Guides
Guides from our travels

Destinations
Day-to-day details & all costs of our trips

Deals
Deals from other travel websites

Postal Stamps Memorabilia
Make a memory of every place you visit by getting a postal stamp from local post office

Tips
Do's, don'ts, advice, how-to's



« Colombia Itinerary

Day 5 – Pijao, Buenavista

 
« PREVIOUS – Day 4
Armenia, Salento, Valle de Cocora
Colonial architecture town and valley of Wax Palms.
 
Day 5
Pijao, Buenavista
Prime towns in the Eje Cafetero.

« Sixteen days in Colombia

 
Day 6 – NEXT »
Cali
Salsa capital of Colombia

 

The first thing anyone would think of Colombia is the coffee. One of the largest exporters of coffee in the world, Colombia’s Eje Cafetero (Coffee Zone) is a highlight on any traveler’s list. And although there are many operators and companies that offer tours to some of the towns or places in the coffee zone, we met Juan Agudelo in our hostel in Armenia, with whom we went to Salento and Valle de Cocora the previous day.

In a brief conversation with Juan the previous day, we found out that his company ‘Experiencia Cafetera‘ also offered tours around the towns of Pijao and Buenavista, which are in the coffee zone. We immediately signed-up for a half-day tour to these towns, that costs COP 45,000 per person, which includes lunch and tour starting from Pijao. “Wakecup” is a brand under the company that they use to provide tours to Pijao and Buenavista.

coffee9

We took a taxi from our hostel in Armenia to the bus terminal. Then we took a bus to Pijao (costs COP 5,700 per person, 45-60 minutes). The bus will dropped us to the Plaza (central square), where we met Juan, who introduced us to his brother, Carlos, our official tour guide for the coffee zone. Both the brothers speak fluent English, which helped us have a conversation with the local farmers.

Pijao

Starting off at Pijao, which is a small quaint town in central Quindio department (state). Surrounded by hills on all sides, we started our tour at the offices of Experiencia Cafetero in Pijao, and rode our bicycles to the Lejos river. Back in town after a quick ride, we met the agents who collect coffee from the farmers and send it to the Coffee Federation of Colombia.

pijao1
[Piajo center plaza]

pijao2
[Pijao lanes]

pijao3
[Lejos river]

Buenavista

From Pijao, Juan drove up the hills that had coffee and plantain plantations on both sides of the road, and after about over an hour, we were in Buenavista. This small town in the mountains is known as the coffee town of Colombia. We met his brother, Carlos, who was going to be our guide to the coffee farm and meeting the local farmers. Of course, we had time for some coffee in the central plaza in front of the church!

buenavista1
[Buenavista valley]

buenavista2
[Coffee plantations on way to Buenavista]

buenavista3
[Street leading to Buenavista. Coffee & Plantain plantations all over.]

buenavista4
[Church in Buenavista centro]

Along with Carlos, we walked down to the farm where we met Señor Leonel, the farmer who owned the coffee and plantain plantations around the area. He spoke softly and his Spanish was precise for an amateur to understand clearly (unlike the fast and slang the locals spoke).

He showed us the original and organic coffee plants, along with what beans look the best and worst quality – the shape, size and whether the beans are bug free determine the quality. While there are markets for low and medium quality bean- coffee in Colombia, most of the high quality ones are exported to other countries.

coffee1
[Walking down to the farm]

coffee2
[Carlos (left) and Famer Leonel (right)]

coffee3
[Path leading to farm, along with plantain trees]

coffee4
[With Señor Leonel, the farmer]

 
After a quick tour in the trees and farms, we were invited to Mr. Leonel’s home just a few meters walk along the path. He stayed there with his wife and two dogs. There was a small factory behind the main house where he processes the coffee beans before selling it to the merchant or the Federation.

coffee5
[Dried coffee beans – front batch are low quality, second batch are medium and on left is high quality]

coffee6
[Machine that processes the coffee beans]

 
After the tour of the factory, we were invited to lunch prepared by his wife – bean and beef stew soup, salad, patacones, pork meat, arepa and rice. Unlimited Mango juice was included too!

coffee8

 
Lastly, we walked behind the house to the plantain tress, where Mr. Leonel plucked a fresh Guyabana fruit off the tree, sliced it and offered to us to eat, which was sweetly delicious!

coffee7
[Plantain trees where the Plantains are covered with plastic bags as greenhouses]

We drove in the back of Mr. Leonel’s pick up truck back to Buenavista’s central plaza, from where we took the bus back to Armenia’s bus terminal and then a taxi to the hostel.

