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Travel Guide: How to Get the Most out of Quindio

There’s a reason why Quindio is often voted among the best holiday destinations in Colombia. Quindio’s position in the heart of the Andean natural region means that it’s no stranger to stunning natural landscapes. But beyond the joys of nature, this department’s location in Colombia’s rugged Zona Cafetera (Coffee Zone) makes it a must-visit for agritourism and ecotourism fanatics.If you’re ready to take in the beauty of Quindio, let’s spill the beans on how to get the most out of in Quindio, Colombia.

How to Get the Most out of Quindio

Choosing Your Vacation Dates 

When figuring out the best time to visit Quindio, remember that this region has two dry and two wet seasons each year. The driest months are December to March and July to August, when the average maximum temperature reaches around 29°C (84°F).

The rainy season falls between April and May and from September to November. September is the coldest month in the Andean region. 

Looking to Find Bargains? 

If you’re looking to save a buck, the cheapest time to fly to Quindio is during the off-season, that is, from late August and November and in May. These months are the best time to beat the crowds. And although they coincide with the rainy season, it does not rain all day.

Note that May is the wettest month, and the roads tend to get worse. You may want to avoid traveling to Quindio this month unless you’re a big fan of rain. 

Traveling to Quindio for Coffee Festivals 

Coffee tasting is wildly popular in major cities in Colombia, including Medellin, Bogotá and Cartagena. But suppose you want to learn just how much effort and practice makes each cup of coffee? In that case, you’ll want to set up camp in the Colombian Coffee Region, a.k.a the Coffee Triangle, particularly the Quindio department. 

Besides the sensory experience, travelers visiting Quindio for its coffee will want to match their vacation with the 10-day Fiesta Nacional de Cafe (annual coffee festival). This festival takes place starting late June in the lovely, charming cities of Calarcá and Armenia, Quindio.

Although the pageant is its key highlight, visitors are also treated to several other performances, including the Yipao or jeep parade. A must-see for travelers, this parade consists of hundreds of Jeep Willy vehicles loaded to their capacity to showcase their strength and prowess in conquering the difficult roads in this mountainous region. 

Where to Stay 

After deciding when to travel to Quindio, the next step is deciding where you want to base your stay during the vacation. Ideally, you want to narrow down to a neighborhood that lets you experience your desires without spending a lot of money moving around. 

Not surprisingly, all the twelve major towns in this department are a must-visit for tourists. But, of course, some hold more rustic charms than the rest, depending on what you’re interested in. 

If you’re traveling to Quindio, we urge you to check out Salento. This is among the most popular tourist destinations in this coffee triangle partly because it has retained its “back in the day” historical charm. Salento is more touristy compared to the sleepy town of Filandia. It is characterized by charming colonial streets and architecture and overflows with great coffee shops, excellent traditional Colombian food and magnificent views of the rolling lush green hills.  

For the best experiences in Quindio, Colombia, head to Selina Hotel Salento Quindio. Like other Selina hostels around the world, this is a haven for modern nomads and travelers. However, it hasn’t sacrificed the old-world charm and the laid-back feel this pretty little town boasts.

Its location is in the coffee triangle’s heart, which also makes it a great jump-off point to other must-visit Quindio towns like Pijao, Marsella, and Salamina. 

Aim for Quality Experiences, not Quantity

The FOMO is real, particularly when planning a visit to a town that seems to have it all, from peaceful nature to colorful architecture and benign weather. But nothing ruins a would-be great vacation than trying to tick off as many must-see places as possible within a ridiculously short time. 

Don’t let itinerary-induced anxiety ruin your vacation to Quindio when you can have so much fun taking it slow. To avoid rushing things, you may want to focus on experiences that would make your trip memorable. When you decide on a realistic list of places to visit and top things to do, it’s possible to have more meaningful experiences without feeling sad on the last day of your vacation. 

Top Things to Do in Quindio Department, Colombia 

  1. Go hiking in the Cocora Valley trail– a stunning valley outside Salento town with insanely green hills dotted with tall and majestic wax palms, just like in the pictures. 
  2. Take a coffee tour– Colombia is world-famous for its flavor-rich, high-end, luxury coffee. The best way to appreciate this is to take a tour and learn all there is to know about Colombian Coffee Culture from the origin, history and the different species of coffee beans grown in the coffee triangle. 
  3. Experience a hot air balloon flight– a truly underrated adventure tourism activity. A hot air balloon ride will offer you stunning panoramic views of the Andes’ Colombian coffee triangle, with stunning panoramic views across miles of coffee plantations. 
  4. Explore the tiny little town of Filandia– this is a largely undiscovered town approximately 20 kilometers from Salento. While it’s often overshadowed by most of its neighbors, this sleepy town is home to breathtaking colonial architecture, jaw-dropping cafeteria views, secret waterfalls and friendly locals. 

GO birding– did you know that Colombia has more species of birdwatching than any other country? Birds thrive in this country thanks to its excellent climate, landscapes and year-round availability of fruits and flowers. Although one of the smallest departments, Quindio boasts almost 30% of all the types of birds in the country. And the municipality of Salento offers one of the best places to observe them.

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