The smell of tangy oranges, the taste of smooth coffee and the sound of bird songs can all be found in the impressive green lands of the Zona Cafetera, a region made up of the provincial departments of Caldas, Risaralda and Quindío. Made up of valleys filled with bamboo, mountain peaks that tickle the sky and rolling landscapes, this coffee-growing region is throbbing with natural life, tranquility and adventure.
Colombia’s coffee zone only has two million inhabitants. Its major cities, Manizales, Pereira and Armenia, are all less than 200 years old, illustrating how this part of the country is richer in rural cultivation and natural beauty than in urban growth and prosperity. Coffee is just one of many reasons why this region has gained popularity. Other draws include its large natural parks, like Parque Nacional Natural Los Nevados and Valle de Cocora, and the thermal springs in Santa Rosa de Cabal.
The inhabitants here undoubtedly value tradition and a slower-paced rural lifestyle. Still, with modern cities close by, the traveler who hungers for peace and quiet but still wants to be near the action can be satisfied.