Salento travel guide

Salento Tourism | Salento Guide

You're Going to Love Salento

Salento in the Cocora Valley lies at the entrance of the Los Nevados National Natural Park. Renowned for its lush vegetation and extensive coffee plantations, the town, founded in 1850, still preserves much of its paisa architecture.

Salento draws hikers eager to explore the meadows and forests of the valley and witness the colorful birdlife that populates the majestic wax palms.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Salento

1. Coffee Lovers

Salento is home to numerous coffee plantations, including Finca El Ocaso, Don Elias, and the Plantation House. It is the ideal place to indulge your love of java and learn about the complex coffee-making process.

2. Hikers Heaven

A six-hour trek through the Cocora Valley and its hundreds of 60-foot-tall wax palm trees includes a hike up to Acaime to the breathtaking hummingbird sanctuary.

3. Trout Tasting

Fresh trout is a delicacy in Salento. From trout al ajillo at La Fonda de los Arrieros to the fried trout at El rincon de Lucy, Salento is the place for delectable fish dishes.

4. Bird Watching

Colombia is home to more avian species than any other country in the world. Andean Motmots, Emerald Toucanets, and Torrent Ducks are just a few of the colorful birds that make Salento their home.

5. Artisan Village

At Aldea de los Artesanos, you can observe local artisans work at their craft or participate in one of the many art workshops.

What to do in Salento

1. Get In Touch With Mother Nature

Situated in the heart of Salento is the remarkable and breathtaking Cocora Valley. Year in, year out, tourists flock to this place to catch a glimpse of the lush green landscape. The Cocora Valley is located within the Los Nevados National Natural Park, which is the natural habitat of a wide variety of endangered flora and fauna.

2. Coffe At Its Best

If you're a fan of coffee, the Café Jesús Martín is a great place to stop by on your visit to Salento. It's located within a tranquil village that is adjacent to the street and three blocks away from Salento's main square. The coffee beans used in the making of the beverage are of high quality. The Cafe's menu is three pages long and filled with appealing options. Visit the Cafe Jesus Martin and try the locals' favorite drink, the Cafe Nevado (an espresso with chocolate and cream on top).

3. Feel The Magic

This is definitely the best place to get the perfect view of the nearby valleys and mountains. Get to the top by going up the colored stairs (which will take approximately 10 minutes). These are highly visible from the town center. Upon reaching the top, you'll notice that there is not much to see on that end. Take the path on your left. It will lead you to a shelter made of concrete where you'll be greeted with a magical view of the misty green landscape that lies beyond. Make sure you have your camera in place so as to capture every detail of the panoramic view.

4. All About Coffee

Located a few kilometers outside of town is a place where you get to learn everything there is to know about coffee. Although it's possible to take a bus, taxi or bike, walking is the recommended option. Learn all about the different stages coffee goes through (growing, harvesting, processing, brewing) before it reaches your cup. For instance, did you know that coffee seeds, which are naturally green, germinate within berries that change color to bright pink when ripe?

5. Uncover The Lively Salento

Some locations have the unique ability to connect us to the culture of a new place. The Salento Town Square is one such location. Here, you get to learn about Colombia's way of life and interact with the friendly locals. Everyday life in Salento is simply one-of-a-kind. Various activities, such as vendors selling foods, children playing with smiles on their faces, and adults chatting as the sun sets are done in such a heartwarming way. Try out the local dishes at any restaurant. Try a delicious meal of rice, plantains and a side order of salad.

1. Get In Touch With Mother Nature

Situated in the heart of Salento is the remarkable and breathtaking Cocora Valley. Year in, year out, tourists flock to this place to catch a glimpse of the lush green landscape. The Cocora Valley is located within the Los Nevados National Natural Park, which is the natural habitat of a wide variety of endangered flora and fauna.

2. Coffe At Its Best

If you're a fan of coffee, the Café Jesús Martín is a great place to stop by on your visit to Salento. It's located within a tranquil village that is adjacent to the street and three blocks away from Salento's main square. The coffee beans used in the making of the beverage are of high quality. The Cafe's menu is three pages long and filled with appealing options. Visit the Cafe Jesus Martin and try the locals' favorite drink, the Cafe Nevado (an espresso with chocolate and cream on top).

