8 days 7 nights
Time to Discover Colombia in a Cup during out Specialty Coffee Tour!
If you’re passionate about coffee then this is the tour for you. Discover the magic of Specialty Coffee in eight jam-packed days in the Coffee Region, and the surroundings of Bogota.
Visit farms and pick beans with your own hands and sample specialty coffees with local experts. Learn how to identify the unique flavours, then spend your nights at beautiful boutique coffee farm hotels.
This is the ultimate Colombian coffee experience! There’s no better way to discover the wonderful world of specialty Colombian coffee.
Welcome to Colombia, home of the best coffee in the world! Today, you will arrive in the bustling, cosmopolitan capital of Bogota where our tour will begin.
Once you arrive and are settled into your boutique hotel accommodation, we will enjoy our first glimpse into the culture of Colombian coffee with a specialty café tour. Our expert guide will take us to some of the most famous specialty cafes in Bogota, where you will have a unique opportunity to interact with some of Colombia’s top baristas. Learn their secrets, discover and sample world-class coffee. We don’t waste time on this tour: you’re here to immerse yourself in the world of Colombian coffee and that’s exactly what you’ll get!
After breakfast we will head out of Bogota to the first of many coffee farms we will visit during your coffee experience. Our destination is La Palma Y El Tucan, a unique boutique coffee hotel in the heart of a working coffee farm.
After you are welcomed with, you guessed it, a fresh cup of coffee, it’s time for our first coffee plantation tour of the trip. Your guide will lead you on a detailed tour through the coffee plantations, where you will learn all about the complex processes that go into transforming coffee from a little red bean growing on an Andean slope to your morning cup across the ocean.
Lunch will be served on the beautiful balcony of the hotel. It features a gorgeous panorama of mountains and coffee plantations.
This afternoon you are in for a real treat: a cupping class and barista experience with the expert local barista. He will teach you exactly how to get the most out of the coffee you’re drinking at home, and how best to prepare it for maximum flavour and enjoyment. A private barista class in the middle of a Colombian coffee farm in the mountains? You’ll never see your morning cup the same way again!
Just when you thought it couldn’t get better you will see your cabin for the night! Each cabin at La Palma Y El Tucan is set among the coffee plantations, and features lots of large windows so you can really drink in the wonderful views all around you. Who else can say they spent a night sleeping in the middle of a coffee plantation in Colombia?!
You’ll want to wake up at first light today, if only to try and catch a glimpse of the snow-capped volcanoes of the Central Andes. These mountains are visible from the cabins on a clear morning. Enjoy a bracing shower in the open-air bathroom (there’s an indoor one with hot water too if you can’t face the cold water!) before wandering down through the coffee fields for breakfast.
After breakfast, you will have a couple of free hours to enjoy relaxing in your hammock among the coffee plants or to enjoy a hike through the surrounding plantations spotting the many species of beautiful birds that can be found here. We will then depart to Bogota to catch our early afternoon flight to Pereira, the capital of the Colombian Coffee Region.
Upon arrival in Pereira we will take a transfer to tonight’s accommodation: the gorgeous Hacienda Bambusa. This luxurious boutique hotel on a traditional coffee farm will be home for the next two nights. Over a delicious dinner of local ingredients, your guide will explain the history and culture of the Colombian Coffee Region – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – and go over the itinerary for the remainder of your Specialty Coffee Experience.
Today is a full day trip to the delightful traditional coffee town of Pijao. There you will experience a crash-course in the genesis of Colombian specialty coffee. We will explore the pretty town and learn all about how coffee is a central part of life and the economy of so many towns in the region. We will visit to a specialty café owned and operated by a coffee farmer. Carlos Arturo has been producing coffee for years.His unique methods have seen his café win numerous regional coffee awards: you may never enjoy a cup of coffee in the same way again!
After sampling the coffee, we will hop onto the back of a typical local jeep and head out into the countryside where we will spend the afternoon learning how to grow and harvest coffee at a local coffee farm. Our host will be Don Leon (you may recognise him from the CNN documentary #MyColombia), a coffee farmer who produces award-winning specialty coffee. A great passion for coffee always shines through during his tours. We will explore his plantations, pick the beans, and go through the entire process, from tree to cup.
We will eat a hearty, freshly-prepared lunch at the farm before the tour, and then will we take the jeep back into Pijao before heading back to Hacienda Bambusa for dinner and a welcome rest.
