Salento and the misty Valle de Cocora!

Today I am going to talk about Salento a little town in the department Quindío.

Salento is almost 1900 metres above sea level and surrounded by mountains. The town counts around 7500 inhabitants and a lot of tourists. Coloured houses, nice little restaurants and bars, shops with handmade jewellery and souvenirs. A quiet but still interesting nightlife with lovely bars that offer live music to enjoy the cold mountain air and have a drink.

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The Colombian coffee culture and chilled out vibes make it a must see. Everything is walkable and has a lot of attractions like hiking, horse riding, paragliding and coffee tasting.

A coffee plantation tour: 1 day

In walking distance of the town there are several coffee farms which offer tours to get to know more about the process of making coffee and the Colombian culture behind it. At the end of the tours there will be served a fresh made coffee from the farm.

Take the chance to buy a bag of coffee to support them. They life from the tours and the tourists. A tour lasts around 1 hour, so plan in advanced which farms you want to visit since there is time for more than one in a day.

Hike at Valle de Cocora: 1 day

To take a picture for you next postcard you have to hopp on a 4×4 jeep at the main square of Salento to the Valle de Cocora. The hike takes around 5 to 6 hours through the green valley passing by the famous wax palms of Quindio, up to the countless viewpoints on the way.  Whether you walk through the misty forest or the sunny valley your camera or phone will be your best friend on the way to capture the mysterious and incomparable beauty you will encounter.

Makes sure to bring: 

  • Hiking shoes
  • Snacks and water
  • Rain jacket
  • A hat and sunglasses
  • Camera or Phone
  • Mosquito spray

You will not get bored even if you decide to stay couple more days at Salento, since the chilled vibe and culture will take you in completely.

How to get to Salento?

There are two main airports nearby. One at Armenia and the other at Pereira. Buses leave from either of the town’s bus terminals and take around 2 hours up the curvy roads. You can catch a bus at the Salento bus terminal located a little out of the city to get back to the airport. The bus tickets are really cheap, if you prefer a more comfortable way with taxi you will have to pay around 150 dollars.

My opinion?

So my opinion at the end? For sure a must do if you are traveling through Colombia. It is not comparable to the main cities like Bogotá, Medellín and Cali or the Caribbean region of Colombia. One of the most beautiful places I have seen in this country. So don’t think long and just book your flight!

 

So thanks a lot for reading my post. I hope it helps and will make your next Colombian trip a great experience.

 

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Cartagena de India, Colombia

So first of all some informations about Cartagena

At my 1 month stay in Colombia I also visited Cartagena for 2 days.

In the colonial era this city was known as Cartagena de India, it was a major port, located on the northern coat of Colombia. Because of its location the port became the main port for trades between Spain and its overseas empire. During this era it was a key port for the import of enslaved Africans and the export of Peruvian silver to Spain. Source

So with all that said Cartagena de India is a must see if your traveling through Colombia. The city’s main attraction is the historical centre (old town) which is surrounded by walls right at the ocean. You will see coloured houses, churches, trendy restaurants and bars and more so. Today it is a touristic place.

So unfortunately I just stayed two days and didn’t have time to see it all, but this are some tips what to see in Cartagena.Enjoy a day walking through the streets of the old town to feel the Colombian vibe.

El Viajero Hostel

I stayed at the Viajero Hostel which is a big hostel group. They have hostels all over Colombia and other countries. They normally offer free Salsa classes and help you with trips, tours and all your questions you might have! Just Wow! El Viajero Hostel Group

Playa Blanca: Playa Blanca is a 45 minutes Bus ride away from Cartagena

This beach keeps you speechless with its stunning turquoise water and white sand as far as your eyes can see! It is close to the Rosario Islands. An Island chain in the Caribbean reachable by boat from Cartagena and Playa Blanca.

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Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, Castle 

This castle is located on the Hill of San Lázaro. It was built by the Spanish during the colonial era. Building started in the year 1536. I had no time to visit that castle. Tickets can be bought online or at the old town. There are offered tours every day. Decently worth a visit if you stay longer at Cartagena.

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Free City Tours!

There are also Free City Tours offered at Cartagena, you will hear about the history of that place and see different spots of the old town. At the end of the tour you are free to give some tip if you liked it, a nice way to offer tours.

So thanks for reading my posts and helping me grow on Steemit! I wish you a nice and relaxing weekend.

 

Happiness is not a destination, it’s a way of life! Travel the World!

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The Rock of Guatapé!

A must do if you stay at Medellín!

Guatapé is a small town a 2 hours bus drive away from the trendy and famous city Medellin. It is a perfect one day trip but also a place to stay more than one day! At the Bus Terminal Norte head down to the ground floor and buy your ticket at the ticket booth 14. It will cost you 14 COP like 4.50$ dollars one way!

There are two attractions:

The town Guatapé:

Guatapé is a really small town, the houses are coloured, in the centre are a lot of restaurants and the people are relaxed. There is a church and little stores to buy souvenirs.  I think from there are also activities like a boat tour etc. At the same place the bus dropped you of, you can directly by a ticket to head back to Medellin! If you just want to go to the next attraction you can pay 2 COP for the bus or take a tuktuk motorcycle which drives you to the Rock of Guatapé.

The Rock of Guatapé (El Peñón de Guatapé):

The most important attraction in Guatape is the huge stone … You need to climb up 700 steps till you on the top. I did it without stopping but it was hard. From the gas station you can walk up to the entrance and buy a ticket to go up the stone. Once you arrive at the top you will be speechless! The 360 degrees view is amazing.

The indigenous Tahami, former inhabitants of this region, worshiped the rock and called it mojarrá which means rock! In July 1954, the stone was first climbed from Luis Villegas, Pedro Nel Ramirez and Ramón Díaz, with sticks fixed against the walls within 5 days.

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Galeria Guatape Hostel:

I stayed for two days in Guatape and slept in a really nice hostel Galeria Guatape Hostel in walking distance to the stone. The host of this hostel and all the people that work there are amazing. You can swim, enjoy a nice view over the lake and enjoy a free Coffee (the best coffee I had in Colombia) whenever you want. The breakfast was just delicious and also included in the price, a restaurant to eat dinner is close by!

Thanks for reading my post, if you have questions about Guatapé or even Medellín just let me know.

Happiness is not a destination, it’s a way of life! Travel the World!

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