Colombia is known around the world for its beautiful women, infamous drug dealers and excellent coffee. The South American country is the second largest coffee-exporting nation after Brazil. And it’s garnered much recognition for having some of the best, if not the best, coffee in the world.
An important industry sector revolves around this ancient bean and the area in Colombia known as ‘The Coffee Triangle’ is where most of the country’s coffee is produced. It’s also one of Colombia’s most popular tourist destinations.
Composed of the departments of Caldas, Quindío, and Risaralda, this mountainous area is filled with resorts, parks and farms offering tours and accommodation. Visitor activities are all centred around coffee, heritage, tradition, and their modern embrace in Colombia. Here’s a closer look at what the three departments of Colombia’s Coffee Triangle have to offer.
The department of Caldas, and its capital city, Manizales, have a rich history as part of Colombia’s Coffee Triangle. Many locals and entrepreneurs have caught onto this and, at several working coffee farms in the area, you can enjoy tastings and witness the traditional process of making coffee.
The area is also renowned for its natural beauty, with Los Nevados National Park located close by. Other popular activities on offer include getting pampered in a spa, hiking, kayaking and camping.
Pereira is the bustling capital of the department of Risaralda, located midway between Manizales and Armenia. As part of the UNESCO-listed ‘Coffee Cultural Landscape of Colombia’, Pereira also has a rich coffee-producing heritage that you can enjoy at every corner of this stunning mountainous region.
One of the most outstanding attractions are the area’s hot springs, in particular, the Santa Rosa de Cabal hot springs, where you´ll also find excellent food and accommodation. A great place to stay near Pereira is the historic Hacienda San Jose, a colonial-style farmhouse that was transformed into a boutique hotel.
You can also take a visit to Bioparque Ukumari, the largest park of its kind in South America. The biopark is home to a botanical garden, anthropology and natural science museums, and fauna and flora from Colombia and around the world.
Closing off Colombia’s Coffee Triangle is the department of Quindío and its capital city Armenia. This city sits nearly 50 kilometres south of Pereira and the surrounding region is home to a variety of coffee-related sites and adventures.
Make sure you plan at least one full day to visit Parque del Café, or Coffee Park. This amusement park is sure to surprise visitors not expecting a world-class amusement park, as rides and roller-coasters are exactly what you´ll get!
With new rides opening and old classics, the park offers guaranteed fun. You’ll also find coffee-related souvenirs, food and ice-cream, as well as shops, restaurants, and entertainment.
How to get about
Due to its increasing popularity in recent few years, Colombia’s Coffee Triangle has seen great improvements in accessibility and transport. If you arrive in Bogota, which is usually the case, there’s plenty of options for getting to your final destination.
Flights leave from Bogota to the cities of Manizales, Armenia and Pereira every day with varied schedules. There’s also plenty of bus lines as well as the option of hiring a car to explore. Once in each town, taxis are cheap enough, however, be sure to check that they’re registered.
Many of the local farms have become fancy bed and breakfasts. There are also hotels, hostels, camps, and even all-inclusive resorts – offering more than enough accommodation options for your stay.
Zack Davisson is a recovering technical recruiter who traded in his suit and ties in Silicon Valley for salsa music and a passion for writing in Medellin, Colombia. When not writing for AllTheRooms, the world’s first vacation rental search engine, you can find Zack with his nose in a book, puttering around nature, or getting ultra-competitive while watching Jeopardy.