Best things to do in Salento, Colombia

At an altitude of 1900 meters and surrounded by rainforest, you can find the beautiful mountain village, Salento. It’s the town that many people use as a base to visit Valle de Cocora. However, Salento has more to offer than a visit to the worlds highest palm trees. The quaint town located in Colombia’s coffee region is painted in bright colors and is usually filled with music and good vibes.

Valle de Cocora

Salento is most famous for the valley with the worlds highest palm trees. They can grow up to 60 meters high. The valley filled with these hight trees is often covered in a layer of clouds and the trees combined with the foggy air are a magical sight! The hike around the area is 12 km long. There’s a shorter route for those who don’t feel up to doing the whole thing. I highly recommend taking the long route if you can. It will take you around 5 hours. The hiking path takes you through countryside, rainforest, rickety bridges, waterfalls and the famous wax palms.

From the Central square in Salento you can take a Willy (a jeep) to Valle de Cocora. You can get a return ticket for 8.000 COP and the ride will take around 20 minutes. These jeeps are the main form of transportation in Salento. There are no set times, they just leave when full.


Acaime hummingbird sanctuary

At the halfway point of the Valle de Cocora hike you have the option to take a detour to Acaime hummingbird sanctuary. It will add around 1 hour to you hike, but it’s so worth it. You can get a hot coco or tea to drink and watch these beautiful birds! The entrance fee is 5.000 COP.

Coffee tour

Salento is located in an area famous for its coffee. Whether you like coffee or not, visiting a coffee farm is a must. You’ll see the beautiful grounds where they grow the coffee beans, but also get an explanation exactly how it’s processed. I found learning about all the steps from plant to a cup of coffee very interesting. Of course, the tasting of the coffee was my favorite part of the tour.

Mountain biking in an even prettier valley

Most people don’t get to visit this valley, because it is private property. The only way to visit is to do this Mountainbike tour. The valley is bigger than Valle de Cocora and you’ll have a view filled with hundreds of thousands of wax palms. The tour will start off with a short walk and a nice lunch. Afterwards it’s about a 20 km ride downhill. No experience is needed, but you might get dirty from all the mud.

Explore the town

Salento has lots of beautiful colorful buildings and cute cafés to have a drink. To get a view of the entire town, climb the stairs to Mirador Alto de la Cruz, but make sure to continue 100 meters to the more beautiful wooden viewing deck!

How to get to Salento?

Bogota to Salento

By bus: In Bogota you take the bus to Armenia from terminal de Transporte. The best company to use is Bolivariano. The bus ride from Bogota to Armenia will take 7 hours. There you’ll change buses to Salento and this bus ride will take around 1 hour.

By plane: Another option is to fly to Armenia or Pereira. From both Airports you can take a bus or taxi.

Medellín to Salento

By bus: Go to Terminal del Sur to take a direct bus to Salento. The company Flota Occidental has a bus that will take you to Salento in 8,5 hours.

By Plane: From Medellín you can fly to Armenia or Periera.

Continue to Jardin after visiting salento

Best places to eat in Salento, Colombia

Etnia Arte & Sabor: Tiny restaurant with amazing local food. Must try!

Botanica: Restaurant with a terrace that gives you and incredible view of the city.

Coco Bowl: The place for a healthy breakfast. Everything is vegetarian and looks stunning!

Where to stay in Salento

Budget $

Mid-range $$