Chances are you’ve heard of the Colombian coffee town of Salento, but did you know that there are many towns in Quindio that are even more beautiful and much less touristic? You’ve already visited one – Pijao – yesterday. Today, we will spend a morning at another of the lovely towns in this region: the incomparable Filandia. With its stunningly well-preserved traditional architecture and kaleidoscopic collection of colourful doors and windows, there may not be a prettier town than this in all of Colombia. We will take a walking tour of the town in the morning, before enjoying lunch at Helena Adentro, voted the best restaurant in the Coffee Region!
Don’t panic, we haven’t forgotten about the coffee! After lunch we will pass by a local specialty coffee shop for a cup o’ the good stuff before paying a visit to the Torre del Quindio – this giant bamboo tower is known as the best viewpoint in all of the region, and on a clear day you can even spy the snow-capped peaks of the Los Nevados volcanoes in the distance.
Once you’re done taking in the spectacular 360-degree panoramic views, it’s off to your hotel for the night – the delightful Finca del Café. This lovely hotel is surrounded by coffee fields and nature and it’s a wonderfully peaceful place to relax after another busy day.
Day 6 will start with a short drive from Finca El Café to another local coffee farm, Finca El Placer. After a day of culture and beautiful views yesterday, we’re back in coffee mode today with a farm tour, during which you will be able to learn about different varieties of coffee. Colombian coffee is like wine, no farm produces the same cup or uses the exact same methods. Get ready for an eye-opening window into the world of Colombian coffee and the people behind it.
After lunch on the farm we will set out for the city of Manizales, one of the three main cities that make up the Colombian Coffee Triangle. Tonight’s stay will be at another traditional coffee farm, Hacienda Venecia. Hacienda Venecia is a working, 4th generation farm with a history of over 120 years. Staying here is like spending the night in a living museum of coffee culture and history.
After an early evening arrival there will be time to enjoy the swimming pool, rest on the porch or take a stroll around the woodland trails surrounding the boutique farmhouse where we will be staying. Dig into a traditional Colombian dinner, then fall asleep to the sounds of cicadas and the river flowing alongside the farm. You won't find a more peaceful night in all of Colombia.
Although this is a coffee tour, it doesn’t mean we won’t have the chance to explore the majestic landscapes and remarkable biodiversity that Colombia has to offer. Today, we will take a day-trip into the high mountains of the Central Andes. There you will discover the magical ecosystems of the paramo, relax in natural thermal baths, and enjoy close-up sightings of some of Colombia’s coolest birds.
The two-and-a-half hour drive through the National Park passes through some of Colombia’s most well preserved paramo. This is a stunningly biodiverse ecosystem of high-altitude moorland unique to northern South America. You will drive past large glacial lakes like, Laguna Negra. There’ll be plenty of stops to enjoy the clean mountain air and marvel at the remarkable views of the snow-capped Ruiz Volcano. After taking the time to search for the Buffy Helmetcrest hummingbird, one of Colombia’s most unique endemic species, you will carry on to Termales del Ruiz Hotel.
Here, you will be able to observe more than ten species of high-altitude hummingbird, including the remarkable sword-billed hummingbird (the only bird species on earth with a bill longer than its body). With a bit of luck you might be able to feed a wild hummingbird by hand!
After enjoying the birds at Termales Del Ruiz we will enjoy lunch in the hotel restaurant before heading down the mountains where we will spend the afternoon relaxing in the thermal baths of Termales del Otun spa and hotel. Soak in the rejuvenating volcanic thermals, enjoy the cool mountain air, or sip a cold beer by the pool, it’s all up to you. Once you’re sufficiently relaxed, we will return to Hacienda Venecia to spend the night.
By now, you have learned all there is to know about growing and harvesting coffee. Now it’s time to discover the joy and wonder contained within a cup! This morning’s activity will be a specialty coffee cupping experience, where a fully-trained barista will guide you through the world of tastes, aromas, and fragrances that make Colombian coffee so special. Learn how to differentiate between aromas and flavours, and how to prepare a cup of coffee that your friends will rave about. If you don’t come away from this experience with a new appreciation for the complexity of coffee and the knowledge of baristas, then you weren’t paying attention…
After lunch, we will head back to Pereira for our return flight to Bogota. Here our specialty coffee experience comes to an end.