Salento Coffee Tours

Bright red flowers and lush greenery adorn Las Acacias Coffee Farm in Salento, showcasing the region's rich biodiversity on a coffee tour.

Planning Salento Coffee tours for your Colombia trip?  This guide covers some of the top tours, how to get to Salento coffee farms, and more.

Salento is located in the lush hillside of Colombia in South America.  Imagine twirling through a fairytale of lush green hills topped with 200 foot tall wax palm trees, surrounded by colorful flowers.  It feels almost unreal (and maybe like a scene out of Encanto?!  We’ll get back to that)  That is Salento!

Colombia is known for its “Coffee Triangle” made up of three separate areas: Quindio, Caldas, and Risaralda.  Salento is located in the Quindio area and is a very popular place to visit due to its traditional town and Cocora Valley combined with a coffee farm tour.

I HIGHLY recommend taking at least one Salento coffee tour while you are in the area.  It’s one of the best things to do in Salento for a good reason!

Coffee with a view at Las Acacias Coffee Farm

Salento Coffee Tour Planning Details

Knowing how to get to Salento’s coffee region, planning for the right weather, and some final tips will help kick start the planning process.

Getting to Salento Coffee Region

Bogota to Salento: Plane

Fly into Pereira or Armenia Airport and take a 45 minute cab to Downtown Salento.  Alternatively, consider taking a cab 5 minutes to the local bus station where you will take a bus to Downtown Salento.

Bogota to Salento: Bus

The bus ride from Bogota to Salento is approximately 9 hours.  This bus brings you to the Armenia bus station.  You can take the bus from Armenia Station to Salento, or take a taxi from Armenia to Salento.

Medellin to Salento: Plane

Fly into Pereira or Armenia Airport and take a 45 minute cab to Downtown Salento.  Alternatively, consider taking a cab 5 minutes to the local bus station where you will take a bus to Downtown Salento.

I took a flight from Medellin to Pereira and opted to arrange transportation through my hotel in advance because this came highly recommended to me, but if I were to do it again, I probably would have taken the bus or local cab.  I was short on time during my visit so any option to maximize time was at the top of my list.

Medellin to Salento: Bus

The bus route from Medellin to Salento is approximately 6 hours.  Unlike the bus route from Bogota, the Medellin minibus offers a direct route that goes right to Salento instead of stopping in Armenia first.  A traditional coach bus is offered that stops in Armenia first.  This bus may be more comfortable but the choice is yours if you would like the additional stop.

Salento Weather

Salento has two main seasons: the dry season and the wet season.  Due to its altitude in the Ande Mountains, its year round temperature remains rather mild.

  • Dry Season (December – February): Temperatures are roughly 59°F to 75°F.  Rainfall is less common during this time.
  • Rainy Season (March – November): Temperatures remain similar to the dry season, ranging from 59°F to 72°F.  During my July visit, I experienced days that experienced both heavy rainfall and hours of sunshine.

Other Panning Tips

  • Take Willy Jeeps.  Plan to take Willy Jeeps for round trip transportation from Downtown Salento to the coffee farms.  Downtown Salento is small and walkable but also steep.  If you have difficulty walking in steep, cobblestone areas, consider arranging a taxi with your hotel to get to Plaza Bolivar, Salento’s main square where you can take a willy jeep
  • Carry local currency (Colombian Mil).  The willy jeep ticket booth sells both jeep tickets and coffee farm tour tickets.  They are cash only.
  • Plan for rain.  Downpours can come on unexpectedly in this region!  Pack a rain jacket or rain poncho to keep maximizing your fun.

How to Purchase Tickets for a Salento Coffee Tour

Purchase your Salento coffee tour tickets at the Willy Jeep ticket booth in Plaza Bolivar, Salento’s city center.  The ticket booth will charge you a flat price for a round trip Willy Jeep ticket and coffee tour ticket (be sure to  hold onto this ticket because you will be asked to present it at the coffee farm and again when the Willy Jeep picks up after the tour)

Willy Jeep for Salento coffee tours

I advise visiting the ticket booth the day before you book your tour to familiarize yourself with the Willy Jeep schedule in order to plan your day accordingly (I recommend this for all WIlly Jeep trips like to Cocora Valley or Filandia).

If you are planning on walking to a coffee farm, then just purchase your tickets from the farm directly.  If choosing this option, I do recommend you contact the farm on WhatsApp in advance to confirm their tour times for the day.

I do not advise booking a formal tour ahead of time for a Salento coffee tour.  You can send WhatsApp messages to your preferred coffee farm a couple of days before your tour to confirm availability, but aside from that, you will save money booking on your own and not through a large-scale tour agency or group.

What happens on a coffee farm tour?

Coffee farm tours are typically one hour, but most farms provide extended options for visitors who would like to stay for up to three hours.  Most coffee farm visits include picking coffee beans, learning about the coffee-making process, and enjoying a cup of freshly brewed coffee!

Tour the farm

Visitors will first be greeted with an official welcome and tour to the farm.  Most farms are family owned and operated, so visitors can expect to learn about the family business and history!

Peel and plant a coffee bean

Next, peel the top layer of the coffee bean to prepare it for planting.  Coffee farms have a small garden visitors can plant the fresh coffee bean!

Pick coffee beans from the hillside

I know, we are in a bit of a reverse order here!  But the next step will be to pick coffee beans that will be contributed to the coffee bean collection of the farm.  You can skip through the hillside of the coffee farm with a basket in hand.  But be careful- it’s pretty steep!  Someone on my tour fell on the hill (she was OK!)

