City of Salento
The Colombian village of Salento, located in the iconic coffee region, is one of ten towns highlighted by US television network CNN for its outstanding architecture https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/colombia-beautiful-towns/index.html
One of the most popular tourist destinations, Salento is home to some of Colombia’s most quaint and colorful streets. As CNN recognized, “the town’s biggest attraction is its traditional bahareque architecture: a collection of one- and two-story buildings, mostly white but with doors and window frames adorned in brightly painted colors.”
Founded in 1842, Salento was one of the first Spanish settlements in the Quindio state and has long served as a key stop on the ancient route between the capital Bogota and the southwestern city of Popayan, also famous for its architecture.
Calle Real (Royal Street) is the most famous of the town because of its traditional two-story houses made of bamboo and painted in Salento’s all the colors of the rainbow.
Calle real is full of artesanías (local craft products) and restaurants. At the end of the street are stairs leading up to Alto de la Cruz, a hill topped with a cross. From here you’ll see the verdant Valle de Cocora and the mountains that surround it. If the skies are clear (usually only early in the morning), you can spot the snowcapped tops of the volcanoes on the horizon.
Salento really has all the makings of a top tourism destination in South America. There is a ton to do, and a variety of activities ranging from cultural, to adventure, to natural. The town is also completely safe. The people, who wander around town in fairly traditional “Gaucho” attire, are also a great aspect of town. Salento really has something for every type of traveler.
Things to do in Salento
Salento is a town for active people. If you want to mountain bike, hike, or ride horseback this is the place for you. Everything is outdoors, everything is active...
Valle de Cocora: This is the reason most people come to Salento. The Cocora Valley is home to the wax palms which are the tallest palm trees in the world. The round trip hike through the valley is about 12 km and sees about a 1 km vertical gain at “La Montana” before starting to descend through the wax palm forest. If you just want to see the palms, you can just catch a jeep to the start of the trail and hike up the hill. The good palms start as quick as 500 m away. To get to Cocora Valley you’ll want to catch a shared jeep from the town plaza.