Salento is one of those charming colonial villages in the coffee region. The facades of the houses are colorful, jeeps drive around and men with hats are everywhere. The shopping street leads to a viewpoint that offers a superb view of the valley and the surrounding mountains.
With the “Valle de Cocora” nearby, Salento has become famous and therefore extremely popular with tourists. Unfortunately, most of the inhabitants have left the village for economic reasons and/or nuisance. This municipality has lost some of its authenticity. Avoid going there during the high season. If the sight of Valle De Cocora is a must on your tour in Colombia, you don’t have to sleep in Salento. Choose to stay in Filandia. You can easily plan a day trip to discover the giant wax palms.
In Salento there are 3 main activities:
- Visit Valle de Cocora
- Hiking for several days in the mountains of Los Nevados
- Take a coffee tour
The coffee towers are very different from each other. Choose your tour according to what you are looking for. A simple tour of a family coffee farm, an in-depth explanation of the coffee-making process followed by a coffee tasting…
“Valle de Cocora” is one of the Colombian sites where you can observe the highest palm trees in the world (40 – 60m). The village of Salamina with “Valle de Samaria” may be an excellent alternative if you are looking for a less touristy place.
When you are in Valle de Cocora, take the path on your right and enter through the blue door. Walking in this direction, you will end up in the valley and enjoy incredible views.
Essential things to know about Valle de Cocora:
- It’s an easy-medium 5 hours hike, and you won’t find shops on the way. You can order a sandwich to take away at Brunch in the morning.
- Start early as the weather is often better. The first jeep leaves at 5h30 am | 20 min drive
- The last jeep leaves at 6 pm
- Take some money with you. Entrance + Jeep + Acaime
- Acaime is a hummingbird sanctuary. It’s 100% worth it. Going down from Acaime, don’t turn right after the wood fence! It’s a path leading to Los Nevados. Just go straight.
Articles to read before coming to Salento:
Getting to Salento?
From Filandia to Salento:
- There are Willy jeeps leaving every 1-2 hours from the main square. Ask the departure times to your hotel. | 30 min.
From Pereira to Salento:
- Buses every hour from 6 am to 6 pm from the terminal | Expreso Alcala | 1 hour
From Armenia to Salento:
- Buses leave every 20 mins from the terminal | 1 hour
From Medellin to Salento:
- Direct buses leaving from the South Terminal: 8am, 11am, 1pm & 2pm. Double-check the schedule with the bus company. | Flota Occidental | 7-8 hours
From Jardin to Salento:
- Take the Chiva Bus to Rio Sucio that leaves at 8 am. Schedule. Double-check with your hotel. | Cootransrio | 3 hours
- A direct bus should leave around 12h30 pm to Salento | 4h30
If you miss it, you can still take one of the many buses going to Pereira and then a bus to Salento.
Where's the terminal?
The bus terminal of Salento is at the entrance of the village, 10min walk from the main square.
Be careful, jeeps for Valle de Cocora leave from the main square.