12 Amazing Things to Do in Salento, Colombia

by Maria
12 Amazing Things to Do in Salento, Colombia
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Are you on the hunt for unforgettable experiences in Salento, Colombia? From the breathtaking Cocora Valley to the rich aromas of local coffee farms, get ready to uncover the most thrilling and incredible things to do in Salento!

If you’re plotting your next getaway, let me point you towards Salento. This Colombian gem is more than just coffee and wax palms. It’s a place where every street corner and valley whispers tales of adventure and tranquility. 

I’ve wandered through its colorful streets and trust me, if you’re here to chill or chase thrills, Salento has got you covered. From the breathtaking views of the Cocora Valley to the thrill of playing Tejo, Colombia’s explosive national sport, there’s never a dull moment in Salento.

Are you ready to explore the best things to do in Salento, Colombia? Let’s jump right in!

Salento offers endless excitement, from the awe-inspiring panoramas of the Cocora Valley to the adrenaline rush of Tejo, Colombia's spirited national game.
Salento offers endless excitement, from the awe-inspiring panoramas of the Cocora Valley to the adrenaline rush of Tejo, Colombia’s spirited national game.

Best Places to Visit in Salento, Colombia

Ready to explore the most captivating attractions in Salento, Colombia? From the towering wax palms in the Cocora Valley to the charming streets of the town, Salento is a treasure trove of extraordinary experiences.

Whether you’re hiking through lush landscapes or savoring the richness of locally-grown coffee, Salento offers something special for every kind of traveler. Here’s your ultimate guide to the top activities in this vibrant and picturesque destination. Let’s embark on a journey through the colorful and enchanting beauty of Salento!

1. Hike in the Cocora Valley

If you’re looking for an experience that truly captures the essence of Salento, the hike in Cocora Valley is unmissable. As you wander through this mystical landscape, you’re surrounded by the world’s tallest wax palms, reaching skyward like nature’s skyscrapers. 

The trail, winding through lush greenery, offers varying difficulty levels. This makes it perfect for everyone. I recommend starting early to soak in the tranquil morning vibes.

The journey through Cocora is a chance to connect with nature. Along the path, you’ll find spots to rest and take in the breathtaking views. Don’t miss the hummingbird sanctuary – it’s a magical place where these tiny birds flutter in vibrant colors. Pack a light snack and plenty of water, and wear sturdy shoes for the best experience.

For those pondering what to do in Salento, this hike tops the list. It’s not just the scenic beauty but the sense of adventure that makes it special. Trust me, when you reach the viewpoint and see the valley spread out below, you’ll feel on top of the world!

Wander amidst towering wax palms in the mystical Cocora Valley, a must-see in Salento.
Wander amidst towering wax palms in the mystical Cocora Valley, a must-see in Salento.

2. Experience a Traditional Coffee Farm Tour

For coffee enthusiasts and curious travelers alike, a visit to Acacias Coffee Farm is a must when exploring Salento. This isn’t just any coffee tour in Salento. It’s a deep dive into the heart of Colombia’s coffee culture. 

The tour, lasting about an hour, is an eye-opener into the meticulous process of coffee production, from bean to cup. And the best part? It’s only $6 per person, with kids under 6 enjoying free admission.

You’ll get to actively participate in the coffee-making process, understanding each step that contributes to the rich flavors and aromas of the final product. This hands-on experience is both educational and fun. As such, it’s one of the best Salento things to do for families and solo travelers alike. Plus, the range of coffee-based drinks available is a treat for your taste buds.

Don’t leave without trying their espresso or cappuccino, perfectly paired with a slice of cake. A visit to Acacias Coffee Farm is a journey through the soul of Salento’s coffee heritage, leaving you with a deeper appreciation for every cup you savor.

Immerse yourself in the world of coffee at Acacias Coffee Farm—an educational and delicious experience! | Image Source: Nuria P / TripAdvisor
Immerse yourself in the world of coffee at Acacias Coffee Farm—an educational and delicious experience! | Image Source: Nuria P / TripAdvisor

3. Paragliding Over the Cocora Valley

Ever dreamed of soaring like a bird over breathtaking landscapes? Paragliding in Salento offers just that! You’ll glide over the Cocora Valley, with its lush greenery and towering wax palms. It’s an exhilarating experience that I highly recommend for thrill-seekers and nature lovers alike.

