The coffee region, coffee zone, la Zona Cafetera

The Eje Cafetero also Triángulo del Café (coffee triangle)                                        < >

is located in the center of the Andes region about 200 km west of Bogotá in the heart of Colombia. It offers nature, originality and beautiful landscapes. The coffee triangle consists of the three departamentos Caldas, Quindío and Risaralda. Relatively in the centre is Pereira, the capital of Risaralda.


Rain and cloud forest, orchids, exotic birds, coffee and banana plantations and beautiful mountain villages, wonderful views, hiking trails, thermal baths and much more can be found in one of the most beautiful regions of Colombia, the coffee region.


The coffee zone is also known as the coffee cultural landscape. In 2011, the UNESCO Commission decided to protect this cultural landscape as a World Heritage Site and preserve it for future generations. In August 2011, in the presence of President Juan Manuel Santos, the coffee zone was officially declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Parque del Café in Montenegro in style.


The coffee region is also known as "Coffee Cultural Landscape" or "Paisaje Cultural Cafetero". Around 24,000 coffee farms produce one of the best coffees in the world here.

Pereira, situated in the centre of the Eje Cafetero at the foot of the Andes, offers guests from all over the world the ideal starting point for attractive excursions into the fascinating and tropical surroundings. Pereira as well as the nearby cities of Manizales and Armenia have their own airports and therefore a direct flight booking from Germany via Bogota is easily possible. This region is dominated by lush vegetation, the extremely varied landscapes of the Andes and a variety of coffee and banana plantations.


The "touristic" richness of this region lies in getting to know the authentic Colombian culture, in experiencing the fascinating, incomparable nature with its diverse offers up to sporting activities such as mountain bike tours.


The three or better four departments here in the Eje Cafetero differ considerably in topography and flora and therefore offer a wonderful contrast. The Valle de Cauca stretches from Cartago to Cali in a very flat strip. The Quindio is rather a hilly landscape. Risaralda already offers a view to higher mountains, the valleys are wide. And in Caldas, the high mountain range of the middle Cordillera awaits you. The mountain slopes are steeper here, the coffee cultivation even more difficult. 


Let's start with a trip to Salento and the Cocora Valley. The Mirador awaits you in Salento, the Calle de Artesania with its beautifully designed balconies. In the Valle de Cocora the famous Cera palms, many colourful birds like hummingbirds and the majestic Barranquero.


From the valley there are hiking trails to the mountains of the Andes chain. On the way we will find rare orchids along the way, bromeliads and a variety of plants, which are only found here at altitudes of more than 3,000 metres. Around Salento there are beautiful hiking trails with fantastic views of the mountains.



Otún Quimbaya is a nature park in the department Risaralda, which can be reached from Pereira in less than 30 minutes. Here, too, nature is lush green, large-leaved plants, ferns reminiscent of the dinosaur age and, of course, birds in abundance again.


This area is used not only by laymen, but also by ornithologists intensively for birdwatching. Also a hike to a magnificent waterfall should not be missed there, including the observation of many butterflies.


The Alto del Nudo is the "local mountain" of Pereira. Steep mountain slopes, many individual Fincas characterize the picture. Around the mountain coffee is cultivated. From a bird's eye view, one can experience the Eje Cafetero in a paraglider from the starting point below the summit of Aldo del Nudos. From time to time, a green non-toxic snake crosses the way up here, which can grow up to 2.80 m long. Views up to the snow-covered highest mountains / volcanoes in the coffee region included. Also the super beautiful view to the cities Pereira and Dosquebradas impresses.


An attraction, the statue of Christ in Belalcázar. On the way, coffee and banana plantations line the street sides to the right and left, as well as the wide view to Rio Cauca and Rio Risaralda. Heliconias and many other flowering plants adorn the path.


Nature is so incredibly diverse. In the Valle de Cauce, the sugar cane cultivation prevails, the higher one gets, the banana, coffee and fruit plantations alternate up to the vegetable cultivation. The coffee plantations extend up to 2.000 m. This is why coffee is also called highland coffee. During the flowering period the blossoms of the coffee bushes smell in many different notes. There are 48 different scents of coffee blossoms worldwide.


In between there are small forests of the Guadua. A type of bamboo that occurs with 34 types in many parts of South America. Guadua grows up to max. 20 cm per day. It is a very popular raw material for building and use for artesanias. It is also a true CO² killer. It takes about four years for the Guadua to ripen and can then be felled in the early morning hours. At this time it contains the least water.


The exceptionally beautiful nature is also home to many species of birds and butterflies. But also spiders and tropical snakes are at home here. However, most snakes found in the Eje Cafetero are non-toxic. Tarantulas, which are by far not as poisonous as some might think, are rarely seen in the wild because they are nocturnal animals. One should however pay attention to a spider. With caution, one should enter remote coffee and banana plantations, because there is their home. It is the most poisonous here in the coffee region. In case of a bite you need immediate medical care.


In hard-to-reach areas there are tapirs, spectacled bears, pumas, howler monkeys and deer. 


The breathtaking nature, the gigantic abundance of plants, the many different birds and butterflies, beautiful cloud formations, especially in the rainy season make the coffee zone a paradise for nature lovers. Fragrances of eucalyptus forests, onion fields and tens of different herbs such as citronella accompany you on hikes through the lush natural landscape.

Here a video of the mountain world in the Eje Cafetero