The Coffee Triangle, Colombia

In the northwest of Colombia, there is an area known as La Zona

Thee were so many little niches in the garden and on the veranda to relax in

There are many little niches in the garden and on the veranda to relax in

Cafetera. It is the place of coffee plantations, beautiful valleys and some of the tall mountain peaks of the Andes.

We learned to identify different grades of coffee and see the plants at different stages of development

We learned to identify different grades of coffee and see the plants at different stages of development

We first caught a bus from Bogota to Manizales and out to a coffee finca where we were up-graded to the main house from the backpackers. From the beautifully groomed gardens and encompassing verandas, we had a full view over the plantation and of the surrounding valley. We even learned how to grade coffee.

From there we headed to Salento, a typical colonial town surrounded by spectacular valleys and mountains.

The small village of Salento welcomes local and overseas visitors

The small village of Salento welcomes local and overseas visitors

This small village is geared up to handling the curious travelers and they welcome the influx. We hiked in lush green valleys and went for a horse ride.

Jeeps are the local transport to get around. Went to this beautiful valley for a hike with about eight others from the hostel

Jeeps are the local transport to get around. Went to this beautiful valley for a hike with about eight others from the hostel

Not my usual mode of transport, I did well to come down this path in the first place.

Not my usual mode of transport, I did well to come down this path in the first place.

We  strolled around the town, cooked good food and chatted to other guests. Even though we did a lot it was very relaxing.

This hostel had private rooms in a separate house down the road. We had a fire each night and 360 views of the valley.

This hostel had private rooms in a separate house down the road. We had a fire each night and 360 views of the valley.

After extending our stay at the amazing hostel by two extra days we headed off to Manizales to join a day tour to the Parque Nacional Los Nevados to hike up to a glacier. We passed through five different eco-systems of plants as we hiked towards the summit.

The flora up the mountain was unique to say the least

The flora up the mountain was unique to say the least

The hike was quite exhausting on the way up and the thin air didn’t help matters.

Thomas found the thin air at this altitude a bit challenging

Thomas found the thin air at this altitude a bit challenging

The landscape was quite different near the summit

The landscape was quite different near the summitThe three hour bumpy ride in the back of a 4WD back to Manizales was torturous with all our aches and pains.

We then caught a bus to Medellin to explore the streets and to enjoy the culture. The very inexpensive public transport was a combination of a rail system and cable cars to handle the steep terrain. We headed up to a national park in the hills where we could enjoy the use of free bikes and hiking some paths with great views.

You can view the city from the cable car that you take to the national park at the top of one of the hills

You can view the city from the cable car that you take to the national park at the top of one of the hills

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