This adventure, available through various local operators, is one of the most exciting things to do in Salento, Colombia. You don’t need any prior experience, as skilled instructors are there to guide you. The feeling of floating above the world is indescribable – it’s both peaceful and adrenaline-pumping. The views from up there are something you’ll never forget.

Safety is a top priority, so you’ll be in good hands. The flight duration varies, but each minute in the air feels like a magical escape from reality. If you’re looking for fun things to do in Salento, add paragliding to your list. It’s an unforgettable experience that will leave you with stories to tell for years!

Soar above the lush Cocora Valley for an exhilarating paragliding adventure!
Soar above the lush Cocora Valley for an exhilarating paragliding adventure!

4. Watch the Sunset from Alto de la Cruz

There’s something magical about sunsets, especially in Salento. And the best spot to catch one? Alto de la Cruz. Believe me, this is not just any sunset view. It’s a panoramic spectacle of nature’s colors blending over the charming town and rolling hills.

Getting to Alto de la Cruz is a bit of a hike, but absolutely worth it. The path is well-marked and the walk itself is part of the experience. As you ascend, the bustling town noise fades, replaced by serene tranquility. My advice? Bring a camera and a small picnic to enjoy at the top.

Once there, the view is breathtaking. The sky transforms into a canvas of oranges, pinks, and purples, casting a warm glow over Salento. It’s a perfect moment for reflection or a romantic evening. 

For those seeking free things to do in Salento, Colombia, this experience is priceless. A sunset here is a moment that captures the essence of Salento’s beauty.

Hike to Alto de la Cruz for breathtaking sunset views and serene tranquility. | Image Source: MFB R / TripAdvisor
Hike to Alto de la Cruz for breathtaking sunset views and serene tranquility. | Image Source: MFB R / TripAdvisor

5. Horseback Riding to Waterfalls

Ready for an adventure that combines nature, excitement, and a touch of local charm? Horseback riding through the mountains and rivers of Salento with Acaime Salento is an experience you can’t miss. It’s a unique way to explore the region’s stunning landscapes.

The tour kicks off from your hotel, where you’ll meet your expert guide. Even if you’re new to horseback riding, don’t worry – the guides are fantastic at making everyone feel comfortable. You’ll journey through the mountains, passing breathtaking natural viewpoints. The highlight for me? Crossing the river multiple times on horseback – it’s exhilarating!

This tour is one of the most unique things to do in Salento, especially if you love a mix of adventure and natural beauty. The ride back through the mountains offers even more stunning views, making every moment memorable. Whether you’re an experienced rider or a beginner, this tour promises fun and unforgettable experiences in the heart of Salento’s countryside.

Experience the thrill of horseback riding to waterfalls in Salento—nature, excitement, and local charm all in one adventure! | Image Source: John-Paul Z / TripAdvisor
Experience the thrill of horseback riding to waterfalls in Salento—nature, excitement, and local charm all in one adventure! | Image Source: John-Paul Z / TripAdvisor

6. Play Tejo

Ever heard of Tejo? It’s Colombia’s national sport and playing it in Salento is a blast! Imagine a game that combines horseshoes with a bit of gunpowder – that’s Tejo for you. Trust me, it’s a ton of fun!

You’ll find several places in Salento where you can play Tejo. The game involves throwing a metal puck (tejo) at a clay board with small packets of gunpowder (mechas) on it. The goal? Hit the mechas and watch them explode – it’s satisfying and exhilarating! Don’t worry if you’ve never played before. Locals are super friendly and will happily show you the ropes.

Hands down, playing Tejo is one of the most fun things to do in Salento. You’ll interact with locals and enjoy a truly authentic experience. Grab a beer, join a game, and immerse yourself in this unique aspect of Colombian culture. My advice? Just let loose and enjoy – it’s all about having a good time!

