Colombia, a wonderful landscapes country, has different tourist destinations. One of them is the “Eje Cafetero”, with impressive coffee plantations, a symbol of traditions and cultures.
It is a geographic region that comprises the following departments: Caldas, Risaralda, Quindío, the northeast of Valle del Cauca and the south of Antioquía department. It got this name because of the great coffee production in the zone.
The coffee zone lands are enriched by volcanic eruptions and its benevolent climate make that coffee cultivation be the best one in the world. The economy depends on cattle farming, milk production, the guadua and pine wood manufacture.
Most of the inhabitants has Spanish ancestry, but there are also mixed races, indigenous and African people.
The Cauca valley was not colonized until 19 century, during republican period. The colonization started in the north of Antioquía. The process of settlement lasted for almost one century and a great emphasis was put on the villages foundations.
Due to the climatic condition, coffee has been the main agricultural product since the 1860s. At the beginning of the 20th century, the coffee was the largest Colombian export but the falling coffee prices have caused financial instability in the region. There were several efforts to develop other agricultural cultivations as sugar cane, yucca, potatoes, corn, beans and citrus fruits. Now, there are about 570.000 coffee farmers in the “Eje Cafetero”.
The climate and the geographical conditions determine the high quality coffee production. The countrymen has developed cultivation techniques, harvest and coffee processing, has conserved mass agricultural industrialization techniques
The paisa region offers to visitors several peculiar attractions. The most outstanding for ecotourism depends on autochthonous hotels in the region. The paisas turned their traditional houses and ranches into tourist lodgings. The nature lovers will find comfortable lodgings and the most exclusive gastronomy, and also tours by coffee plantations, horseback ridings, tourist adventures surroundings.
Thanks to its geography, it is possible to have adventure tourism, and to practice sports like: canopy, rafting, paragliding, horseback ridings, fish and ecological walks among others.
The most known and visited parks by local and foreigner tourist are: National Coffee Park and the Panaca.
Other option to visit is the museum of coffee culture, where you will appreciate all about coffee from the production to industrialization.
In Panaca Park, you will have personal experiences with animals, participating of farm works.
Matecaña zoo is in Pereira city, is one of the best ones in South America, where great quantities of species live, and has a museum.
The “Eje Cafetero” offers several entertainment alternatives, if you want to relax yourself, visit Santa Rosa de Cabal municipality and relax yourself into thermal waters and the sulphur mud.
Coffee National Park
Location: Montenegro, 20 minutes from Armenia.
It has two coffee plantations, one natural and one technified
In the Coffee National Museum, you will appreciate the coffee making process, taste a delicious Colombian coffee and a replica of colonial village, and enjoy the orchids show, the train and its wonderful views from.
This place was created for funning didactically, learning all about the fieldwork and the farm animals. You will learn feeding them and living together with. One of the peculiar animals is the smallest hen of the world. You will also enjoy the different activities like the pig’s show, the cattle exhibition, the panaca show, the dog’s exhibition and the horse life.
It is a traditional village, where you will hear wonderful stories and legends of the region. If you love crafts, this is the perfect place to visit stores of guadua works, the most typical wood of the region.
La Vieja River
It is the most appropriated place for riding in traditional rafts and to cool off into its wonderful waterfalls.
It is a river that crosses along Quindio, Valle del Cauca and Risaralda. Its flows are formed by Quindío and Barragán rivers.
Among the activities to practice are rafting, groups of 16 rides in guadua rafts. Most of the excursions depart from Puerto Samaria in Montenegro municipality and arrive to Puerto Alejandrino. It is 53 kilometers in length to flows into Cauca River, has 6 ports: El Alambrado, San Pablo, Samaria, Puerto Alejandría, Piedras de Moler and Cartago.
Location: Salento - Quíndio
It is close to Salento, a paradise full of wax palms that live 30 years approximately and can reach to 60 meters high. It has one of the most beautiful landscapes of Quíndío.
It is possible to have long walks and horseback ridings with environmental appreciation and taste a delicious trout.
Cocora would be considered the entering to “Parque Los Nevados” (park), but it is not the only access to park.