The Coffee Triangle

Colombia has long cultivated a reputation for excellent coffee.

Jesuits planted the first seeds in the 1730s, and within 100 years exports had begun.

Today, the nation has an estimated half-million coffee farming families, whose products are enjoyed in North America, Europe, and Japan.

In honor of Colombia’s tradition of small-plot, mountainside farming, UNESCO recognized the country’s Coffee Cultural Landscape as a World Heritage site in 2011.

Zona Cafetera: Caldas, Risaralda and Quindio

Most of Colombia’s finest coffee is produced in the heartland departments of Caldas, Risaralda, and Quindío—a triangular Zona Cafetera within the wider limits marked by Medellin, Bogota, and Cali.

In this bright emerald landscape, rolling hills and mountainsides are lined with countless rows of low coffee trees, a large portion of which are maintained by small-scale growers.

Hand-picked Arabica

This region’s rich volcanic soil, altitude, temperate climate, and abundant water combine to impart a distinctive taste—rich flavor, bright acidity, and intense aroma.

A closeup of roasted Columbian coffee beans, photographed on a family vacation to Columbia's coffee country

Ripe coffee cherries are hand-picked, cleaned, sun-dried, and graded before being roasted or bagged for export by cooperatives. While the principal variety is Arabica, multiple heirloom varietals are gaining ground.

Armenia

The hilly city of Armenia marks the southern limit of the Zona Cafetera.

Although the city’s historic center was terribly damaged by a 1999 earthquake, Armenia is still an excellent starting point for visits to this region.

Regular flights connect the city to Bogota and Medellin and visitors can tour dozens of coffee plantations within a few miles of the urban limits.

Pre-Columbian Gold Museums

Armenia is also the home of one of the continent’s best pre-Columbian gold museums.

Private-Custom-Experiential-Travel-Design-Colombia-Nevado-del-Ruiz

Near Armenia, country retreats welcome travelers to comfortable plantation houses surrounded by forest and pastureland.

Guests can tour cocoa and plantain groves, hike to waterfalls, ride horses, observe birds and monkeys, and day trip to villages renowned for antioqueño architecture and traditional basketry.

Valle del Cocora

One of the most popular day trips in the Armenia area is to the verdant Valle del Cocora, 15 miles northeast of the city.

Cocora is famous for its picturesque farms, mountain vistas, and stands of elegant wax palms (Ceroxylon quindiuense)—Colombia’s national tree.

Tall palms scattered in the lush green Cocora Valley, in Colombian coffee country

These rare, slow-growth palms (which look like creations of Dr. Seuss) can reach heights of 150 feet, providing shelter and food for yellow-eared parrots.

Los Nevados

Cocora lies within Los Nevados National Park, which protects 224 square miles of mountain, lake, and forest habitat in the Cordillera Central.

Resident species at Los Nevados include:

  • Tapirs
  • Spectacled Bears
  • Pumas
  • Condors
  • Motmots

Visitors can climb the glacier-capped Nevado del Ruiz stratovolcano (17,457 FASL), hike forest and paramo trails with expert birding guides, and fish for trout.

Access to the area around Nevado del Ruiz is monitored constantly for volcanic activity, with access varying accordingly.

View over the crest of weathered red clay tile roof, showing mountains of Colombian Coffee country in backdrop

Pereira

Pereira, 35 miles north of Armenia, is the region’s geographic heart, commercial hub, and nightlife capital. Regional flights connect Pereira with Medellin, Cali, and Bogota.

Full-day excursions to organic coffee farms and soothing hot springs can be arranged.

Manizales

Manizales, at the northern tip of the Coffee Triangle, is known for its cultural life, museums and monuments.

In late September and early October, its annual theater and jazz festivals draw devotees from across Latin America.

Private-Custom-Experiential-Travel-Design-Colombia-Coffee-Quindio

Each January, Manizales holds a bustling city fair, punctuated by a beauty pageant, bullfights, and parades.

