Salento 29 Feb- 03 Mar 2020

The 7 hour journey was split between an open air chilly chicken bus and an air conditioned coach. A long journey but the time passed quickly as we watched the beautiful Colombian countriside slide by with dramatic mountains and valleys.

Lets take a moment here to talk about the experiences on a Colombian bus journey. Every so often a seller hops on the bus trying to sell fruits, nuts or sweets then hops off. Entertainers often choose cross roads to put on mini performances with the hopes of tips. The best were the fire juggler and the tight-rope walker. The drivers take some questionable risks and seem to want to overtake anything that is front regardless of blind corners or visability. Horns serve as warning to other road users to get out of the way. Travel sickness tablets and ginger got me through the journeys.

The Place:
Salento is like a bigger more touristy Jarden in the mountains of Colombia with more bars and restaurants. It’s hilly streets all lead to a town square with a church. If we had arrived here straight from Medellin we would have thought it quaint but after Jarden it fails in comparrison.

Accomodation: Cattleya Hostel
Private room with shared bathroom and free breakfast. Located directly across the road from the bus station and at the bottom of the hill from the town square. Friendly pet dogs gave us some puppy love but made us miss our dog Rusty at home.

The Food:
Varied restaurant food. All good and extremely cheap. Great vibe with live music.

What We Did:

Coffee Tour at Ocaso Coffee Farm
We toured the coffee farm where we were able to witness the process from seed to cup. We picked the berries and sampled real Colmbian coffee with a lesson on coffee tasting. I really enjoyed this day even though I’m not a huge coffee fan.

Cocura Valley Hike
Five hour hike up through jungle and down via fields containing the worlds tallest palm trees. The beauty of the hike was the change in terrain from crossing old rickety bridges in the jungle (Katie Croft) to craining necks upwards to glance the tops of lofty palm trees.

Watched Tejo
Tejo is kinda like extreme corn hole with explosives. Firecrackers are set in a circle on a clay mound and the aim of the game is to get the most points by throwing stones either inside the ring or directly onto a firecracker.

This was our last big stop in Colombia. Colombia has been my favourite country so far and has a lot to offer from the beaches, towns and jungles to the coffee region up in the mountains. It’s been the cheapest country for us so far on our travels and we have consitently stayed under budget. The people are friendly, patient and helpful with our limited Spanish. I would highly reccommend a visit to Colombia.

The Good: The activities

The Bad: Maybe lost some of its small town charm to tourism (I guess we didn’t help with that)

The Verdict: Enjoyed our time here for what we did.

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