- Location: On the Andean highlands in west Colombia
- Attraction Type: Natural wonder
- Significance: the largest coffee-growing region in Colombia
- Best Time to Visit: All through the year
- Visiting hours: Daytime
- How to Reach: Fly to Pereira and thereafter travel by bus or car
- Nearest International Airport: Pereira International Airport
Zona Cafetera is the premier coffee-growing region of Colombia. It is amazing how only 1% of Colombia’s territory yields more than half of the country’s coffee requirement. The verdant green terraced gardens against the backdrop of snow-capped mountains are a marvelous sight for all travelers. Locally referred to as ‘Eje Cafetero’, it represents Colombia’s Andino territory.
Places to visit in Zona Cafeteria
1.Manizales: Manizales was founded by a group of twenty Antioquians on October 12, 1849, in the middle of a civil war. Even though it is the capital city of the department of Caldas and the most important city in the nation’s coffee region, Manizales is still physically a part of Antioquia, the region where Medellín reigns supreme.ost of the best sights and activities in the area involve being outdoors, in the fresh, crisp, cool climate. There are several parks spread around the hilly city where you can spend a few hours if the weather is nice. The Parque Nacional Natural Los Nevados should be high on your list of activities, but try to time your visit on a sunny or clear day.
2.Pereira:Pereira is mainly a commercial center and a transportation hub between Manizales and Armenia and northern and southern Colombia. There are some nice thermal springs worth visiting about 20 minutes from Pereira in Santa Rosa de Cabal. And Ucumari does in fact exist, but it is 30 minutes away in the direction of La Florida.
3.Armenia:Armenia is a right of passage to the rich Quindío region, but the city itself offers little to see and do. Other than the educational Museo del Oro Quimbaya at the northern edge of the city and the interesting Parque Nacional del Cafíé closeby, most visitors head to the hills to experience nature. There are many hiking, rafting and fishing opportunities outside Armenia and also other adventurous activities that could be worthwhile should you choose to stay for longer than a day.
4.Salento: This is the best place to explore nature at its finest, whether it’s by horseback along the Quindío River, by foot along dozens of mountain paths, or by jeep to the gorgeous Cocora Valley. Don’t forget to snap a photo of the national tree, the Palma de Cera, which is a very tall and thin palm tree native to this area of the country. And, of course, your trip to Salento is not complete without “trucha con patacón” (trout with a very thin and very large plantain pancake).
Colombia Zona Cafetera stands out as a natural paradise with coffee plantations growing between 1300 and 1700 meters elevation. Pereira, Armenia, Manizales are the important cities of Zona Cafetera or Quindio region in Colombia. Salento, a quaint peaceful town is the best place to spend a vacation.
Hiking through the vibrant green coffee plantations is enthralling and invigorating. Mountaineering in the higher slopes of the Andes is another thrilling activity. Visit El Parque del Cafíé for understanding the entire process of making coffee from pods to powder. An amusement park in the likes of Disneyland is a major attraction of this place. If snowfields appeal to you then proceed to Los Nevados by car. The scenery of these snowfields at 5000 meters is absolutely stunning.
Make a tour to the ‘hotspring of Santa Rosa de Cabal’ in Pereira city. The numerous waterfalls illuminated by multi-colored lights is a visual treat in the evenings. Manizales is another marvelous city in Eje Cafetero region of Colombia. Santander Avenue is vibrant with discos and nightclubs. ‘El Nevado Ruiz’ with its three volcanic peaks is a formidable attraction of Manizales city. At Santagueda savor their local old rum or non-matured brandy while basking in the warmth of the place.
Accommodation and Dining
Pereira, Manizales, and Armenia are the important cities in Zona Cafetera region of Colombia. On your visit to this Colombian region you can select from Hotel de Periera, Gran Hotel, Hotel Dann Soratama in Periera, or El Carretero, Las Colinas, or Hotel Varuna in Manizales. These cities abound in eateries serving local delicacies. El Mural, El Toque Pizzeria, and Don Juaco Snaks are among the famous eateries of Zona Cafetera.
Related Links :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21Z8nN6pQlc: Check out the exquisite beauty of Zona Cafetera in this video! It is one of the most naturally beautiful regions of South America.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWhuxrPCL8Q&feature=related: This is another wonderful presentation of the beauty of the Zona Cafetera region in Colombia. The pictures of this slideshow are amazing and will tempt you to visit this region personally.