Getting to Manizales

Manizales is located approximately 32 miles (one hour) north of Pereira and 190 miles (roughly six hours) west of Bogota. Colombia’s coffee country is a year-round destination—plants flower and coffee is harvested throughout the year.

The climate in Colombia’s Coffee Triangle is consistently spring-like, with highs rarely exceeding 72ºF and overnight lows hovering near 50ºF.

Sunny skies are the rule, although average monthly precipitation for April, May, October, and November can exceed six inches.

A closeup of Columbian coffee beans roasting on a tour of Columbia's Coffee country

At LANDED, each travel request is personal. After all, you’re trusting us with your most precious asset—free time with the people you care about. By getting to know you, we’ll create the most memorable, most exceptional trip of your life. Call us today at 801.582.2100. Dream big. We’ve got you.

“Travel becomes a strategy for accumulating photographs.”

Susan Sontag

PERFECT

Could not have been more pleased.  This was the trip of a lifetime for our family.  Thank you!

S. Gentry, San Clemente, CA

GO WITH LANDED

If you’re planning to travel, go with LANDED. You won’t be disappointed.

H. Sandler, Katy Perry Tour Manager

AMAZING ADVENTURE

The whole rhythm of the trip was perfect, and leaving one place for the next worked perfectly. This trip definitely made me want to experience other great spots in South America.

S. Ecenia, Knoxville, TN

TRIP OF A LIFETIME

The locations were amazing. Your on-the-ground team was fantastic–knowledgeable and accommodating. Beautifully organized.

J. Cormier, New York, NY

ABSOLUTELY AMAZING

The best guide I’ve ever had anywhere in the world. Top notch talent.

T. Hill, Fort Worth, TX

GREAT SERVICE

You were a great help in planning–ensuring that I was staying at the right places and enjoying the type of activities we love–and the follow up was incredible.

C. Leavitt , New York, NY

YOU GOT TO KNOW US

Exactly the bonding and sharing experience we’d hoped for. The rhythm, variety, and tone was spot on. With effective listening skills, you built a good picture of what we wanted–more complicated than “just” luxury. The result was a great trip, one made just for us.

G. Holschuh, Brussels, Belgium

BEST EVER

Excellent attention to detail. You listened carefully, asked the right questions, and customized with just the right balance. Superb guides. We felt relaxed and pampered all the way. You’ll plan our next trip.

M. & J. Siegel , New Rochelle, NY

FANTASTIC EXPERIENCE

Not a single thing on the itinerary that we would change.  The guides were knowledgeable, friendly, and prompt.  The hotels were beautiful, the food delicious and the pace of the activities was perfect for us.

B. Baltes, E. Rockaway, NY

DO IT!

In short, our trip was amazing. Thanks so much for your constant assistance and thorough planning.

H. Liroff, Minneapolis, MN

PERFECT

The planning, service and execution of the trip was flawless – thank you!

R. Hayek, San Francisco, CA

EXCELLENT

LANDED was helpful and knowledgeable, making our trip a memorable one.  I will use your services in the future as I continue to explore Central & South America.

A. Reynolds, Tucson, AZ

A VERY WELL ORGANIZED DREAM

Your patience with my questions and concerns during the planning stage was remarkable.

W. Sibley, New York, NY

THANK YOU

You actually got to know us, which made it possible to know just what we like. You promised the best trip ever and you kept your promise.

B. Furstenberg, Roxbury, NY

ENTIRELY AMAZING

Your recommendations were well thought out. We thoroughly enjoyed our honeymoon. Thank you!

C. Venezia, New York, NY

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE

LANDED is the ultimate. You helped us make the most out of a week’s time.

F. Greenberg, New York, NY

DIDN’T MISS A THING

We zip-lined, rafted, sailed, and surfed. The contacts were professional and courteous. We don’t want to be back at work. Thank you for all of the work you did to set up this trip.

M. Marrocco, Dallas, TX