Try Tejo, Colombia's national sport, for a blast of excitement! | Image Source: Jon / TripAdvisor
Try Tejo, Colombia’s national sport, for a blast of excitement! | Image Source: Jon / TripAdvisor

7. Relax in the Hot Springs at Santa Rosa de Cabal

After exploring all the best places in Salento, a day of relaxation is a must. What better way to unwind than at the hot springs in Santa Rosa de Cabal? Just a short journey from Salento, these natural thermal pools are a slice of paradise.

Nestled amidst lush greenery, the hot springs are a natural wonder. The warm, mineral-rich waters are perfect for soothing your muscles after days of exploring. I spent a whole afternoon here, and believe me, it’s blissful. The setting is serene, with waterfalls and beautiful landscapes surrounding you.

For those looking for beautiful places to visit in Salento that offer relaxation and rejuvenation, this is it. There are options for everyone – from public pools to more private, luxurious experiences. Go early to beat the crowds and find your perfect spot to soak in the tranquility. It’s a rejuvenating retreat that you’ll remember long after your trip.

Find tranquility and rejuvenation at Santa Rosa de Cabal's natural hot springs.
Find tranquility and rejuvenation at Santa Rosa de Cabal’s natural hot springs.

8. Visit the Kasaguadua Natural Reserve

If you’re a nature lover, the Kasaguadua Natural Reserve is one of the best places to go in Salento. This hidden gem is a sanctuary of biodiversity, offering a tranquil escape into the heart of Colombia’s lush landscapes.

The reserve is a short distance from Salento’s town center, but it feels like a world away. The guided tours here are fantastic – they’re informative and immersive. You’ll learn about the local flora and fauna, and the importance of conservation. The paths wind through dense forest, opening up to stunning natural scenes. The tranquility here is unmatched.

Wondering where to go in Salento, Colombia? Kasaguadua is a refreshing change from the usual tourist spots. Remember to wear comfortable walking shoes and bring a camera – you’ll want to capture the beauty of this place.

Explore the beauty of Kasaguadua Natural Reserve—a sanctuary of nature. Image Source: Victòria V / TripAdvisor
Explore the beauty of Kasaguadua Natural Reserve—a sanctuary of nature. Image Source: Victòria V / TripAdvisor

9. Enjoy Trout in a Local Restaurant

When in Salento, indulging in the local cuisine is a must, and trout tops the list of must-try dishes. The town is famous for its fresh, delicious trout, and there’s no shortage of quaint restaurants where you can enjoy this local delicacy.

I had some of the best trout of my life here, cooked to perfection with unique Colombian flavors. You’ll find it served in various styles, but the ‘trucha al ajillo’ (trout in garlic sauce) is a personal favorite. Pair it with a side of ‘patacones’ (fried plantains) for a truly authentic meal.

Eating trout in Salento isn’t just about the food – it’s about the experience. The cozy ambiance of the local eateries, combined with warm hospitality, makes for a memorable dining experience. I recommend trying a few different restaurants to find your favorite trout preparation. It’s a culinary adventure that’s both fun and satisfying, which makes it one of the coolest things to do in Salento, Colombia.

Savor 'trucha al ajillo' in a local restaurant—an authentic culinary delight. | Image Source: Juandavidhb / TripAdvisor
Savor ‘trucha al ajillo’ in a local restaurant—an authentic culinary delight. | Image Source: Juandavidhb / TripAdvisor

10. Embark on a Jeep Adventure to Remote Coffee Farms

Exploring Salento’s stunning landscapes in a classic Jeep Willys is an adventure you can’t miss. The trip to Montiel Viewpoint is particularly special. I took this tour and let me tell you, it’s a thrilling ride with some of the most spectacular views you’ll see in Colombia.

The journey starts in the heart of Salento, where you hop into a colorful Jeep Willys – a symbol of the region’s culture. The drive to Montiel Viewpoint is as exciting as the destination itself. You’ll navigate through rugged terrain, feeling every bump and turn, which adds to the adventure.

