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

Isla Gorgona

Isla Gorgona has been officially closed to tourists since November 2014. We are currently working to put together a package for the island. Use our contact form to register your interest.

Isla Gorgona is an island located 28kms off Colombia’s Pacific Coast, it has a total area of 25km². It is 9kms long and at its widest point it is 2.5kms. The island can only be reached by boat from Guapi.

Its small size belies the incredibly broad variety of wildlife on the island, it is a paradise for eco tourism. Previously the island was the “Alcatraz” of Colombia and housed a prison, today you can visit what remains of the former prison.

Gorgona is one of Colombia’s top highlights for nature lovers, it boasts no fewer than 147 species of birds, more than 100 different insects and over 500 species of marine animals.

The most popular time to visit is between July and October when one can see the migrating humpback whales. You can observe this spectacle from the Islands beaches or on a boat tour. A genuinely incredible experience awaits you.

For the diving fanatics, Gorgona has Colombia’s greatest coral reef and we can also organize diving tours.

Getting there

The journey is out of Guapi by boat. This small town is reached from either Cali or Popayan, we can organize a travel package including accommodation, flights, ground transportation and meals.

Accomodation

The only accommodation option on the island is the “Vedas Cabins” owned by the Gorgona Park Authority. All in all the cabins can accommodate 80 people in 18 rooms divided between 6 buildings. Although the accommodation is basic, it does boast incredible ocean views.

Important

For a visit to Gorgona a yellow fever vaccination is mandatory and you may be required to show a vaccination certificate at the park’s entrance. You should also exercise caution walking around Gorgona, the park has numerous wild snakes.

Gorgona is a protected national park, it is strictly prohibited to remove shells, corals, plants or anything else from the island.

You should take good walking shoes with you, as well as clothes suitable for the tropical climate and sun protection.

Programme

The normal duration of a visit to the island is 4 days / 3 nights. Depending on your wishes, the stay may be lengthened or shortened. Your trip can include numerous ecological walks, a visit to the prison’s ruins, hiking trails and a visit to Playa Palmera. Additionally you may choose to take a boat tour around the island, a great opportunity to watch the playful dolphins.

The best sites for snorkelling are Yundigua, El Planchon and La Parguera.

The museum in the El Payan sector offers an interesting cultural insight

The programmes we offer to Gorgona are always made to measure, Please contact us via the contact form and let us know exactly what you want to experience in Gorgona.

We arrange the flights or ground transportation, the boat trip from Guapi, and whatever tour or activity you could possibly desire.

Golfo de Morrosquillo

The Golfo de Morrosquillo is still a relatively unknown destination and the chances are you will only come across Colombians there. It is away from the typical Caribbean tourist destinations but at the same time is within easy reach of Cartagena. In contrast to the hustle and bustle of of Cartagena, The Golfo de Morrosquillo offers a certain tranquility, peacefulness and natural beauty.

It is the picture postcard view with everything that you would expect from a Caribbean destination, long white sandy beaches, palm trees and perfect sunsets.

Outside of Colombia’s high seasons the Golfo is quiet and calm, you can realistically expect to have the beaches to yourself for some undisturbed Caribbean indulgence. During peak seasons it is a popular destination for the Medellín’s Paisas and becomes a bit busier.

The area has some fascinating highlights such as the beautiful islands of San Bernado or the eco-hotels along the beaches, this is the perfect destination to enjoy Colombia’s Caribbean coast, the roam through mangrove forests and take photographs of the astonishing variety of wildlife in the region.

Thanks to the perfect clear blue Caribbean waters, the Golfo de Morrosquillo offers excellent diving and snorkelling opportunities and for the novice, some hotels in the region offer excellent diving instruction.

For something aboslutely unique, and somewhat out of this world, you can also take a boat excursion to Santa Cruz de Islote, the world’s most densely populated island where 1427 people share 97 houses on an island only a little larger than a football pitch. Santa Cruz de Islote can be visited from the San Bernado Islands.

We recommend the Golfo de Morrosquillo to travellers that want to go further off the beaten track than a triditional trip to Colombia. It offers them a chance to see somewhere that probably none of their friends have heard of, let alone visited. A place where the silence is only punctuated by the sounds of the blue waters washing up against the white beaches, or the occasional call of the native animals that inhabit the region.

Although the area is remote and tranquil, it is somewhat unique in that there is also a degree of tourism infrastructure and a range of interesting activities can be incorporated into your programme.

Programme.

