We all have different preferences, and some places are more appealing than others. For me the Cocora valley is one of those, and in general all the region of the “Eje Cafetero” (Coffee region) and Antioquia (Medellin region).
I don’t know why, could be the road who brought me there or that it awakes in me child’s memories, alike being kind of “similar’ to where i grew up in the French’s country side (very green and loads of cows), or may be that i remember this old Colombian’s coffee tv add where a plane full of coffee bags was flying over a green space with gigantic palm trees.
All i know is that people are very “welcomy” and warm, that a peaceful vibe reflect on all the region. It’s full of colorful humming birds, and those so tall palm trees make me feel good.
The Cocora valley is a 30m ride from Salento. Salento is a lovely town but very touristic. People searching for a quieter place, Filandia is not that far away and is beautiful and relaxful. On the less travel path, 2h30 north of Manizales, you’ve got a small village called Salamina “The village of the light”, which is way more authentic. Very very few tourists go there, the small town has maintain well its local architecture. It has loads of coffee farms and walks around the village. One hour away, it is also a park very similar to the Cocora valley, with those gigantic palm trees. As far as 2017, the best way to go there was a local bus, getting out at 6am from the main street.
Colombia is a magical place with loads of natural wonders throughout the country, but what makes it so special is its people. Abroad we don’t always have a good feeling about this country knowing its history, but i promise, you’ll be amazed (no matter where you go in the country).
I personally love also Jardin de Antioquia, a small town 3h West of Medellin, Guatapè, and Minca on the Caribbean cost.