Colombia produces some of the best coffee in the world and this region is at the heart of the country’s most important industry. Most visitors choose to spend a few days on a working coffee hacienda, set in some of Colombia’s most scenic landscapes. This is a wonderful area of natural beauty, ideal for hiking and exploring the charming local villages at a relaxed pace. In the Valle de Concora you can see the national tree, the Wax Palm. This strange, slender 60 metre high plant is found almost nowhere else on earth. The whole area is protected cloud forest, with fascinating traditional Colombian buildings and spectacular mountain views.
Pereira, 150 miles west of Bogota, is the capital of the region and is packed with Colombian culture and tradition. It’s centrally located and there is a wide choice of activities and trips, a lively nightlife and great food. Look out for the city’s extraordinary botanical gardens, including the country’s largest butterfly collection in the Quindío Botanical Gardens in Calarca.
Manizales is a bustling neighbouring city, where you can escape the traffic and take in a great view of the city on the cable sky car. There are a number of universities here and the outstanding Cathedral De Manizoles is a highlight when exploring the area.
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