Once you reach Montiel Viewpoint, the panoramic views are breathtaking. You’ll see the vast coffee plantations, rolling hills, and the majestic Andes in the distance. It’s a perfect spot for photographers and nature lovers. 

Bring a good camera and a sense of adventure. This tour is one of the best Salento attractions for those who love a bit of adrenaline mixed with stunning natural beauty.

Embark on a Jeep adventure to remote coffee farms—a thrilling journey through Salento's landscapes. | Image Source: Vagabondo1974 / TripAdvisor
Embark on a Jeep adventure to remote coffee farms—a thrilling journey through Salento’s landscapes. | Image Source: Vagabondo1974 / TripAdvisor

11. Stroll Down Calle Real

Strolling down Calle Real in Salento is like stepping into a vibrant postcard. This colorful street is the heart and soul of the town. I spent an evening here, and it was one of my favorite experiences. Believe me, you’ll want to take your time exploring this charming avenue.

Calle Real is lined with quaint shops, cafes, and street vendors. Each building is painted in bright, cheerful colors, making it a photographer’s dream. You’ll find everything from local crafts to delicious street food. Make sure you try the ‘arepas’ from a street vendor – they’re delicious!

This street is more than just a shopping destination – it’s a lively cultural experience. In the evenings, Calle Real comes alive with music and laughter. It’s a great place to soak in the local atmosphere and enjoy some of the best things to do at night in Salento, Colombia. Check it out!

Wander through Calle Real—a vibrant street bursting with color and culture.
Wander through Calle Real—a vibrant street bursting with color and culture.

12. Attend a Colorful Salento Fiesta

Attending a fiesta in Salento is an experience that’s as vibrant and lively as the town itself. It’s one of the best things to do in Salento with family, offering a chance to dive into the heart of Colombian culture. I had the joy of being part of one, and it’s a memory I’ll always cherish.

These fiestas are a kaleidoscope of music, dance, and color. You’ll see locals dressed in traditional attire, performing folk dances to the rhythm of Colombian music. The energy is infectious – you can’t help but join in! The food stalls are a highlight, serving up local delicacies that are both delicious and affordable.

Don’t miss the chance to try some local street food and interact with the friendly locals. These fiestas showcase the warm hospitality and rich culture of Salento. Whether you’re dancing, eating, or just soaking in the atmosphere, it’s a family-friendly experience that brings joy to all ages. It’s a celebration of life that you and your family will talk about for years to come!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Best Things to Do in Salento, Colombia:

Looking for more content on what to see in Salento, Colombia? Here are some popular questions (and answers) I get that will help you plan your trip to Salento.

Is Salento, Colombia, worth visiting?

Absolutely! Salento is a must-visit destination. It’s not just the stunning landscapes like the Cocora Valley or the rich coffee culture; it’s the vibrant atmosphere and the warmth of the locals that make it truly special. Whether you’re into nature, culture, or just looking for a peaceful getaway, Salento has something for everyone.

How many days do you need in Salento Colombia?

I’d recommend at least 3 days in Salento. This gives you enough time to explore the main attractions like the Cocora Valley, enjoy a coffee farm tour, and soak up the local culture in the town center. If you can spare more time, even better – there’s plenty to see and do!

How long is the bus from Salento to Medellin?

The bus journey from Salento to Medellin typically takes around 7 hours. It’s a scenic route, so despite the length, it’s quite an enjoyable trip. Make sure to choose a comfortable bus service, as the roads can be winding.

How do you get around in Salento?

Salento is a small town, so getting around is easy. Most places are walkable, which is great for exploring at your own pace. For longer distances, like going to the Cocora Valley, you can use the local Jeep Willys – they’re affordable and add to the adventure!

Is tap water drinkable in Salento?

While the tap water in Salento is generally considered safe for locals, I recommend sticking to bottled water if you’re not used to the water in Colombia. It’s readily available and inexpensive, ensuring you stay hydrated and healthy during your travels.

Did you enjoy the journey through Colombia's beauty? Share the pin and spread the adventure!
Did you enjoy the journey through Colombia’s beauty? Share the pin and spread the adventure!

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