We’d recommend a few days spent in one of the beautiful beach hotels from where you can take in the clue Caribbean and enjoy the unique atmosphere of the area. Enjoy the peace and tranquility, enjoy the excellent fresh fish and simply indulge yourself in the local hospitality.

We offer some spectacular eco hotels in the region, you can also include a trip to the San Bernado Islands depending on your budget and expectations.

The Golfo de Morrosquillo is reached by car in 2-4 hours from Cartagena or by aircraft to Monteria or Corozal.

We organise hotel transfers for you and staff from the hotel will be waiting to meet you when you arrive.

From your base at the eco hotel you can use your time as you wish, there are various activities available such as diving, canoeing and wildlife spotting in nature reserves such as Sanguaré.
To begin an ideal starting point for a journey along the Caribbean coast. If you are still a few hours in Cartagena.

This destination is a secret unique paradise, largely unknown and yours to discover. Please use our contact form to get in touch and let us know exactly how you want your visit to the Golfo de Morrosquillo

Bogotá

Bogotá is the capital, international metropolis and cultural melting pot of Colombia. The city suffered for many years due to rapid population expansion. Then from the mid 1990’s onwards, with a bit of political will from the mayor, and financial resources from the central government, huge leaps forward were made in terms of Bogotá’s infrastructure, cleanliness, safety and general outlook. Part of this concerted development was the implementation of the city’s TransMilenio system, a modern and innovative bus rapid transport system whose success and economy has been copied by many other cities.

Bogotá is described by many as the Athens of Latin America, mainly because of the large number of universities and libraries. Bogotá is also Colombia’s main cultural centre, hosting events such as the annual theatre festival and Rock en Parque, a free open concert held once a year which lasts several days and takes place in the leafy Parque Simon Bolívar.

Bogotá boasts an incredible night life, with an international bar scene, gourmet restaurants and many nightclubs which regularly attract international DJs.

The city is the starting point for many travellers on their journey through Colombia. The El Dorado airport is the largest in the country and offers flights to and from Europe with Lufthansa, Avianca, Iberia and Air France,  connections to the USA with American Airlines, Continental, LAN, Avianca, JetBlue & Spirit and connections to the rest of Latin America with Avianca, LAN, TACA, TAM, Aerogal and Copa Colombia.

We recommend you to book a hotel in the colonial town of La Candelaria. The Candelaria is the heart of the city’s oldest neighborhood. Chorro de Quevedo perched at the top of La Candelaria is the place where the city was founded. In recent years, numerous hotels have been built in old colonial style houses and art deco buildings.

La Candelaria is also home to the outstanding Museum of Fernando Botero. One of the most important art collections in Latin America. The nearby Plaza Santander is where the impressive gold museum is found, this has been beautifully refurbished and offers not only a fascinating insight into the history of the Colombia, but also a glimpse into primitive metallurgy.

Of course we also organize modern hotels in the north if that is your travelling style. With or without airport transfers.

Bogotá features in most of our Colombia trips, if you are just passing through then be sure to make the most of your time there. At the very least go to the top of Monserrate by cable car, funicular or footpath and take in the incredible views of the city.

Gastronauts should consider a visit to the quirky restaurant “Andres Carne de Res”. The old restaurant is found in the suburb of Chía, or it has a new sister restaurant in the Zona Rosa. A comical, boozy and perfectly Colombian night awaits you.

Business travel

Bogotá is also Colombia’s principal destination for business travellers. We are happy to organise hotels in Bogotá’s business districts for you and to arrange secure airport transfers and car services. We hope that you will also have a chance to see the city if you are lucky enough to have some downtime.

Programme

Bogotá offers numerous sightseeing opportunities, we’d recommend a city tour around La Candelaria, the imposing Plaza Bolívar and the capital’s most important museums. Following the walking tour a trip to El Cerro de Monserrate to take in the view of the city. Traditional Colombian dining options are available both in the old town and atop Monserrate. A city tour takes from 5 hours to a whole day.

For the visitor with an interest in architecture and Colombia’s recent violent history we can offer a city tour with an architectural bent. The post-modern and art deco infill willingly tell tales of more turbulent times during the Bogotazo and the ensuing Violencia. The casual visitor is unlikely to know that Le Corbusier left his thumbprint all over Bogotá with his masterplan for reconstruction and his work with Rogelio Salmona.

