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Colombia - Salento (Coffee Heaven)

25 °C

Salento sits just outside of Armenia, in the Zona Cafetera. It has a quaint small town feel, gorgeous green surroundings, pleasant walks and coffee plantations galore! We walked through nearby farmland, with views out across the rolling hills and banana trees. Along the way we visited two coffee fincas (farms), Don Elias and El Ocaso, where we were shown the process from growing to coffee plants, picking the beans, to roasting and then most importantly, sampling a coffee at the end. All the producers we visited specialise in Organic coffee, and most of them produce on a relatively small scale.

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A highlight for us was organising a day visit to Finca SachaMama (meaning mother of the forest). Run by a delightful family of four (Pedro, his wife and two daughters) who live a couple of hours walk out of Salento. We were met half way by Pedro, the owner and led down into a large valley where we followed a winding river into their gorgeous porperty.

Here we learnt about the ´libre´ way in which their coffee is grown, amongst all the other plants on their property. Their focus is on nature and restoring their property to it´s natural environment, re-growing native species of trees, encouraging many birds back into the area, which we were able to see first hand. Humming birds even flying through their house! For them the environment comes first, then their production of coffee, which is of course organic. We had a lovely lunch with the family, and then learnt about the coffee they process. It is produced on a small scale, and only sold on their farm to people who come through. At the end we helped prepare and roast their coffee beans, and straight out of the roaster we ground the coffee, and drank a cup...can´t get much fresher than that..!

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Thinking it couldn't get much better, we headed to the Valley de Cocoura just out of Salento. Another area with absolutely breath-taking scenery. We walked for about six hours, which involved a climb up to a little farmhouse, surrounded by hummingbirds. The admission (a whole $2) included a big bowl of hot chocolate and a hunk of cheese for the hungry hikers. After this we climbed higher, and as the clouds rolled in we found ourselves surrounded by mist! Just as the sun began to creep out from behind the clouds we arrived in the valley of wax palms. Giant 80m tall palm trees stretching out across the rolling green hillsides, a magical sight.

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Needless to say we absolutely loved our time in Salento, and when we weren´t out walking we had a great place to relax at La Floresta Hostel, run by the friendliest family, who offered us fresh cups of coffee all day long!

Posted by TheNomadWay.com 20:38 Archived in Colombia

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Comments

esto es genial, es muy linda tu presentacion.

sara,

Sacha Mama.

by sachamama

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