La Zona Cafetera consists of three departmentos (Quindio, Risalda and Caldas) and the northern part of the departmento Valle del Cauca. Quindio is the southern most of the departmentos. The rich volcanic soil together with the climate and the topography make this region ideal for the cultivation of quality coffee. For much of the last century coffee was one of the mainstays of the Colombian economy but over the last 20 years the importance of coffee to the Colombian economy has reduced.
In the last 20 years La Zona Cafetera has become a major tourist destination (primarily domestic tourism but increasingly foreign tourists are visiting the area). In the last few years La Zona Cafetera was the second most popular tourist destination in Colombia (after Cartegna). Many of the lovely old coffee plantation houses and fincas (farms) now get the majority of their income from tourism rather than coffee.
The original Plantation House is well over 100 years old and originally was the coffee plantation house in Salento. In the garden there are still various coffee plants that give you just a hint of the history of the area. To fully experience the Zona Cafetera, however, you must visit a working coffee farm (Finca) and walk amongst the coffee plants and see it for yourself. There are a number of working coffee farms around the Salento area and we will happily provide you with information on many of them.
Plantation House now has its own coffee farm (Finca Don Eduardo) which is just 10 minutes walk from Salento. Here it is possible to get a detailed explanation of the various stages from coffee cherries (cafe cerezas) on the plants themselves, through to the dried and roasted beans.
As of the 1st October 2012
Tours in English take place daily at 9.00am
Tours in Spanish take place on Mon-Sat at 15.00
Don Eduardos cultivates 4 sub-varieties (varietals) of arabico coffee – Caturra, Variety Colombia, Arabico Tipica and Bourbon. In addition to the coffee the finca has a natural forest, two bamboo forests and three waterfalls to enjoy. Recently a new open-plan kitchen, work area and lookout point all built in guadua (bamboo) have just been completed.
If you'd like to see a Coffee Roasting video then check out http://youtu.be/2gENBDrEHiM