Like a little slice of rainbow, the multicoloured town of Salento is a pleasure to behold, tucked amid the lush landscapes of Coffee Country.
A quaint Andean town that has escaped modern development, Salento is packed with colour, from the brightly painted façades of the colonial houses to the brilliant green of the surrounding hills. Many come here to explore the beauty of nearby Cocora Valley, but take a little time to wander the jolly streets and charming arts and crafts shops of this cheerful town and you can’t fail to be enchanted.
Located mid-way between Bogotá and Colombia’s Pacific coastline, Salento is surrounded by breathtaking Andean scenery and fertile countryside, which makes up an important corner of Colombia’s famous Coffee Triangle. Lush, forested slopes rise up above almost luminous green valleys, scattered with Quindío wax palm trees, the national symbol of Colombia. When the sun is out, the colours are dazzling.
The town of Salento certainly fits in with the vibrant yet peaceful landscape. Walk down the main street past a palette of bright red doors, blue balconies, yellow banisters, pink windows and purple eaves. Inside these beautiful colonial houses, artisans are busy at work making all manner of knickknacks using traditional methods. Leisurely walks about the town can be combined with nearby coffee farm tours and tastings as well as explorations of the countryside on foot or horseback. Alongside coffee farming, Salento is also known for its trout farms. You shouldn’t leave Salento without trying this delicious local dish – not a problem as it’s a staple on every restaurant menu in town.
Explore Cocora Valley
This is what almost every visitor here comes to see. This serene valley is a conservation area for the Quindío wax palm tree. Strewn like matchsticks across the landscape, these impossibly tall palm trees (the tallest in the world) can grow to a height of 60 metres. Discover the valley via the many footpaths or explore on horseback.
Shopping finished with a view
After perusing the many handicraft shops along Calle Real, ascend the brightly painted steps at the very end of the street for superb panoramas of the surrounding hills and plantations.
Play a game of Tejo
This novel local sport can be played at the social hang out of Beta Town and involves throwing metal counters at little bags of gunpowder whilst drinking beer. If you hit one, you’re rewarded with points… and, of course, a minor explosion!