If you like coffee and palm trees, Salento should definitely be on your list of places to visit in Colombia. Even if you don’t like coffee or palm trees, it’s worth visiting as it’s just so damn beautiful.
What to do in Salento
🚶♀️Cócora Valley hike
Not just home to the tallest palm trees in the world, but where they grow in the middle of the mountainous countryside. Mad!
There are two routes to get there:
- Go straight to the palm trees (and skip the main hike). Take a left as you arrive.
- Or do the hike. Take a right as you arrive and walk through the blue gate. It takes around 4-5 hours depending on how lost you get. But when you finally pop out into the valley at the end it’s totally worth it.
It’s super easy to get here from Salento; just take one of the many 4x4s from the pink ticket office in the main plaza in Salento for roughly $1.
🍳Have brunch @ Brunch
Not only do they serve BOTTOMLESS coffee but they also serve the best pancakes I’ve ever had. I couldn’t decide between the banana or blueberry pancakes so I ended up having the banana ones with blueberries in. Thinking about my 5 a day, obviously.
And they are in the shape of a bear.
They were massive and came with artisanal peanut butter, homemade raspberry jelly, and maple syrup.
Visit Don Elias’s coffee farm
If the phrase The Don was named after anyone, it’s got to be due to this guy.
He had been in hospital the few days before we arrived, but he still gave us the tour.
He walks you round, handpicks & grinds the beans, and explains the whole process in Spanish. Even if you can’t speak Spanish, it’s so authentic and personal that I’d still recommend going.
It’s made with so much care and love that I ended up buying all of his coffee.
It’s only 7,000 pesos (roughly $2), takes an hour, and you get a cup of his finest at the end.
🐟 Try some trout
Trout is everywhere here! And I had no idea there are so many ways to serve it too – millions of different sauces too.
My favourite is the plain grilled one as the others were literally swimming in cream.
Tejo – the national sport of Colombia – involves throwing a stone at a pile of gunpowder, and hoping an explosion. It felt like the days of Henry VIII, but there’s something very therapeutic and addictive about the sound of a bang. Especially when aguardiente and beers are involved.
Head to Los Amigos to play – it’s really cheap and has a fun atmosphere.
🏡 Where to stay
I stayed at La Serrana, which is a short drive from central Salento or about 20 minute walk. I loved the fact it was a little further out as the views were spectacular.
How to get there from Medellín
It’s super easy – just take the bus direct from South terminal for 45,000 pesos (approx $12).
I’m always looking for more places to go though & definitely want to go back – so if you have any other recommendations for what to do in Salento please do let me know.
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