Colombia is world-renowned as the land of the coffee. There are many plantations spread in a vast territory that’s known as ‘Eje Cafetero’. Salento is one of the multiple coffee villages around that area, though it’s probably the most picturesque and the closest to another unique site: the Cócora Valley, home of the tallest wax palm trees in the world.
Have we convinced you to plan a trip there yet? Here is our quick guide to help you with the most common questions any traveller may have:
How do I get to Salento?
The only way to get there is by bus, either from Bogotá or Medellín. Get ready for a long, winding journey of about 7 hours to Armenia. Once you get there, take one of the ‘colectivos’ that run hourly from the bus station to Salento (the last bus leaves at 8pm, so plan your times). If there’s one thing we learnt from Colombian bus journeys, it’s that you need to add a couple of hours on to the expected journey time.
How do I get around?
That’s the best part: the Willy’s! These vintage 4x4s are the main method of transport in and around Salento. You’ll find them in the main square (Plaza se Armas), they have fixed prices and it’s shared transport, you may get lucky and have to travel standing on the back grill. It might sound dangerous, though we promise that you’ll have the most authentic and unique experience.
How long do I need?
3-4 days or more. We met travellers that were there for 2 days and others like us that spent there 5 days. It might seem there’s not much to do a part from the Cócora Valley and the coffee plantations, though the scenery is beautiful and perfect for a few days of chill time, unwinding and finding inspiration!
Am I safe?
Yes. This is a UNESCO site, so it’s a very protected and safe area. Normal awareness rules apply, particularly before Salento in Armenia’s bus station.
Cash or card?
Salento is both rural and touristy, so card acceptance is on and off. You’ll be able to pay with your card in supermarkets and restaurants, though you’ll need cash for your coffees, trips in Willy’s and day excursions.
What’s the currency?
Colombian pesos. Keep in mind that they prefer smaller notes, so try to pay with the big notes in supermarkets to get plenty of change.
What shouldn’t I miss!?
Here’s our guid to the Top 5 things to do in Salento.
That’s our quick guide to Salento, a paradise for coffee lovers and for those who enjoy beautiful landscapes. Do you have any questions or want to add anything? Leave us a comment or drop us a message and we’ll help you out.
Shay & Iban 👬☕️