Hacienda Bambusa in the Colombian Coffee Region

| Johan van Rijswijck

It was a drive of about two hours from Pereira to hacienda Bambusa. Now i'm lying in my hammock and look out over the estate in front of me. In the corner of my eye I see a hummingbird snacking honey from an elegant glass dispenser, which is attached to the edge of the veranda. The beautiful garden, in which the swimming pool is situated, is surrounded by trees. Behind it are the farmlands, where cocoa and bananas, among other things, are grown. The lands stretch out over a sloping landscape, which eventually changes into the foothills of the Andes.

An authentic hacienda with a modern touch

Bambusa is an authentic hacienda in the Colombian coffee region. It is very tastefully decorated with a modern touch, using cheerful colours. The accommodation has 8 spacious guest rooms, all situated around the central patio. All have a private balcony or patio. The name Bambusa comes from the native bamboo species that grows here a lot and which was also used in the construction of the hacienda. It is the perfect base from which to discover the fantastically beautiful surroundings. On the estate of the hacienda itself you can make lovely walks or horseback rides, although spending a day in a hammock or by the pool with a good book is also a very good idea.

This is a place to completely unwind. The city of Armenia is far away, and it is only the singing of birds that we hear here. The climate is pleasant. Because the area is at an altitude of about 2000 meters, it is always around 25 degrees and it never gets extremely hot or cold. In the evening we sit down for dinner on the terrace at the back of the hacienda. In the background we gently play some Colombian classics and the terrace, which turns into a large meadow, is attractively lit. Every evening you can choose from a menu with typical dishes from a certain Colombian region. This evening, typical delicacies from the Choco region, located on the Pacific coast of Colombia, are on the menu.

Real Colombian coffee in Salento

The next morning, after an extensive breakfast, we set off with our guide Guillermo. We visit the picturesque town of Salento where it is pleasantly busy. Salento is a village with white plastered houses of which the window frames, doors and windows are mostly painted in sweet colours. We walk a bit through the village and walk to a viewpoint from where we have a nice view over the village on one side and a green valley on the other side.

Guillermo takes us to a coffee bar, where they serve good coffee in different varieties. Although Colombia is known for its coffee, until recently it was not a country where you could easily order a nice cup of coffee. The best quality coffee went straight to Europe, the second-best quality went to the USA and the rest remained in Colombia. In recent years there has been a trend to open more and more coffee bars where you can order a delicious espresso, latte macchiato or capuccino. We drink a good coffee in Café Jesús Martín, one of the pioneers in this field. The coffee that is served here with great passion comes from our own plantations in the region.

Walking through the Coroca valley

We continue to the Cocora valley. This valley is known for the so-called Wax palm trees that grow here. The palm trees can reach a length of between 40 and 60 metres and are therefore considered to be the longest palm trees in the world. The Cocora valley lies at an altitude between 1800 and 2400 metres above sea level and is part of the Parque Los Nevados nature reserve. The nature reserve is a unique ecosystem with cloud forests, which eventually turn into a Paramó landscape at an altitude of more than 3500 metres above sea level. The area is home to many endemic animal species, such as various bird species found nowhere else, and special plant and tree species, such as the Wax palm tree.

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