3. Feel The Magic

This is definitely the best place to get the perfect view of the nearby valleys and mountains. Get to the top by going up the colored stairs (which will take approximately 10 minutes). These are highly visible from the town center. Upon reaching the top, you'll notice that there is not much to see on that end. Take the path on your left. It will lead you to a shelter made of concrete where you'll be greeted with a magical view of the misty green landscape that lies beyond. Make sure you have your camera in place so as to capture every detail of the panoramic view.

4. All About Coffee

Located a few kilometers outside of town is a place where you get to learn everything there is to know about coffee. Although it's possible to take a bus, taxi or bike, walking is the recommended option. Learn all about the different stages coffee goes through (growing, harvesting, processing, brewing) before it reaches your cup. For instance, did you know that coffee seeds, which are naturally green, germinate within berries that change color to bright pink when ripe?

5. Uncover The Lively Salento

Some locations have the unique ability to connect us to the culture of a new place. The Salento Town Square is one such location. Here, you get to learn about Colombia's way of life and interact with the friendly locals. Everyday life in Salento is simply one-of-a-kind. Various activities, such as vendors selling foods, children playing with smiles on their faces, and adults chatting as the sun sets are done in such a heartwarming way. Try out the local dishes at any restaurant. Try a delicious meal of rice, plantains and a side order of salad.

Where to Eat in Salento

Brunch de Salento serves pancakes, waffles, omelets, hamburgers, veggie burgers, and curry dishes. Entrees average COL$20,000. Café Bernabé Gourmet specializes in pastas and beef dishes. Entrees average COL$25,000.

When to visit Salento

Salento in February
Estimated hotel price
$18
1 night at 3-star hotel
Salento in February
Estimated hotel price
$18
1 night at 3-star hotel

The best time to visit Salento is from December to March, the summer months, which are ideal for hiking and seeing the landscape at its lushest.

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Temperatures
Temperatures
Average
Celcius (°C)
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How to Get to Salento

Plane

El Edén International Airport in Armenia (AXM) is 60 minutes from Salento. There are daily flights from Medellin and Bogota, and weekly flights from Fort Lauderdale. A taxi to downtown Salento is COL$85,000.

Car

It's a 3.5 hour drive from Cali to Salento along Carretera 1 to Route 25.

Bus

There is daily bus service from Cali to Salento via Armenia, which takes between 5.5 and 7 hours. Fares range from COL$17,000 - COL$26,000.

Airlines serving Salento

Lufthansa
Good (2,889 reviews)
KLM
Good (498 reviews)
British Airways
Good (2,037 reviews)
SWISS
Good (620 reviews)
Delta
Good (3,636 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (1,693 reviews)
Air France
Good (606 reviews)
United Airlines
Good (3,555 reviews)
Iberia
Good (1,148 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (1,656 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (2,510 reviews)
TAP AIR PORTUGAL
Good (770 reviews)
Singapore Airlines
Excellent (570 reviews)
JetBlue
Good (1,455 reviews)
Etihad Airways
Good (440 reviews)
Spirit Airlines
Good (3,167 reviews)
ITA Airways
Good (284 reviews)
ANA
Excellent (275 reviews)
Air Europa
Good (215 reviews)
Aeromexico
Good (803 reviews)
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Where to stay in Salento

Calle Real - the Calle Real area preserves much of its paisa architecture, known as bahareque, made from clay reinforced with canes.

Popular Neighborhoods in Salento

Alto de la Cruz - the Alto de la Cruz lookout oversees Salento. The steps leading to the top are numbered and symbolize the Stations of the Cross.

Navarco - Navarco is a nature reserve with copious flora and fauna that can be explored on horseback.

Where to stay in popular areas of Salento

Most booked hotels in Salento

Posada Martha Tolima
Excellent (9.2, Excellent reviews)
$33+
Hotel El Mirador del Cocora
Excellent (9, Excellent reviews)
$84+
Hotel Salento Real Eje Cafetero
Excellent (8.6, Excellent reviews)
$72+

How to Get Around Salento

Taxi

A mototaxi, similar to a rickshaw, accommodates three adults. Fares start at COL$4,541 with COL$300 for each additional mile.

Car

Car rentals in Salento start at COL$129,755 per day.

The Cost of Living in Salento

Shopping Streets

Salento has over 200 artisan shops on Calle Real.

Groceries and Other

Supercocora carries staples as well as fruits, baked goods, and beverages. Salento is relatively inexpensive. A gallon of milk averages COL$8,216 and a dozen eggs is COL$3,850.