Mar 19, 12, 9:47 am
I'm heading down to Colombia with the g/f (she's originally from Bogota) and neither of us has been to the Zona Cafeteria (I've been once to Colombia before I met her). I was wondering what the opinions are on one city over the others.I definitely like outdoor activities (inc. but not limited to fincas), a cafe culture, local sights, and certain charm (both big, medium and small cities can have this).
Mar 19, 12, 6:32 pm
Here we go, I am going to answer this again with potentially a completely different answer to the last time I answered this on another website.
For a start your question should not be Pereira or Manizales because at the end of the day they are both equally convenient for all of the main attractions in el eje cafetero.
If you definitely like outdoor activities then you should definitely go to el valle de cocora and take in the wonder of the valley, it you really like outdoor activities you should walk all the way through it to the nature reserve at Acaime. Getting to el Valle de Cocora will mean almost certainly that you will go to Salento, you can do worse than spend a night there, it is a cool colonial town with great trout and a happy atmosphere of a night time.
You should not go into the Valle de Cocora without a guide, it is private land and you could get so much more from the experience if you go with a ranger. There are no marked footpaths and the valley is liable to sudden low mists. Over the last couple of years a couple of people have got lost, fallen into rivers, died etc. If you go solo into the park then don't come back and moan when you die of hypothermia and eaten by a puma.
If you don't go to Salento then you should go to Filandia, but given Filandia does not have the Valle de Cocora on its doorstep then I don't see why you would.
Valle de Cocora - Here is one I made earlier
As I might have said when I answered this before, isolating yourself on a coffee finca is divine but you will almost certainly need a willy's jeep to get from A to B and there will be no running out to the shops for smokes or a beer. If you want a flavour of the coffee experience without having to stay in a finca then you should go to Recuca or Hacienda Venecia
Willy's Jeep plus long windy road leading to isolation = expensive
If you do plunge for the expensive romantic option then this is the sort of spectacular view you might see from your veranda. That house is a coffee processing plant and the workers bring the cherries down of an evening in buckets.
And here is what it looks like at night having a whole finca to you and your girlfriend
Whilst you are in that neck of the woods you should also go to the termales de santa rosa which is spectacular, but don't go on the weekend because it will be full of errrr... people
Here are those very termales with their spectacular backdrop/plunge pool
After you have been to the termales you should go back through Santa Rosa and have one of the local chorizos straight out of some old lady's kitchen.
Then check out the town square where you can get a cup of fresh coffee zone coffee right off the back of this very jeep
As was pointed out to you on the other forum, Manizales gives you access to El Parque de la Sierra Nevada del Ruíz which is indeed specatular and looks like this
So Manizales or Pereira? I prefer Manizales as I said before, it is simply classier. They have posh stuff there like cutlery and toilet seats
Mar 20, 12, 12:45 pm
Thanks, JC, for the supplemental information. Are you JohnnyBogota on TTLP?