Updated on 01/25/2024
My name is Frank and I run a travel agency in Bogota, Colombia. Have fun while reading!
At the end of this itinerary, you will find more Colombia itineraries with different durations and also different destinations in Colombia.
Coffee Triangle Colombia Trip Summary
Day 1 – Salento
Day 2 – Salento – Los Nevados
Day 3 – Los Nevados
Day 4 – Los Nevados – Salento
Day 5 – Salento
The Department of Quindio is part of the Colombian territory, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site as a Coffee Cultural Landscape. It is located in the Central Mountain Range, and is one of the smallest in Colombia, whose small size is totally opposite to the endless list of natural resources and tourist attractions it has. Including Armenia, the capital, the department is made up of 12 municipalities.
All of them can be reached, there is a road to all of them and in all of them there are attractions to stop, contemplate and enjoy. Although with some different features, there are many coincidences in the towns, such as the bushes full of coffee or the guadua emerging from the earth or transformed into art and housing.
Salento is a charming and picturesque town located in the heart of Colombia’s Coffee Region (Zona Cafetera). Situated in the Quindío Department, Salento is renowned for its stunning landscapes, vibrant culture, colorful architecture, and its close proximity to the breathtaking Cocora Valley.
Salento is situated in one of Colombia’s primary coffee-producing regions, and coffee culture is deeply ingrained in the town’s identity. Visitors can explore coffee plantations, known as “fincas,” and learn about the coffee-making process, from picking the beans to roasting and brewing the aromatic beverage.
One of Salento’s main attractions is its proximity to the Cocora Valley, a spectacular natural wonderland. The valley is famous for its towering wax palm trees, which are the tallest palm trees in the world and the national tree of Colombia. Hiking through the Cocora Valley provides visitors with breathtaking views of the lush cloud forest and the iconic palm trees.
Salento boasts a delightful colonial-style architecture with brightly painted houses and balconies adorned with flowers. The town’s main square, Plaza de Bolívar, is a hub of activity with colorful facades and charming cafes, providing an ideal setting for relaxation and people-watching.
The town is home to several art galleries and handicraft shops where visitors can purchase local artwork, handmade souvenirs, and traditional crafts. The artisans in Salento showcase their talents through various art forms, including pottery, weaving, and painting.
Los Nevados National Natural Park, commonly known as Los Nevados, is a stunning protected area located in the central part of the Colombian Andes. This national park is renowned for its snow-capped peaks, high-altitude páramo ecosystems, diverse landscapes, and rich biodiversity.
One of the main highlights of Los Nevados is its snow-capped peaks, including the Nevado del Ruiz, Nevado del Tolima, and Nevado del Santa Isabel. These majestic mountains create a breathtaking and contrasting landscape against the lush green valleys and forests below.
The park is characterized by its unique páramo ecosystems, high-altitude tropical grasslands with unique flora and fauna. Páramos are essential for water regulation and are often referred to as the “water factories” of the Andean region.
Los Nevados offers a diverse range of landscapes, from snow-capped mountains and páramo plains to cloud forests and glacial lakes. The varying altitudes create distinct microclimates, making the park a haven for different plant and animal species.
The park is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including Andean condors, spectacled bears, mountain tapirs, and many bird species. The high-altitude ecosystems harbor numerous endemic and endangered species, making it a critical area for conservation.
Los Nevados provides excellent opportunities for hiking and trekking enthusiasts. There are several well-marked trails that lead through the park’s diverse landscapes, offering stunning views and unique wildlife encounters.
The park is dotted with glacial lakes, known as “lagunas”, which are formed by the melting ice from the snow-capped peaks. These pristine lakes add to the scenic beauty of Los Nevados and provide a serene atmosphere for visitors.
Some of the mountains in Los Nevados are part of the Central Volcanic Range, and the park has experienced volcanic activity in the past. The most active volcano is Nevado del Ruiz, which last erupted in 1985, causing significant devastation to nearby towns.
Day 1: Salento
Arrival to Salento
You will be picked up at the airport and driven to your hotel.
The bilingual guide will be waiting for you at the exit of the airport.
Here you will find the best hotel recommendations in Salento.
Day 2: Salento – Los Nevados
Quindio’s Paramillo Peak – Day 1
Formerly known as Nevado del Quindio, this is one of the most visited destinations in Los Nevados National Park. Located at an altitude of 4,750 meters, you will reach the south summit where you will appreciate great views of the surrounding sandy sands and snow-capped peaks.
Early in the morning, you will start in the town of Salento, where you will have a typical breakfast and depart by special transportation to the Cocora Valley. On the way, you will receive a technical talk from the Colombian National Parks authorities. You will cross the Cocora Valley, its forests and high vegetation through the Cárdenas River until you reach a farm, where you will have lunch with the locals.
After taking a short break, you will continue 2 kilometers until you reach the first rest shelter “Buenos Aires” located at 3500 meters of altitude, there you will have a peasant dinner and rest for the night.
Day 3: Los Nevados
Quindio’s Paramillo Peak – Day 2
In the morning at the lodge, you will have a country breakfast while appreciating the view of the Cardenas River Canyon to get your luggage and suitcases ready. You will start the ascent of the snowy mountain passing through the colorful sandy and wetlands until you reach the top of the Paramillo del Quindio at 4,750 meters altitude.
After having a light lunch at the base of Paramillo, you will continue your descent to the second refuge “La Playa” at 3,750 meters to have dinner and spend the second night.
Day 4: Los Nevados – Salento
Quindio’s Paramillo Peak – Day 3
After breakfast and a brief rest, you will continue your descent to the Cocora Valley, through the high Andean forest and surrounding farms of the park. Along the way, you will be able to visit other peaks of the Paruqe de los Nevados, as well as other towns in the coffee-growing region.
In the afternoon, around 3:00 p.m., you will arrive back in the town of Salento to finish the tour.
Day 5: Salento
You will be picked up at the hotel and driven to the airport.