Salento is a sleepy town in the northeast of Colombia. The peaceful town becomes filled with tourists on weekends and holidays, using it as a base to visit the nearby Valle de Cocora, as well as the coffee plantations in the region.
Valle de Cocora is known for its towering wax palms which is the Colombian national symbol. It is the tallest palm in the world growing up to 60 meters high. This area is now protected by the government because these palms were on the verge of extinction. Traditionally they were used for fronds on Palm Sunday.
We did a coffee plantation visit at Hacienda San Alberto. We were taken around the plantation followed by some coffee tasting. I didn’t actually know what coffee looked like on the tree. The red fruits called “cherries” are ready for harvest. Each cherry contain two seeds and these seeds are more commonly referred to as coffee beans. They are then dried and become a greyish-green color. Finally, the coffee is roasted before being packaged for sale.