Eje Cafetero

While I am still in love with Villa De Leyva, I am glad we didn’t have enough money to stop traveling and run a bed and breakfast. With each new destination comes a new set of unrealistic dreams. When we arrived in Armenia I immediately said, “I could live here”, to which Johanna replied, sarcastically, “add it to the list”. Since I am not a real-estate mogul, my dreams of buying top floor apartments in Armenia for AirBnB properties will remain a dream. My list get’s longer as my account balance gets smaller.

Can you imagine waking up to this view every morning?

I have two complaints about the trip. First, we did not stay long enough. We have already planned another trip to see the areas surrounding Armenia. Second, traveling by bus both ways. Johanna had some serious motion sickness the last three hours of our 8 hour bus ride. Next time we will fly, but I still highly recommend going by land once. The ride snakes it’s way through the mountains, rife with palm trees, ferns, cedars, avocado trees and terraced coffee farms. Raging rivers, trickling streams, and waterfalls appeared around every corner. We saw horses strapped with supply bags, traversing tiny trails that went straight up the mountains. I wrenched my neck almost as many times as I did in Cali, for different reasons.

While Johanna saw the inside of a plastic bag, I saw this.

I like my coffee like my women, strong, dark and rich, and Eje Cafetero did not disappoint. We went to the Parque Nacional del Café, where the coffee was good and the rides were fun, but some of the best coffee we had was in the small town of Salento. We went to a little coffee shop called El Tejadito de Salento Cafe Arte.

Parque Nacional del Café

El Tejadito de Salento Café Arte 

The barista made an espresso with condensed milk. It was strong enough to recharge your batteries for a week. Salento’s main street, Calle Real, is lined with coffee shops and colonial store fronts that boast local art, and live music.

Calle Real

At the end of the street you can walk up 250 steps and get a view of the town on one side and the Cocora valley on the other.

Views from the top!

Johanna was terrified riding horses in the Cocora Valley. 

We also found Uncle Rico. He couldn’t throw the pig skin over the mountain.

I have added one more place to my list. Upon leaving, our barista told us the best advice he had was already in the towns name. “Sal lento”, leave slowly. Salento, we will be back, and next time we will move at a snails pace.


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