Also high on your list of must visit places is Bogotá’s Botanical Garden, a tranquil haven betwixt the grey of the city that replicates all of Colombia’s many climates and plant habitats

In the vicinity of Bogotá we also offer a broad selection of day trips, for example the Sacred Laguna of Guatavita, a spectacular lake nestled in a lanscape that resembles a volcanic crater. Nearby the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá, a huge cathedral built within a former salt mine. Want to know more about the salt mines? Then a visit to the spectacular Salt Mines of Nemocón must surely be on your itinerary too.

For nature lovers we recommend a trip to the Cloud Forest of Chicaque, a nature park just beyond Bogotá’s Soacha district, an ideal place for a light to moderate trek or horse riding. Or visit one of the local Andean Páramo landscapes in either Sumapaz or Chingaza, both of which can be visited in one day from your base in Bogotá.

For the adventure traveller, river rafting, rappel and paragliding are also available within the vicinity of Bogotá, or perhaps you would like to brush up your rock climbing skills at an indoor wall before heading on to more challenging climbs elsewhere in Colombia. If you are a solo traveller, we organise active hikes each and every Sunday offering you the chance to not only get to know some of Cundinamarca’s most impressive landscapes but also to meet like-minded people.

For those interested in knowing where their morning cup of coffee starts life, nearby Fusagasuga is home to one of Colombia’s finest coffee haciendas, it is a wonderfully preserved working coffee farm where you will receive an introduction to the world of coffee cultivation

Prefer to take things a little easier? Then check out the thermal baths at Choachí, or add the thermal baths on to the end of a hike to the country’s highest waterfall in the Choachí valley

Still awake after all that? Then ask us to take you on a nightlife tour in the centre, the north or the Chapinero district

Please use our contact form and let us know exactly what you want to see. We can organize your stay in Bogotá for you any which way you like. The possibilities are virtually unlimited.

Nuquí

Nuquí is a small village on the Pacific coast. Whilst the village is somewhat unassuming, it benefits from breath-taking surroundings which is the real reason to visit the area. Lush tropical vegetation extends along the pristine beaches that remain virtually untapped in terms of Pacific coast tourism.

Nuquí is the ideal spot for rest and relaxation completely away from what we’d consider civilisation. It is a heavenly paradise on earth, wide dark beaches, countless crabs scuttling across your path and with the vast Pacific Ocean on one side and dense tropical coastal rainforest on the other.

The region is still unexplored and undeveloped with only a few eco-hotels offering rooms to visitors. The large “all inclusive” concrete hotels seen elsewhere in the world are nowhere to be found in Nuquí.

This area of the Pacific coast maintains much exclusivity, not only because it off the beaten track somewhat but also due to the limited availability of accommodation and the lack of competition on the air route. A visit to Nuquí commands a cost premium.

But what cost the peace, tranquillity and beauty that can only be found in Nuquí? Where else in virtual solitude can you wake up and take a stroll uninterrupted along a seemingly private beach, take a refreshing dip in your own personal ocean or simply lie back in a hammock and enjoy the setting of what seems like your own private sun.
We offer packages to this secret paradise with accommodation in the beautifully located Eco-cabañas El Cantil. These are approximately 45 minutes y boat from Nuquí and offer the ultimate in purity, peace and tranquillity.
If you want to make your timeless days more “engaging” it is also possible to incorporate a range of activities into your visit. Hikes along thebeachesto two small villages Termales and Aruzí, a boat trip or visit the Cascada de Amor with lies in the tropical coastal rain forest.

The El Cantil lodge itself specialises in surfing and diving, it is surrounded by a number of surf “hot spots” such as Pico de Loro, PelaPela and Juan Tornillo. These places are reached by boat and once there you will have the waves to yourself.
The waves come to shore from the Southwest from April to December and in January and February they break from the Northwest. Diving and surfing lessons can also be arranged, please let us know exactly what you want.

Getting there

ADA and Satena are the only two airlines that offered scheduled flights to Nuquí but their flights are not daily so you must carefully coordinate your hotel stay with your flights, and similarly your visit to Nuquí will have to be coordinated with the rest of your time in Colombia

Important

  • The region has one of the highest precipitation rates in the entire world. We recommend you pack your clothing inside plastic bags inside your backpack.
  • Be sure to bring flashlights and batteries as Nuquí only has limited power.
  • Keep cameras and electronic devices in waterproof bags or pouches.
  • Tip- The local food is delicious, each day the lodge staff will prepare fresh caught fish prepared in the local style.

