The Colombian Coffee Region
Lush doesn’t begin to describe the Colombian Coffee Region landscape, where rolling hills, valleys, mountains and volcanoes dominate.
The foothills of the Central Cordillera provide the optimum altitude for the Arabica coffee bean plant – between 1,400 and 1,800 metres (4,650 to 5,940 feet) above sea level.
In the folds and ripples of the landscape you’ll find typical Colombian Coffee Region farmhouses colourfully painted with terracotta roof tiles and wide verandas in an ocean of green vegetation.
UNESCO Colombian Coffee Cultural Landscape
Colombia’s newest UNESCO World Heritage Site – the Colombian Coffee Cultural Landscape – is made up of 47 municipalities that incorporates over 348,000 hectares of farmland, towns and natural landscapes in the mountainous departments of Caldas, Risaralda and Quindio.
These departments make up the ‘Colombian Coffee Region’ or ‘Coffee Triangle’.
UNESCO finally listed the site as the Colombian Coffee Cultural Landscape after an 11-year process, based on a variety of factors. Among them were: the unique cultivation method on slopes with over 25% incline, the biodiversity and natural landscapes of the tropical Andes, the tradition of cultivation passed down through generations and sustainable farming methods.
Amazing Diversity and Experiences
The Colombian Coffee Region is amazingly diverse and there is something for everyone, whether your interests include culture, nature, adventure or simply the desire to relax for a few days in the middle of the warm countryside.
The Coffee Region is located in the tropical Andes which is also a biodiversity hotspot (of only a few in the world). Spectacular flora and fauna are part of everyday life here and we have some very special places to offer you.
Through the many relationships we’ve built and the numerous adventures we’ve had, it is no idle boast to say that our knowledge of the region is second to none, allowing us to bring you experiences that are not only unforgettable, but completely off the beaten track.
Things to do
Colonial Coffee Towns
Enjoy a Colonial Coffee Town
The Antioquian colonisation brought with it the founding of many quiet, hard-working towns along the routes. These towns are home to pristine examples of colonial architecture and a relaxed coffee country way of life.
Moustached men wearing Aguadeño hats (ancestor of the famous Panama hat) and ponchos to wipe the sweat from their brows or alternatively wrap up from the cold, stroll around the sleepy streets. 1960s Willys jeeps trundle around loading and unloading excessive amounts of coffee, plantain and produce.
Enjoy a day or two in character hotels with nice walks in the plazas, amazing handicrafts and some great restaurants.
Coffee Farm Tour
Coffee Region Hotels
Enjoy the Landscape and Hospitality of a Coffee Region hotel
The typical Colombian Coffee Region farmhouses are a fusion of Guadua (gargantuan bamboo, stronger than steel), indigenous pre-Columbian building techniques and intricate Spanish-influenced woodwork details.
We can offer you the very best hotels, ranging from beautifully preserved farms with excellent facilities and character to boutique hotels with amazing concepts.
There is something for all tastes, guaranteed.
Bathe and relax in a Selection of Natural Hot Springs
With volcanoes dominating the high-peaks above, the Colombian Coffee region is blessed with an impressive selection of natural hot springs.
We have access to springs with hotels which are suitable for a day-visit or a longer stay, depending on your time, budget and preferences.
Maybe one of our most impressive (and exclusive) experiences are the hot springs located in the Páramo, at over 4,000 meters (or 13,200 feet) which are only accessible after a 3 day trek. Bathing in these springs, under the shadow of a dormant volcano in sub-zero temperatures is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced.
Be in awe of the Cocora Valley
This stunning landscape, dominated by 60m tall wax palms is an emerald jewel, deep in the mountains of the Colombian Coffee Region. Visitors to the Coffee Region should aim to spend at least a day in this famous reserve.
Our knowledge of the Cocora Valley is second-to-none as we’ve trekked and explored here for years.
Experiences range from one-day hikes to trips that can last a few days. Some of our longer treks start from here and head up into National Natural Park (PNN) Los Nevados. These can last from two days to a few weeks, depending on your preferences.
PNN Los Nevados
Discover the Páramo and the Volcanoes that Command it
National Natural Park (PNN) Los Nevados is unique and one of the best parks in the Colombian national park system.
With eight volcanoes, three of them glacier-capped and a high-altitude Páramo landscape like no other on the planet, Los Nevados is in a class of its own.
We have an array of full-service treks of differing lengths: our shortest experience is two days and we can arrange for treks of more than 2 weeks if required. Our standard trek circuit lasts for six days.
PNN Los Nevados is part of the reason why The Colombian Project exists: our love and passion for its landscapes, flora and fauna is integral to each one of our treks.
We have pioneered routes here that are exclusive to us and we are always looking for new treks to offer. We have no doubt that these unforgettable experiences will have you coming back for more.
Flora and Fauna Sanctuaries
Observe Abundant Wildlife in Flora and Fauna Sanctuaries
Flora and Fauna Sanctuary Otun Quimbaya, in the sub-tropical cloud forests of the Central Cordillera, is an excellent and well-documented example of sustainable ecotourism. We’re proud to offer it as a destination to our clients – possible due to our close connections with it.
The sanctuary is home to red howler monkeys and the endemic and critically-endangered Cauca Guan – a distant relative of the turkey whose numbers are recovering after being brought back from the edge of extinction by the park team’s efforts. This sanctuary is heaven for birders with many rare and local neo-tropical species to be observed here.
We recommend a day-trip or a stay of up to a few days as this sanctuary provides a gateway into neighbouring nature reserves and national parks in the area.
Disconnect for a Few Days in a Nature Reserve
The Colombian Coffee Region has Colombia’s most well-established nature reserve system.
Risaralda department is the only International Model Forest Network member in Colombia and one of only 28 in Central and South America, having over 45% of its area officially protected.
Through our team and network of contacts we have access to an abundant array, among them PRN Ucumari, a 4,000 hectare reserve with a delightful refuge by the roaring Otun river. Pristine cloud forest and abundant flora and fauna surround you here.
Depending on the reserve you can visit for the day or spend a few days in a more remote location.
City of Manizales
See the Best of Manizales – King of the Mountain
Take a tour of Manizales which lies perched atop a mountain 2,000 meters (6,600 feet) above sea level and immerse yourself in the culture of this prestigious city – the first to be founded in the Coffee Region.
‘Manizaleños’ (inhabitants of Manizales) are famed for their friendliness. In a country known for its friendly people,this is no idle boast!