Discover the heritage route of the world famous “Sombrero Aguadeño.” This is the elemental Colombian cowboy hat worn by coffee farmers. During the Aguadas & Salamina Tour you will visit two heritage pueblos, a wax palm forest and learn all about how these hats are made.
In Aguadas you will find special things not seen in other places. The Pionono, according to legend, was a gift from God. It was given to the “Putas” of Aguadas. These were the strong, tough men who are known for working hard and taking care of their families. Drink specialty Colombian coffee, eat a pionono, or explore Mount Montserrate to soak up the view.
Your Coffee Region experience awaits!
This morning there will be a 2-hour road transfer to the lovely little Colombian Heritage Town of Salamina, where you will be able to explore an authentic small Colombian town, and get a real sense of the coffee region’s architectural and cultural beauty.
Upon arrival in Salamina, lunch will be served at a lovingly-restored boutique hotel located in one of the town’s most traditional buildings; this is also where you will spend the night. After lunch, there will be a guided walking tour of Salamina – you will discover the town’s delightful old houses, famous carved wooden windows and doors, and visit architectural highlights like the church and cemetery. During the tour, there will be a stop at Salamina’s oldest bakery to sample some local snacks. Dinner will be served at another of the area’s nicest boutique B&Bs.
This morning you will climb aboard a traditional local jeep for the one hour drive through the mountains to the charming village of San Felix, with its colourful facades and friendly locals. There will be a stop in San Felix for coffee and snacks, before continuing to the Samaria Valley: the Cocora Valley might be famous for its giant Wax Palms, but Samaria is home to three-times as many of the 60m tall trees (Colombia’s National Tree), and sees a fraction of the tourists.
You will enjoy a guided hike through the woods of the valley, seeing the hundreds of Wax Palms in their natural, forest habitat (and even getting to see seedlings: it’s remarkable to see how something so tiny can grow into such a mighty tree), and learn all about the trees from our local guide, who runs a conservation project aimed at protecting and saving this endangered species.
After a hearty local lunch overlooking the valley of the palms, you will be driven by jeep back to Salamina where you will be free to enjoy a leisurely evening in the picturesque town. We will again spend the night at our relaxing boutique hotel.
This morning we will depart early for the Heritage Town of Aguadas, located a two-hour drive north of Salamina. Aguadas is famous for its iconic Aguadeno hats, a symbol of the region which has been produced in Aguadas since the 1870s. Similar in style to the more well-known Panama hat, the Sombrero Aguadeno is one of Colombia’s most important artisan products, and on our visit to the town we will learn all about how they are made.
The day will begin with a short walking tour of the historical highlights of Aguadas, a town that dates back to 1808 (although the roots of the town go back as far as the mid-16th century). Aguadas’ historical centre is a National Monument of Colombia so there’s plenty of fascinating history and architecture to enjoy. After a hearty local lunch we will spend the afternoon enjoying a private Sombrero Aguadeno experience – we will not only spend time with a local collective of hatmakers (every authentic Aguadeno is hand-woven), we will also visit the plantations where the Iraca Palm is grown to provide the material for the stylish hats. The tour will finish at the Aguadeno collective, where the hats are shaped and finished, where you will be able to purchase your very own Aguadeno directly from the man who makes them (and at the best price you will ever find).
Our day will finish at the Aguadas viewpoint, where we will take in the spectacular sunset over the mountains of southern Antioquia and the Cauca River valley. Once the sun sets we will be able to spot the lights of some of the region’s most important towns, including Jerico, Valparaiso, and Armas.
This morning, after breakfast at our hotel, we will travel back to Manizales. Colombia Eco Travel can assist in arranging onward travel or a hotel in Manizales. Or, if you want to continue exploring the Coffee Region you could always combine this trip with one of our many other local tour packages.