yellow fever vaccination is mandatory.
  • We recommend the use of quality insect repellents and can suggest products available in Colombian pharmacies.

Programme.

The Santa Marta region will typically fit into your tour plan between Cartagena and other destinations in Colombia such as Bogotá, Medellín or the Coffee Zone. For an idea of how Santa Marta and Tayrona could fit into your tour around Colombia, take a look at our round trip The Colours of Colombia. If arriving from Cartagena, consider adding a stop at The Mud Volcano of Totumo. For a coffee and beach experience within a limited timescale, you can also consider adding Santa Marta and Tayrona onto one of our short coffee tours.

Based on client feedback, we prefer to offer authentic and family-run accommodation outside of Parque Tayrona. Some with spectacular vistas across the Caribbean and others with accommodation directly on the beach near Palomino.

For those that don’t relish remoteness, we can also offer colonial city hotels in Santa Marta or accommodation in bustling Taganga.

The highlight and main attraction of the region is certainly Parque Tayrona, we encourage travellers to consider this as a full day trip.

Regardless of your accommodation preference, all locations are an ideal launchpad for a 3, 4 or 5 night trek to La Ciudad Perdida.

Price:

The price shown on this page is our best deal for the Santa Marta and Tayrona area and represents a 3 day/2 night hotel break in a charming beachside hotel in Palomino. The price is per person based on two adults sharing a double room and includes breakfast. Full meal plans are available

Other accommodation options, activities and private transfer services will be priced accordingly.

Please contact us to let us know how you would like to make the most of this spectacular corner of Colombia.

Salento & Cocora

This is a day trip available from Armenia, Manizales, Pereira or one of our fincas or hotels in the Coffee Zone

About

Salento is a bustling colonial market town at the centre of the Coffee Zone, it has a lively buzz, excellently conserved architecture and great restaurants serving up a multitude of dishes incorporating the local trout. Its juxtaposition with the Valle del Cocora makes it an extremely popular small town, as such it has good tourism infrastructure.

Cocora, on Salento’s doorstep is is a majestic valley and the perfect place to “lose yourself” for a few hours. The valley is home to the wax palm, the national tree of Colombia and the worlds tallest variety of palm tree, measuring up to 60m. It is the wax palm that makes Cocora a truly special destination and brings visitors flocking to see it. The topology of Cocora offers easy trekking and walking possibilities.

Tour outline

We provide private transport from your finca or hotel to Salento where you will be met by your guide. Salento is well known amongst the people of the Coffee Zone for having some of the best coffee, so before heading to Cocora, enjoy a tinto.

Your driver will then take you and your guide to the entrance to the valley for your guided walk in Cocora. Our Cocora guide is one of the valley’s rangers and provides a captivating explanation of conservation efforts in the valley, the ecosystem and the fauna and flora found in the area. Learn about efforts to protect the wax palm and how farmers work the land in the valley.

Option 1

After your walk you will be taken to the valley’s mirador and from there you will return to the pretty colonial streets of Salento where you can check out the local handicrafts on offer and enjoy a late lunch in one of the local trout restaurants.

Option 2

Rather than return to Salento you can walk all the way through the valley to the nature reserve at Acaime and be picked up there. Managed by Fundación Herencia Verde, The Acaime Natural Reserve is a haven for birdspotters as it boasts 14 different variety of hummingbirds.

Your driver will take you back to your accommodation for about 4pm. If you happen to be staying in a working coffee finca, this is the ideal time to see the coffee processing activity as the pickers return from the hillsides with their harvest of coffee cherries.

Group size

This is a private tour ideally suited for 2 to 6 people, larger groups can be accommodated on request

Stay the night in Salento

Although this is a day trip, Salento’s plaza is a fun place to enjoy a few beers during the evening and has a particularly international feel thanks to the tourists that visit the town from all over the world. Salento has charming accommodation options so be sure to let us know if you would like to spend the night there or even spend the duration of your stay in the Coffee Zone in the town.

We say…

  • Cocora is a spectacular destination and a must for your visit to the Coffee Zone
  • The valley is private land, has no defined pathways and is prone to descending mists that make visual navigation impossible. Getting lost for a few days in the valley is quite common. Under no circumstances will be organise this trip without an experienced guide.
  • Salento and Cocora are superb destinations for photographers, be sure to take your camera.

Price includes

The price shown on this page is the price per person for a guided tour of the Cocora Valley based on 4 people. The pricing is based on departing from Salento so is ideal for travellers taking advantage of our best deal Coffee Zone package.

-Includes the following

  • Transfers in a Willys Jeep from Salento to the Cocora Valley
  • Expert guidance in Spanish

Additional options

  • Let us know if you are interested in spending a night in Salento
  • Let us know if you want to return from Acaime rather than Salento
  • Ask us for pricing for transfers from other locations in the Coffee Zone

Use our contact form to book your trip to Salento and Cocora