Salento

Salento, the center of the Colombian coffee triangle/Eje Cafetero, is the city in the middle of Manizales, Pereira, and Armenia.  Salento is also extremely small and touristy.  The town is quite colorful and beautiful, also very quiet and not any party going on at all.  The most famous good here is the trout, which is caught in the Quindio River, I’m guessing.  Salento represents the picturesque Colombian country side.
We took a bus from Cali to Armenia and from there took another bus to Salento.  We arrived there early enough in the afternoon and decided to get our caffeine level up to the local standard.  The best coffee spot in town is called Cafe Jesus Martin.  The coffee is quite good and we tried different coffee from black to whisky latte.  They also have chess boards there and we played a couple games too. 

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The next morning we woke up early because we were going to Valle de Cocora, a beautiful hike that passes by cow farms and the 60m wax palms the area is known for.  The hike took us 3 hours to complete and we were the first to finish.  We rode in the back of a jeep in the open air to arrive at the trail head.  The trek is quite muddy so renting boots is a must. Maybe we are finally up to German speed, we finished a 5 hour trek in less than 3.  The hike consists any river crossing through suspension bridges, jungle, a medium high difficult ascend, farms, and the palm tree valley. 

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After the hike, we went to get some this brownie everyone was talking about.  It was peanut butter filled.  It was good, but people made it seem that it was huge, but it wasn’t.
That afternoon we went to coffee plantation.  The plantation was more like an information tour than a real I’m walking in the middle of coffee plants and cherries while people are harvesting.  However the tour was good and we sampled some coffee even thou Jesus Martin is still better.

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We learned that plantains are grown next to coffee for sunlight control and coffee takes 3 years to become harvestable and 5 years the cherries turn black.  There were a lot of good info.
Salento is definitely a place worthy of visiting and I liked the country side vibe a lot.  There are also many other stuffs we didn’t do, for example, the entrance to the Los Nevados park is there which we didn’t have enough time to do.
Bogotá is our last stop and we will definitely enjoy one of the largest cities in South America.

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