Programme

The standard  programme lasts for 4 days and 3 nights including 3 meals per day. The flights are from Quibdo or Medellín to the Nuquí landing strip.

You will be met at Nuquí by the staff of the El Cantil Lodge and you will be taken by boat to your accommodation. The next day depends entirely upon your wishes and desires as you have a team of professional guides and instructors at your disposal.
Here are some possibilities for activities:

– Ecological walks along the sandy beaches to Termales, there you will find thermal springs alongside the river.
– Diving: The lodge offers professional dive instructors
– Whale watching in season (July – October)
– Surfing
– Angling

And much more… The area is ideal for couples as a truly remote romantic getaway. Similarly it is ideal for young people who want to make the most of Nuquí’s sporting activities.

The main reason to go to Nuquí though is its divine seclusion, simply sitting on the terrace of your own cabaña, relaxing, reading a book or listening to the sounds of the ocean and the rain forest. In the 21st century such opportunities are increasingly rare.

La Guajira

The Guajira is an area shrouded in mystery, a part of Colombia with virutually no infrastructure and nothing that could be considered “advanced” tourism. But that is what draws La Guajira’s visitors to the zone. If you are looking for a real adventure, then La Guajira is where you will find it.

La Guajira is a desert-like area at in the Northeast of Colombia’s Caribbean coast, the region shares a border with Venezuela and Guajira is home to a town called Maicao which has become a major trading centre for goods smuggled across the border.

The region is inhabited by the Wayúu indians living in typical Rancherias in the vast expanses of the region. They still live by the traditional rules of their own culture, the capital of Wayúu culture is Wayúu Uribia.
A trip to La Guajira usually commences in Riohacha, the capital of the department, from there you can reach the most interesting destinations overland by jeep. Accomodation in the region is simple and practical, either cabins or typical Chinchorro hammocks.
Probably the most notable destination in La Guajira is Cabo de la Vela, here you can see the striking contrast as the desert becomes an incredible Caribbean beach, then slopes away into the turquoise sea.
The region is inhabited by the Wayúu Indians. It is offering to walk along the beaches. Such a thing as “Pilon de Azucar”.

Other attractions include the salt mines of Manaure and the flamingo reserve.
For those in search of something really special, there is Alta Guajira. The region cannot be travelled to as an individual as there is insufficient transportation, you need a local guide with a good knowledge of the area and a jeep. When it rains the few roads that there are become poor and impassable. A tour to Alta Guajira requires precise planning and preparation.

Important

  • Temperatures can rise up to about 40 degrees celcius. Drink plenty of water and wear a hat. As always in Colombia, a high SPF sun block is important too.

Programme

The tour begins in either Riohacha or Santa Marta and we recommend a tour of at least 3 days if visiting the region. Subject to your wishes, your tour will almost certainly include Cabo de la Vela from where visits to Manaure and the flamingo reserve can be added.

For the true exlorer within, we absolutely recommend a visit to Alta Guajira too to see an absolutely unspoilt, untouched and largely undiscovered part of Colombia. A spectacular adventure with unforgettable destinations awaits you, the magnificent National Park Macuira, deserted beaches and unique landscapes.

You should allow 4 days to visit Alta Guajira, the roads can be bad and it can take some time between sites, but there is plenty to see there to keep you busy for more days if your itinerary permits.

There is no “off the shelf” Alta Guajira, all packages are individually organised and planned for you in a tailor made manner. Your accodation will be simple, your trip may be exhausting due to the temperatures, but it will be the trip of a lifetime.
La Guajira promises everything to satisfy the explorer within you, We organise your trip from head to tail, including your personal driver, a jeep and a guide.
Use our contact form to tell us what you want to do there and how much time you have to do it.

Coffee Zone

The Coffee Zone is considered by many travellers to be the most beautiful region of the country, with its mild spring-like climate year round, friendly people and breathtaking natural beauty. The people in the region have a unique laid back charm, the hustle and bustle of the big cities is readily forgotten, hospitality and friendship take on a new meaning, there is always time for a coffee, or a beer and a chat.

Charming small towns such as Salento, Marsella and Filandia are the cornerstones of the Coffee Zone, the major cities of Manizales, Armenia and Pereira serve mainly as a starting point for your exploration of the region.

We recommend staying at one of the many coffee farms, these fincas are old, authentic working coffee producing smallholdings, many of which have been adapted to welcome guests. Virtually all of the villas on such farms have swimming pools, ideal if you want to take a break from the programme for a couple of days, relax in the sunshine, take in the views and the nature and breathe the fresh air.