This was one of the best experiences we had in Colombia, which gave us the opportunity to meet the ‘source’ of the Colombian coffee, along with visiting a local Colombian family and sharing their home and food. The humbleness of Mr. Leonel and his family will be in our hearts forever.

We had some aromatica in the hostel and took a nap. After which we headed to the main road for dinner at Quimbaya restaurant.

 

Costs

Note: All values in USD, unless otherwise mentioned, are approximate and based on the exchange rate of USD 1 = COP 2200 at the time of publishing. Each cost is for one adult.
 

What Cost Notes
Coffee at hostel $0.90 COP 2,000 per person for Coffee with milk.
Taxi to Bus terminal $1.60 COP 7,000 for 2 persons. From hostel Casa Quimbaya to bus terminal. One way.
Bus to Pijao $0.90 COP 5,700 per person from Armenia bus terminal to Pijao Plaza.
Wakecup Tour $20.45 COP 45,000 per person.
Purchase coffee $6.36 COP 14,000 per person.
Bus to Armenia $2.22 COP 4,900 per person. From Buenavista to Armenia bus terminal.
Taxi to hostel $1.82 COP 8,000 for 2 persons. From Armenia bus terminal to Casa Quimbaya hostel. One-way.
Tea in hostel $1.59 COP 3,500 per person for aromatica
Dinner at hostel cafe $5.00 COP 11,000 per person
Total Costs $40.84 Per person
Overall Costs $1,685.27 Per person

 

 
« PREVIOUS – Day 4
Armenia, Salento, Valle de Cocora
Colonial architecture town and valley of Wax Palms.
 
Day 5
Pijao, Buenavista
Prime towns in the Eje Cafetero.

« Sixteen days in Colombia

 
Day 6 – NEXT »
Cali
Salsa capital of Colombia

SIXTEEN DAYS IN COLOMBIA

 
Planning
Planning & Information

 
Day 1
Bogotá
First day in capital city.

 
Day 2
Bogotá
La Candelaria, Museo del Oro, Calle 85.

 
Day 3
Bogotá, Zipaquirá
Salt Cathedral, Cerro de Monserrate.

 
Day 4
Armenia, Salento, Valle de Cocora
Colonial architecture town & valley of Wax Palms.

 
Day 5
Pijao, Buenavista
Prime towns in the Eje Cafetero.

 
Day 6
Cali
Salsa capital of Colombia

 
Day 7
Cali
La Feria de Cali.

 
Day 8
Popayán
Traditional colonial architecture of 'White city' & bicycle tour.

 
Day 9
Popayán to Cali to Medellin
Popayán highlights; Travel from Cali to Medellin.

 
Day 10
Medellin
Parque Arvi, Jardín Botánico, Christmas lights.

 
Day 11
Medellin
Walking tour, Pueblito Paisa & bus to Cartagena.

 
Day 12
Cartagena
Caribbean city highlights & Centro.

 
Day 13
Cartagena
Bocagrande, Gestameni neighborhoods.

 
Day 14
Santa Marta
Gorgeous beach town and beaches.

 
Day 15
Taganga, Santa Marta to Cartagena
Hiking, diving and travel from Santa Marta to Cartagena.

 
Day 16
Cartagena to Bogotá
Travel from Cartagena to Bogotá and out.

Expenses
How much did it cost?
List of all the expenses.
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!

All websites use cookies. It's the 21st century! What's a cookie?!

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close