Together with some friends, we took the night bus from Medellin to Salento, Colombia’s coffee region. We arrived very early in the morning and spent a few hours in a restaurant before checking in at Los Colibiries, a hostel a few meters from the main square. It was a good choice, since the double rooms were relatively cheap. After having spent weeks sleeping in dorms and in hammocks, we were ready for our own space.
The coffee tour
Many backpackers come to Salento because they want to see Colombia’s coffee region. We were no different and took part in a tour on a coffee plantation. A guide showed us through the different steps of the production and gave us some of their own coffee to taste. Once again, I realized that I am absolutely useless as far as coffee is concerned, although I drink it on a daily basis. I sat there with a cup of excellent black coffee and couldn’t stop thinking about my instant milk coffee…
Hiking in the Valle de Cocora
On the second day, we went on a hike in the Valle de Cocora. The hike takes you through a cloud forest to a finca with lots of hummingbirds and other funny animals. On the way back, you pass by the worlds’ highest palm trees. Beautiful! This is where the famous Instagram pictures are taken. I have never seen palm trees like this before and it was the icing on the cake after a long walk.
But Salento is not just coffee and palm trees. There is also the traditional game called Tejas! You have to try to hit bags filled with gunpowder which are placed on clay. If you succeed, there’s a small explosion. As you can imagine, we screamed and hugged each other every time someone managed to get it right. What a great game! The locals place themselves far away from the target and it is amazing how good they are at aiming. In order to avoid damage, tourists play the easier version closer to the target.
This game night was the perfect way to end our stay in Salento. We were ready to go to Cali and dance Salsa!