A Colombian Gem: Salento

By Erin Hancock

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Colombia has a lot of popular tourist hotspots like Cartagena known for its colonial architecture, Medellin infamous for the rise and fall of Escobar, Cali celebrated for its hot salsa dancing and Bogotá, the capital. However, once you get your boots on the ground in Colombia, you quickly are recommended to visit some smaller, less-known towns. Take this advice. Salento, for example, is a gem located directly west of Bogotá.

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The adorable town is surrounded by gorgeous, green mountains. The main strip exhibits a full color palette of paints.

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If you follow the strip of shops all the way to the end (which can take some time with all of the distracting handicrafts and jewelry), you reach a bright set of stairs. The view from the top shows the town on one side and the hills on the other. You can take a moment to play on the monkey bars at the top too…a bit of a treasure at the end of the climb.

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The area is best known for its natural beauty, which is in generous supply. In particular, the Quindio wax palm trees found in the Los Nevados National Natural Park in the Cocora Valley make the area a destination all on their own. These trees can stretch to heights of 40+meters.

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The hike for the best views of the trees on the mountainside is peppered with many other breathtaking natural scenes as well. In order to get to the trailhead, simply arrive early in the morning to the main town plaza and get a seat on a jeep.

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And after a long day’s hike, you can grab some grub at a local restaurant like La Eliana or Brunch. Accommodations in Salento range from camping (as shown below at Estrella de Agua) to full-service hotels like Hotel de Mirador del Cocora.

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That’s a wrap on this one.

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If you want to plan other travels in Colombia, check out:

Bogotá on a budget

More coming soon

 

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