Demonstration of the coffee making process

Then, the coffee farm staff will walk you through the process of transforming the coffee beans into fresh, coffee powder from start to finish!

Enjoy a cup of joe!

Best for last?  Enjoy your fresh cup of coffee brewed at the local coffee farm.  (The photo above is from a local coffee shop in Downtown Salento!

The Best Salento Coffee Tours

Views at Las Acacias Coffee Farm

Salento is one of the most beautiful coffee regions in the world, so I’m not quite sure there is a “best” coffee farm tour.  I went on Las Acacias tour and enjoyed it, but think I would have enjoyed any tour!

Most Salento coffee tours are accessible via willy jeep and follow a similar trail.  This is convenient because you can walk to different coffee farms after your tour, or catch the next Willy jeep to a new farm (but you might be waiting an hour!)

Here are some of the top rated Salento coffee tours:

Finca El Ocaso

There are two coffee tour options at Finca: Traditional and Premium.  A traditional coffee tour is 1 hour and 30 minutes, costs about $10, and does not require an advance reservation.  A premium coffee tour is 3 hours, costs about $25, requires a reservation, and has a maximum of 10 guests.

As an added bonus, Finca El Ocaso has a hotel on the coffee farm you can reserve to experience the coffee region for longer!

Las Acacias

Las Acacias is a small, family-owned coffee farm.  It is well known and has received high reviews in the Salento area.  The coffee tour at Las Acacias is 1 hour and costs about $6.  This is the tour I selected due to available times, cost, and a smaller coffee farm experience.

It is about a 40 minute walk from the center of Salento, or you can hop in a Willy Jeep at the town center.  We took a Willy Jeep on the way there, and walked on the way back (Pro tip: The willy jeeps do not stop to wait for you outside the coffee farms on the way back.  Stand outside of the coffee farm, or it will pass you by!

Finca El Ocaso is about a 10 minute walk down-hill from Las Acacias, so you can always walk here after as a secondary stop.

Finca Mommota

Finca Mommota is also known as a smaller coffee farm that is less touristy.  They offer three coffee tour options: Traditional (1 hour, $10), Extended (3 hours, $16.50), and Coffee Lab (3 hours, $33).

Finca Mommota also offers a hotel on site for the opportunity to extend your visit to the coffee farm beyond your tour.

Finca Mommota also offers a hotel on site for the opportunity to extend your visit to the coffee farm beyond your tour.

Finca De Don Elias

Finca de Don Elias is approximately a one hour walk from Plaza Bolivar (but visitors recommend taking a Willy Jeep in order to save time!  Visitors enjoy the small feel of this local coffee farm.  A one hour tour costs approximately $6.

They do not have a website at this time but you can contact them via WhatsApp.

They do not have a website at this time but you can contact them via WhatsApp.

Don Eduardo

Their website indicates tours in English are offered Monday – Saturday at 9:30am and 2:30pm.  They advise contacting them to confirm times and for further information.

It is approximately a 7 minute walk from Plaza Bolivar in Downtown Salento, and seems to be the closest Salento Coffee Tour within walking distance.

It is approximately a 7 minute walk from Plaza Bolivar in Downtown Salento, and seems to be the closest Salento Coffee Tour within walking distance.

Coffee Farm El Recuerdo

There is no website at this point in time.  Coffee Farm El Recuerdo has high reviews, and visitors indicate enjoying a small, authentic experience.

Other things to do in Salento

Hiking Cocora Valley in Salento

There are many amazing things to do in Salento after visiting the coffee farms:

  • Cocora Valley
  • Downtown Salento
  • Plaza Bolivar
  • Mirador de Salento

Day Trips From Salento

Salento’s scenic location makes it ideal for equally scenic local day trips.  If you have extra time on your itinerary, consider a full or half day trip to the following locations:

  • Filandia
  • Santa Rita Waterfall
  • Santa Rosa de Cabal Hot Springs
  • El Machin Volcano.
  • Quindío Botanical Garden
  • Los Nevados National Natural Park

Salento Packing List

Here are a couple of can’t-miss items to toss in your suitcase when exploring the best things to do in Salento:

Rain jacket– A rain jacket for Salento should be at the TOP of your list!  Rain is unpredictable and downpours can last a couple of hours here.

Backpack Rain Shell– That being said, protect your belongings as well when hiking Cocora Valley with a rain cover for your backpack.

Waterproof Hiking Boots– This is one item I really wish I had with me!  A secondary pair of shoes didn’t fit in my backpack for my combined Colombia and Ecuador trip, but I would have left a couple of items at home to make it work if I knew how muddy our downhill trek from Cocora Valley would be!

Swimsuit– There are thermal baths and a waterfall in the Salento area.  Pack your swimsuit in case you decide to take a dip!

Packable towel– Same reason as the swimsuit.  Some of my hostels have towel rentals for a fee so I usually like to travel with my packable towel which takes up very little room in my backpack.

Where to go after Salento

If it fits the itinerary, I recommend extending your Colombia trip:

  • Cartagena
  • Bogota
  • Medellin

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As a full time employee who loves her job, learn how I honor my wanderlust while working a 9:00-5:00 (because I want to!) This blog welcomes all, and specifically provides resources for those seeking travel intertwined into a busy schedule (3 days to 5 weeks).