Eje Cafetero, also known as the Coffee Triangle, famously produces some of the best coffee in the world. Running through the center of Colombia on the western end of the Andes Mountains, Eje Cafetero comprises the three departments of Caldas, Quindíó and Risaralda, all known for their unique hacienda architecture and friendly locals. The verdant, steep-sloped valleys of the region make it visually stunning as well.
Medellin serves as the gateway to Eje Cafetero, and while Pereira, Armenia and Manizales are the three big capital cities of the region, it’s in the small towns and villages, like colorful Salento, scattered throughout where visitors get a true look (and taste) of the distinctive culture. The landscape makes Eje Cafetero popular for outdoor adventure sports, but the real reason to visit is to tour the coffee farms to see firsthand how the beans are grown, processed and transformed into that warm cup of joe. A few coffee haciendas offer guest accommodations, and you can quite literally wake up and smell the coffee.