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Landscapes filled with coffee and culture

The coffee region is an area located mainly between the departments of Caldas, Risaralda, Quindío, Tolima and Valle del Cauca. It is recognized for the beauty of its landscapes, the productivity of its lands and the wide variety of tourism activities for those who visit.

As the name implies, it is a region that is formed of coffee plantations, where its inhabitants are mainly engaged in the activity of growing coffee, which has gained it international recognition.

Traveling through this area by land is a privilege, because it involves immersing yourself in a culture of colorful coffee farms and leafy mountains filled with the region’s flagship product.

To learn more about the coffee region it is necessary to take a tour of two of the main departments: Quindío and Risaralda.

Quindío

A classic Jeep Willys travels through the corners of the region loaded with merchandise and markets that the farmers carry throughout the territory and in some of the paths that surround the department. Its striking colors bring to life the landscapes of this department located in the western center of the country.

Its 1,845 km² area is bordered by the Barragán, La Vieja, San Juan, Rojo, Verde, Espejo and Quindío rivers.

The Willys tour takes you through the mountains of wax palm, coffee, banana, plantain and avocado.

The intense smell of coffee is all over the place, giving those who visit it a unique experience through the culture of coffee. Visitors get to understand this product through its journey towards the cups that awaken and energize Colombians and foreigners all day.

The coffee region is also home of products such as avocados, which have captivated the land with their creaminess and size. The crops highlight the 3,825 hectares planted with 19,308 tons of export quality avocados.

The characteristic flavor of this superfood is increasing in popularity worldwide and the Colombian quality stands out, thus making the country one of the main worldwide producers.

The land’s cultural and economic wealth makes Quindío a primary destination chosen by many tourists who want to learn more about Colombian culture, traditions, crops and other customs that represent locals. Among the possible tourist activities are the coffee farm tours, where visitors have the opportunity to live an immersive Colombian countryside experience.

The intense smell of cups of coffee and the productivity of the land has become the inspiration for the realization of one of the most recognized competitions in the region: the National Coffee Reign. The event is held annually, where the national and international coffee representative is selected. This celebration looks to integrate attendees through the participation in various cultural, sports and gastronomic activities.

In the mountains, large balconies, ample corridors and huge work areas characterize coffee plantation houses. Privileged panoramas allow farmers to visualize their crops and have an unforgettable magnificent and colorful view.

Their homes are decorated with the history of their Quimbaya ancestors, which stood out for being an indigenous tribe with great artistic and cultural expressions, among which their skills as goldsmiths are preserved.

Similarly, in the history of this municipality there is also talk of the colonization of the Antioqueños during the 19th century, who arrived to the territory and organized farms, raised populations, carved paths, energized the economy of the municipality, and developed commercial, social and cultural relationships. The influence of these settlers is largely reflected in the architecture of the farms they built.

The impact that the presence of the Antioqueños had on this population was so great that a large percentage of the inhabitants of the department are descendants of these settlers. They are entrepreneurial people with a great capacity for work and an agricultural vocation.

Risaralda

A Willys takes us the 110 km distance between the department of Quindío and Risaralda. Risaralda is located in the central zone of the Andean region, bordered by the Central and Western mountain ranges.

The Risaraldense territory bases its economy on agricultural, livestock, industrial and commerce activities. Agricultural products include coffee, sugar cane, bananas, cassava, cocoa, pineapple, potatoes, corn and avocado.

Surrounding the department are the San Juan and Cauca rivers, bringing freshness to its landscapes.

The strength of the Willys allows us to explore the most complicated terrain of this department, which has high mountains, and where one of the main economic sources of the region is present: agriculture.

The flavor and texture of avocados is one of the main attractions of Risaralda. This is because it is a fruit that has revolutionized the country. According to a report from the Ministry of Agriculture, in 2018, the department had 2,668 hectares planted with avocado for a total production of 18,419 tons.

The territory has seen significant growth in the cultivation of avocado fruit trees, and this has been driving more and more exports to the United States and European countries such as the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

In the 2014 figures, avocado production in the region reached 15,699 tons, which compared to 2018 represents significant growth.

This place is also recognized for creating unforgettable experiences for tourists who have visited the valley of Cauca and Risaralda rivers; and the Natural Park of Los Nevados.

The red, green, blue and yellow colors of the houses, the balconies, the wide corridors, the large windows and high doors are the main characteristics of the architecture of this municipality. Its streets reveal a territory that, crossed by modernity, has allowed development to boost the industry and growth of its economy.

Among the pages of the oldest history books, the evolution of the Quimbayas indigenous civilization is narrated. The civilization diminished, giving way to the colonization of Antioquia. With that came a working culture with the cultivation of coffee as a central focus. This event is very similar to what was experienced in Quindío, where the colonization of Antioquia brought with it a culture oriented towards coffee production.

Pereira’s joy and pride becomes known in the month of August with the commemoration of the founding of the Capital of the coffee region, a celebration held annually at a party known as the Harvest Festival. Its activities include craft fairs, sports championships, horse shows and orchid displays.

Its gastronomy, similar to many of the departments of our country, is based on the main elements that make up its economy. In this case, being a region where the culture of Antioquia had great influence, among its typical dishes are arepa and beans.

Below, we recommend some places you should visit when you are in the coffee region.

Where to eat

Helena Adentro: A place to share Colombian food with friends, couples or family with a fun and creative mix that has been inspired by our culture.

Estación paraíso: a place to enjoy the diversity of traditional and typical dishes in a pleasant atmosphere with the region’s typical decor.

Camelia Real: A restaurant located at Hotel Campestre las Camelias offers a great variety of typical local and international food. It has a capacity of more than 130 people.  

Where to sleep

Hotel Sonesta: located in the Cerritos sector. It has spacious and well equipped rooms and a heated pool. Likewise, the gastronomic variety is present. There are two restaurants: Cook’s, with a varied menu, and Eighth by Rausch, with signature cuisine.

Hotel Campestre las Camelias: Located in Quindío, its facilities have a convention center for 1,000 people and other additional rooms with capacity for up to 470 people. It has 202 rooms with capacity for 552 people in multiple accommodations, three restaurants, a bar, large green areas for outdoor activities, swimming areas, among others.

Hotel Campestre La Navarra: It has a strategic location that allows movement through the coffee region. It has capacity for 55 people distributed in 15 rooms in single, double, triple and quadruple accommodation. It offers services of ecological hikes, kiosk with hammocks, pool table and table tennis.

What places to visit

Los Nevados park: The park is located in the central Andes coffee region of Colombia. It is known for its snowy volcanoes, glaciers, lakes and forests. The park is filled with hummingbirds, eagles, parrots and condors. It has high wax palms and espeletia.

Image taken from internet

 Valle del Cocora: a place of natural beauty where varied experiences of nature tourism are provided, such as: hiking with guides specialized in the biodiversity of the Cocora Valley and its native species, hiking in foggy forests and planting of the Wax Palms, a national tree of Colombia, bird watching and flora and fauna.

Image taken from the internet

Quindío botanical garden: a recognized nature tourism center. As a botanical garden, they have several collections and plant exhibits, a national collection of palms, a butterfly garden, an insect zoo, three sites for bird watching, a geology and soil museum, the Line Tunnel Museum, a museum of Ethnobotanical palms and many other natural attractions.

Image taken from the internet

The coffee region is one of the destinations that are part of the routes that will be traveled in the Avotours, where you will have the opportunity to live a unique experience by discovering the new origin of the Colombian avocado and the main producing municipalities in the department of Antioquia.

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