Take this opportunity to learn more about how your morning coffee begins its journey from the lush hillsides of the area, learn about how it is picked, sorted and dried before being shipped for export. The vast green landscapes also make the perfect backdrop for hiking and horse riding.

Your trip will start by road or plane to Armenia, Manizales or Pereira. We will organise your trip according to your personal wishes, but relatively speaking, the distances within the coffee zone are all short so any one of the major cities is an ideal starting point, and from any of the cities you can visit all of the main attractions.

Whether a visit to the magnificent Thermal Springs of Santa Rosa de Cabal, the spectacular Cocora Valley, a visit to a typically simple coffee processing plant or an outing in one of the area’s famous Willys Jeeps.

The Coffee Zone even has something for the foodies and gastronauts. Salento is famed for its delicious river trout which can be prepared in a variety of ways and enjoyed in the quaint independent restaurants in the town. Santa Rosa de Cabal is well known for its local recipe chorizos which are available at the roadside fresh from the kitchen and eaten accompanied by the typical arepa.

Important:

  • The climate is mild, the days are warm but the evenings can turn cooler. You should pack lightweight layers of clothing and waterproofs
  • Be aware that the terrain can be challenging and you are at altitude. We do not recommend entering the Cocora valley without a local guide, there are no defined walkways and low lying mists can easily cause you to lose your bearings.

Programme:

An ideal trip to the Coffee Zone should be at least 4 days. For a typical itinerary in the coffee zone, please visit our Short coffee tours. For tours based around Manizales, consider Hacienda Venecia as your destination.

We can organize your flights for you with one of the national carriers and pick-up from the airport to take you to your finca. We offer authentic fincas each with their own charisma and facilities. We personally know all of them and whatever you choose and regardless of your budget, you will receive a warm welcome, be in an excellent location and you will enjoy truly charming homestyle accommodation.

We offer a range of attractive programmes tailored to your budget, the amount of relaxation time you want and your willingness to tackle physical challenges. A visit to Salento or Filandia for example, both charming villages full of colourful facades, traditional architecture and friendly faces.

Salento is the perfect starting point for your visit to Cocora. A stunning valley running between the Andean peaks of the coffee zone noted for its unique wax palms, the world’s highest palm trees. We offer guided walks through Cocora, returning to Salento or continuing through the forests and onwards to the nature reserve of Acaime. An excellent location for ornithologists and  wildlife photographers hoping to spot some of the local hummingbirds and barranqueros.

For hardcore birding, consider including a guided trip to Río Blanco in your itinerary.

We also offer visits to San Alberto, Recuca or Hacienda Venecia. Typical coffee estates where the coffee production process is explained. Depending on your wishes, you might also want to include a horse ride at Finca El Carmelo, mountain biking at Pueblo Tapao, river rafting on the Rio Vieja or a visit to the Mariposario butterfly garden of Armenia.

We’d urge you to pay a visit to the thermal springs of Santa Rosa de Cabal with its picture postcard location beneath a towering waterfall. The ideal relaxing day out away from it all, you can really pamper yourself because the complex also has its own spa.

Don’t like relaxation? Then consider an ascent to the top of Nevado Santa Isabel or one of our 3 day Los Nevados treks starting in the Cocora Valley

The Coffee Zone is the ideal area for families, it offers plenty of space on the farms and affords the visitor a huge variety of activity options.

Price:

The price shown on this page is our best deal for the Coffee Zone and represents a 3 day/2 night hotel break in a charming colonial hotel in Salento. The price is per person based on two adults sharing a double room. Salento is ideally located for visiting many attractions in the Coffee Zone, including the spectacular Cocora Valley.

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

Please use our contact form to tell us exactly how you want your visit to the Coffee Zone to be organised.

Cali

Cali is the undisputed South American capital of salsa. Situated in the warm Valle de Cauca, Santiago de Cali enjoys a temporate, warm but not overbearingly hot climate. The people are friendly without being intrusive and the salsa is everywhere.

Cali is Colombia’s third largest city and continues to grow, it is flanked to one side by El Cerro de las Cruces, a ridge with three crucifixes that overlooks the city. On an opposing hill stands Cristo de Rey, a giant statue of Jesus.

Cali is best known for its rumba, its animal-like salsa nightlife and once a year between 25th and 30th December, Cali is passion for salsa culminates in the Feria de Cali. A world famous salsa festival where dancer and bands from all over the world descend on Cali for the ultimate salsa party.

