Salento was founded in 1842 and is the oldest town in the departmento of Quindio. It has around 7000 inhabitants. There is only one paved road in and out of Salento and this connects to the Armenia / Pereira highway after crossing the river Quindio at Boquia. Salento lies roughly halfway between Armenia and Pereira.
Weekdays Salento is a sleepy little town. Weekends and holidays Salento is transformed with beer and food tents going up around the main plaza and the arrival of large numbers of Colombian tourists and day trippers from the surrounding towns of Armenia, Pereira and Cali.
The centre of the town is the main square around which you´ll find the bank, the church, the town hall, the police station as well as a number of restaurants and bars. The bank in Salento will not handle foreign exchange or travellers cheques but it does now have an ATM. Weekends and public holidays the ATM is prone to run out of money, so if you`re planning a weekend visit it might be worth stocking up on money beforehand. There are ATM`s in both Armenia and Pereira bus stations
The local delicacy is trout which is served in most (if not all) of the restaurants, sometimes in as many as seven different guises. For those not fond of fish, chicken or beef is also usually available.
Just off the main square running up towards the steps to the cross is the Calle Real, the main street of Salento. This street is lined both sides with restaurants, bars and tourist shops selling all sorts of locally produced goods, from hats to hand-made leather "flip-flop" sandals, and almost everything in between. A number of the shops specialise in coffee memorabilia whilst work in GUADUA the local bamboo is also very popular.