Rain and cloud forest, orchids, exotic birds, coffee and banana plantations and beautiful mountain villages. In addition, you will find wonderful views, hiking trails, thermal baths and much more in one of the most beautiful regions of Colombia.
The green heart of Colombia, the coffee zone, has also been called the coffee cultural landscape since 2011, as it was declared a World Heritage Site in June 2011. The coffee region is also known as the "Coffee Cultural Landscape" or "Paisaje Cultural Cafetero". Around 24,000 coffee farms produce one of the best coffees in the world here.
Pereira, situated in the centre of the Eje Cafetero at the foot of the Andes, offers guests from all over the world the ideal starting point for attractive excursions into the fascinating and tropical surroundings. Whether in the department Risaralda, to Caldas, to Quindio or also in the Valle de Cauca. Many worthwhile destinations can be reached within 1 - 2 hours from Pereira.
The three or better four departments here in the Eje Cafetero differ considerably in topography and flora and therefore offer a wonderful contrast. The Valle de Cauca stretches from Cartago to Cali in a very flat strip. The Quindio is rather a hilly landscape. Risaralda already offers a view to higher mountains, the valleys are wide. And in Caldas, the high mountain range of the middle Cordillera awaits you. The mountain slopes are steeper here, the coffee cultivation even more difficult.
Let's start with a trip to Salento and the Cocora Valley. The Mirador awaits you in Salento, the Calle de Artesania with its beautifully designed balconies. In the Valle de Cocora the famous Cera palms, many colourful birds like hummingbirds and the majestic Barranquero.
From the valley there are hiking trails to the mountains of the Andes chain. On the way we will find rare orchids along the way, bromeliads and a variety of plants, which are only found here at altitudes of more than 3,000 metres. Around Salento there are beautiful hiking trails with fantastic views of the mountains.
Otún Quimbaya is a nature park in the department Risaralda, which can be reached from Pereira in less than 30 minutes. Here, too, nature is lush green, large-leaved plants, ferns reminiscent of the dinosaur age and, of course, birds in abundance again.
This area is used not only by laymen, but also by ornithologists intensively for birdwatching. Also a hike to a magnificent waterfall should not be missed there, including the observation of many butterflies.
The Alto del Nudo is the "local mountain" of Pereira. Steep mountain slopes, many individual Fincas characterize the picture. Around the mountain coffee is cultivated. From the bird's eye view, one can experience the Eje Cafetero in the paraglider from the starting point below the summit of the Alto del Nudos. Every now and then, a green non-toxic snake crosses the path up here, which can be up to 2.80 m long. Views up to the snow-covered highest mountain in the coffee region included. Also the super beautiful view to the cities Pereira and Dosquebradas impresses.
An attraction, the statue of Christ in Belalcazár. On the way, coffee and banana plantations line the street sides to the right and left, as well as the wide view to Rio Cauca and Rio Risaralda. Heliconias and many other flowering plants adorn the path.
Those who do not want to see the Nevado del Ruíz only from a distance can drive with us up to 4.100 m to the park entrance. Afterwards, the continuation is possible up to approx. 4,500 only with an all-terrain vehicle and an external compulsory guide. Since the volcano is active again since 2014, the paths in the park are quite destroyed and the park is only opened during high season.
The nature is so incredibly diverse. In the Valle de Cauce the sugar cane cultivation prevails, the higher one gets, banana, coffee and fruit plantations alternate up to the vegetable cultivation. The coffee plantations extend up to 2.000 m. This is why coffee is also called highland coffee. During the flowering period the blossoms of the coffee bushes smell in many different notes. There are 48 different scents of coffee blossoms worldwide.
In between there are small forests of the Guadua. A type of bamboo that occurs with 34 types in many parts of South America. Guadua grows up to 20 cm per day. It is a very popular raw material for building and use in artesania. It is also a true CO² killer. It takes about four years for the Guadua to ripen and can then be felled in the early morning hours. At this time it contains the least water.
The exceptionally beautiful nature is also home to many species of birds and butterflies. But also spiders and tropical snakes are at home here. However, most snakes found in the Eje Cafetero are non-toxic. Bird spiders, which are by far not as poisonous as some might think, are rarely seen in the wild because they are nocturnal animals. One should however pay attention to a spider. With caution, one should enter remote coffee and banana plantations, because there is their home. It is the most poisonous here in the coffee region. In case of a bite you need immediate medical care.
In hard-to-reach areas there are tapirs, spectacled bears, pumas, howler monkeys and deer.
The breathtaking nature, the gigantic abundance of plants, the many different birds and butterflies, beautiful cloud formations, especially in the rainy season make the coffee zone a paradise for nature lovers. Fragrances of eucalyptus forests, onion fields and tens of different herbs such as citronella accompany you on hikes through the lush natural landscape.
Join us on a panoramic tour through the coffee region!