Cali is also known locally as La sucursal del cielo, literally a branch of heaven on earth. Whether it is true or not, you have to decide for yourself. But after a drunken night out in Cali you may well indeed feel like you are in heaven.

On the other side of the Rio Cauca is Juanchito, a neighbourhood with 24 hour licensing permissions. Juanchito is full of bars and the epicentre of Cali’s salsa scene, some of the best salsa bands in the world can be found performing there.

Aside from partying hard, Cali is an important city in Colombia because if its industry. Yumbo is an industrial zone that is home to many of Colombia’s largest industrials including Postobon, the makers of Pepsi and Colombian favourites Postobon Manzana, a fizzy pink apple drink and La Colombiana, a patriotic grenadine flavoured drink, both of which are consumed in large quantities throughout Colombia.

Programme

We can organise beautiful hotels in Cali, for example in the San Antonio neighbourhood, this is Cali Vieja, the hisorical part of Cali. Or perhaps you want to learn salsa, we can organise the most professional and orginal salsa teachers from the city for you. Or a visit San Cipriano, a unique village in the jungle which is only accessible via motorbike powered trolleys that run along a disused train track.

Both sugar cane haciendas close to Cali, Piedechinche & Paraíso are well conserved and fascinating day trips to learn about the history of sugar cane production. Or pay a visit to the Indian market of Silvia between Cali and Popayán home of the Guambaiano Indians, one of the most authentic Indian tribes suriving in Colombia.

Nature lovers will enjoy a visit to the Fallarones nature park, a beautiful park in the mountainous region around Cali. Alternatively a visit to Lago Calima, a lake best known for its watersports but also an excellent location for horseriding in the picture postcard surroundings.

Cali’s airport Alfonso Bonilla Áragon is served by LAN, Avianca and American Airlines and is located 45 minutes outside of the city. We will happily organise transfers for you to take you from the airport to Cali to begin your city adventure. Use our contact form to reserve your visit to Cali.

Minca

Minca is a small Colombian village that is slightly elevated in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.

The village is so pretty that it is a must visit if you are in the area. Many consider it a colony of alternative thinkers, those that want to escape from city life and artists. It is the perfect place to find peace, happiness and tranquility.

Although Minca is close to the Caribbean coastline, due to its lush mountain location, the vegetation is completely different. An abundance of vibrant and dense green plant life. The area’s fertility made it one of Colombia’s first regions to exploit coffee cultivation.

The recent history of this beautiful setting is somewhat less idyllic. Historically the mountains around Minca have been the battleground for some of the most violent aspects of Colombia’s civil war. Only more recently with the demobilisation of paramilitary groups has the region become viable for tourism. Despite this region’s proximity to popular tourism destinations such as Santa Marta and Tayrona, it really is at the cutting edge of modern Colombian tourism. It is an area you genuinely should not have considered visiting just 10 years ago.

The village has now fashioned itself as a melting pot of exiles from all over the world, each having set up their own small restaurants, hostels, coffee shops and handicraft stores. The ambience is one of independence, creativity and friendliness.

Programme:

We offer packages from 1 night or longer in Minca. The village can be reached easily in under one hour from Santa Marta and we offer private transportation to get you there from either the airport in Santa Marta or your hotel in Santa Marta or Taganga.

The first day we can offer a guided tour through the village combined with a visit to a charming and charismatic coffee shop, overnight is spent on a beautiful finca in Minca’s surroundings. The second day you can visit el Pozo Azul a fantastic waterfall further up into the Sierra Nevada. There you can enjoy a picnic and afterwards we organise an ecological walk through the wild flora of the coastal mountain range.

During the ecological walk we will stop off at a traditional coffee farm which affords the chance to discover the cultivation and processing of coffee.

There are additional options to make your own perfect programme, for example a visit to an orchid farm or a visit to typical guadua housing, a type of structural bamboo which is commonly used for all manner of structures and is very typical in the Sierra Nevada.

To plan your visit to Minca, just use our contact form and let us know how you want it organising.

Birdwatching:

Minca is a top birdwatching destination, in this destination a specialist birding guide is available with expert knowledge of the local birdlife.

Price:

The price shown on this page represents our best deal for Minca and is per person based on 2 adults sharing a double room for two nights on a bed and breakfast basis in our preferred hotel in Minca. Additional guided tours, birdwatching guides and day excursions are available on request.