From bright and citrusy to rich and chocolatey, the aroma and flavor of Colombian coffee have made the country practically synonymous with coffee culture. A trip to the country’s coffee-growing region is a must for everyone, not just the espresso enthusiasts. You come here to taste the coffee, but also to experience the culture and way of life—in 2011, the region was officially inaugurated into UNESCO’s prestigious list of World Heritage sites for its centennial tradition of coffee growing. It is an exceptional example of a sustainable and productive cultural landscape that is unique and representative of a tradition that is a strong symbol for coffee-growing areas worldwide.
Also known as the Coffee Triangle, most of Colombia’s coffee farms are part of the rural Paisa region. Coffee and cacao plantations dot the verdant valleys of the Andean countryside here, an oasis of green, pastoral scenes that are also perfect for nature lovers. The area is carved with trails for hiking and biking, including the Cocora Valley trail, a mountain hike that weaves through the cloud forest, and groves of palm trees. Spend some time learning how the coffee farmers live, and what life in the small colonial towns is like while being surrounded by lush mountains, and incredible biodiversity—including incredible birdwatching.
With colorful architecture, a string of cafes and restaurants, and expert coffee tours, the storied colonial towns of Filandia and Solento make lovely home bases. For an immersion into Colombian country life, travelers should check in to one of the sprawling haciendas that dot the region. To get there, it’s a 30-minute flight from Bogotá.