Eje Cafetero: coffee aroma, colour and homeland
The wealth of tourism in Colombia is patented by the Coffee Region. In front of the world, this part of the Colombian territory is the face that represents us, face of a strong and enthusiastic country. Infinity of parks, botanical gardens, abundance of coffee, the warmth, simplicity and nobility of its people are found in every street of the small towns that comprise the coffee embassy.
This region has a great diversity of points of interest that are housed in nature reserves, theme parks, towns suspended in time and three capital cities (Manizales, Pereira and Armenia) that grow at formidable rates.
These are some of the many reasons why the Coffee Cultural Landscape has been erected as a World Heritage Site. Surely on our trip we will discover many more. Enjoying each of the tourist attractions offered by the Eje Cafetero is not at all complex: geography and air and land connectivity go hand in hand to facilitate your visit on this privileged trip.
As if all this is not colorful enough, these attractions are joined by a perfect climate, an ancestral culture, one of the most loved cuisines in the country and the famous kindness of the Paisa people.
The Coffee Axis is the topographic region of Colombia, which covers the departments of Caldas, Risaralda, Quindío, and part of the departments of Valle del Cauca and Antioquia.
On June 25 2011, the UNESCO Committee declared the Coffee Cultural Landscape as a World Heritage Site.
The name of Eje Cafetero is obvious, since in this area most of the coffee production of the country is concentrated, given the climatic conditions, with mild temperatures that oscillate between 8ºC and 24ºC, and geographical of this region, of forest Andean tropical forest, help produce high quality coffee.
Here was born the famous advertising icon Juan Valdez, a peasant paisa wearing poncho, carriel, and aguadeño hat, accompanied by a mule, which is one of the most internationally recognized symbols, of course in coffee consuming countries.
One of the most famous towns in the Eje Cafetero: its historical, architectural, cultural and natural value makes it worthy of all merit.
Home to the Colombian national tree, La Palma de Cera, and the best garlic trout in the world, the oldest municipality in Quindío is located in the north of Armenia, only 9 km away. Walking it is not at all complex, it is small, but incredibly beautiful and traditional. The main square of Salento and the church of Nuestra Señora del Carmen are the first references to begin the exploration of urban heritage.
Around these symbols is concentrated the most activity, full of color and a lot of movement, where the smell of coffee, sandalwood and tobacco is breathed and vibrated with the resonance of the billiard balls, the laughs of the compadres of all life and the music of Gardel that escapes from the old radiolas. It is also the capital of crafts in the region.
VALLE DEL COCORA
Very andean and colombian, this is the Cocora Valley which means Estrella de Agua. This natural prodigy, which is located thirty minutes from Armenia and 10 km from it, is considered one of the most beautiful natural paintings in all of Colombia.
It is the gateway to the Natural Park of the Nevados, full of ecological walks and beautiful landscapes.
The flora of the Cocora Valley is composed of the slender wax palm, romerón pines, seven hides, encenillo, arnica, puya, and frailejón. The most common native fauna of the Valley is the yellow-eared parrot, the mountain tapir, the puma, the spectacled bear, the condor, the sloth, the celestial toucan, the tiger, and the hummingbird.
Do not forget to bring memories and delights for the road: coffee arequipe, arepita de choclo, wafers, bachelors and the buñuelo present in the Eje Cafetero all year. Let's fill ourselves with hope and soon return to visit the land that will always welcome us with open arms.
By: Andrea Cuello Navarro.