Coffee Region
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Destinations Coffee Region

Coffee Region

The Coffee region is for many people the heart and soul of Colombia, and its cultural epicenter. It is prosperous and generous and it seduces the visitor with the aroma of the coffee plantations and the delights of its scenery. Campesino or rural life continues as it has done for centuries harvesting coffee, plantains and other fruit. A visit to the Coffee region involves tranquility, adventure and friendly encounters with locals going about their daily lives. Staying in one of the many “fincas” and haciendas provides an opportunity to enjoy the atmosphere of this enchanting region.

The coffee farming region is a geographical area that includes three Colombian provinces or departments: Caldas, Risaralda and QuindĂ­o which are respectively represented by the capital cities of Manizales, Pereira and Armenia.  These three departments make up the “Triangulo Del Café” running in a North to South line following the Central Mountain Range; the snow-capped peaks of the Parque Natural Los Nevados to the east flank all three. The climate is reflected by the contrasting altitudes, from the harsh temperatures and savage beauty of the surrounding mountains at 5000 meters plus, to the sultriness of the Rio Cauca, the second most important river in Colombia.

Most of Colombia’s coffee production concentrates in the fertile valleys of this region, and thus it’s called the “zona cafetera”. Climatic conditions (with temperatures ranging from 8 to 24 degrees), geographic characteristics, (an Andean tropical forest between 1.300 and 1.700 meters), and geological particularities determine the production of high quality coffee. Traveling trough these generous and prosperous valleys, one can observe endless coffee plantations and their colorfully painted wooden houses with wooden balconies and flowers, which make it a very picturesque landscape.

Before the arrival of the Spaniards in the mid XIX century, the Quimbaya, a pacific and harmonious tribe headed by a “cacique” or chief elected by a council of elders, inhabited the area. It is thought that coffee was first cultivated by the Jesuits, then it gradually dispersed throughout the country and was exported by the end of the XIX century. It comes from a bush of the family of the rubiaceas, the “coffea”, of which the most popular species is the “coffea arabica” grown in Colombia.

 





Highlights

Coffee Plantations :
A visit to the Coffee plantations gives you the opportunity to learn about the process from the planting to the picking, and from the toasting to the tasting.

Parque Nacional de los Nevados :
The highest peak and the easiest to climb is the Nevado del Ruiz, known also by the indigenous name of Kumunday. It is accessible from Manizales and makes a great day trip in which you go up to 5300m above sea level. On a clear day the views can be spectacular and the biodiversity and fresh air is exhilarating. It is well worth the visit, plus, chances are, you might spot the mythical Condor of the Andes…

Thermal springs :
Therapeutic hot springs are found around Manizales, a perfect way to end a day after climbing and exploring the high mountain park.

Valle del Cocora :
The «Valle del Cocora», a valley surrounded by the Palma de Cera or Wax Palm, Colombia´s national tree and the tallest palm in the world (growing up to 50m) provides spectacular views of these unique palms immersed in the mysterious fog forest.
 
Balsaje RĂ­o La Vieja :
Floating down one of the many waterways on a bamboo raft enjoying the beautiful landscapes is another way of discovering this picturesque region.

Activities :

Walking, trekking, horseback riding, canopy, river rafting, coffee tasting, hiking, thermal bathing, amusements parks…

Amaterra tours featuring the Coffee Region :

- Andes, Coffee, and the Caribbean