1. Coffee is a Colombian Icon
Visiting Colombia and not exploring the coffee region would be like going to New York City and not visiting the Statue of Liberty or London and not seeing Big Ben. Coffee, in its own way, is a Colombian icon—everything in Colombia functions around coffee and coffee functions around Colombia. Whether you are in a restaurant, in a meeting, on a plane, on a bus, at a university, walking on the street, or hanging out in a shopping mall, you cannot avoid smelling the aroma of freshly brewed coffee, being offered a coffee by a friend who wants good company or conversation, or simply buying a coffee for yourself because you want to savour the taste of this delectable bean. Coffee will always find you in Colombia. So, what better place to indulge in a sample of Colombian coffee than at the source of where the majority of Colombian coffee is grown, harvested, and roasted?
2. Variety of Traditional Food
In addition to offering you the chance to try Colombian coffee “from the source itself,” the Coffee Region will also allow you to try a host of traditional Colombian drinks and dishes. You will encounter scrumptious dishes like bandeja paisa (a dish consisting of slow cooked beans, rice, ground beef, sweet plantain, avocado, a fried egg, pork rind, blood sausage, and Colombian sausage), trout with green plantains, and mazamorra (a corn-based, cold soup eaten with chunks of unrefined cane sugar) as well as typical drinks like claro (mazamorra with the corn strained out), hot chocolate made with agua de panela (water sweetened with unrefined cane sugar), and guarapo (fermented agua de panela with lime juice).
3. Natural Beauty
The Coffee Region of Colombia lies in the middle of the Western and Central branches of the Andes. Having this unique location gives the region an incredible variety of beautiful mountainous landscapes and an innumerable amount of unique views from which you can observe the distinctive flora and fauna of the region.
One area not to miss in the Coffee Zone is the Valle de Cocora (Cocora Valley), a part of Los Nevados National Natural Park in the department of Quindío. This small valley is home to the national tree of Colombia, the Quindío wax palm and not only offers you the chance to observe this tree up close but also to encounter a plethora of orchids, hummingbirds, mountain tapirs, speckled bears, and butterflies indigenous to the region.
4. High Levels of Hospitality
The Coffee Region of Colombia has become synonymous with overly generous and warm hospitality. While Colombians in general are known for exhibiting high levels of genuine hospitality, the Colombians in the Coffee Region of Colombia are particularly well-known for their incredible and sincere level of kindness that they extend to both their fellow Coffee Region neighbours as well as to national and foreign tourists that visit the area. Thus, if you want a true taste of perhaps the most genuine Colombian hospitality, you can’t miss the Coffee Region.
5. Perfect Place on Tourism Map
While the Coffee Region of Colombia is definitely on the tourism map in Colombia, it is a fairly new “popular destination” among Colombians and even foreigners to a certain extent, and it still holds that charm and endearing aura that takes you over when you travel to somewhere not many people have travelled to before you got there. The Coffee Region is a perfect “in-between” in terms of tourism—it has begun to sustain enough tourism that there is a stable and developed infrastructure for receiving and maintaining tourists, but it has not reached the level of receiving so many tourists that it has lost its essence. You will still find the traditional and historical essence of this region in tact, despite rising levels and quantities of tourists.
So, what are you waiting for? Do you need more reasons to visit this enchanting region of Colombia?
The Uncover Colombia Team