How much money will you need in Salento?
CO$49,313 ($15) is the average daily price for traveling in Salento.
The average price of meals in Salento for one day is CO$17,852 ($5.55).
The average price of a hotel in Salento for a couple is CO$44,309 ($14).
Additional pricing is in the table below. These average travel prices have been collected from other travelers to help you plan your own travel budget.
Salento On a Budget
Founded in 1850, Salento is one of the oldest towns in Quindio. This colonial Colombian town has retained much of its old world charm, with its colorful buildings, large square and, of course, the obligatory church. Because the main route between Cali and Bogota which used to pass through Salento was diverted, the town didn't develop as quickly as others in the Quindio region. This gave Salento the opportunity to evolve into a thriving community of craftsmen and artisans as well as remaining one of the region's most prolific coffee producers. Salento is located 24 km northeast of the departmental capital Armenia. However, unlike its colorful neighbor, Armenia itself has very little to offer tourists. Salento attracts those wishing to learn about the coffee regions and for those who simply admire breathtaking scenery, and especially the stunning Cocora Valley.
There are many miradors throughout Colombia, and a lot of them offer spectacular sights. The mirador in Salento is absolutely stunning and breathtaking. When you are done with views, hike up on the little hill to the right of the mirador, and hang out with the locals on swing sets as you drink a cold beverage and take in the view of the town itself from the opposite side of the valley. If you visit in the late afternoon try to take in a sunset from this spot. It is in Colombia's small towns that the truly vibrant and friendly nature of the country shines through. Head to Salento's small but vibrant town square to see everyday life unfold. Vendors selling local foods, teenagers flirting with one another, children playing, adults taking a breath to relax and let the time pass.
Exploring the Valle de Cocora
is a must-do during your stay in Salento. The valley tops the list of things to do in Salento, and any traveler would be remiss to not visit it. Part of the Los Nevados National Natural Park, the Cocora valley is the primary location of the distinctive Quindío wax palm, which is Colombia's national tree. It also happens to be the tallest palm tree know to man. There are plenty of activities in and around the Cocora Valley including adventure sports, a number of hiking and camping opportunities in the valley, and in the surrounding Los Nevados National Natural Park. You can also indulge in some bird watching, mountain biking, rafting, and general revelry of the emerald beauty that is the Cocora Valley. Salento is located in what is known as the Zona Cafetera, the region of Colombia that is famous for growing incredibly high quality and delicious coffee. When in town take a taxi, bus, bike, or walk a few kilometers outside of town to Finca El Ocaso where you can see first hand how coffee is grown, harvested, processed, and brewed. Try the local sport Tejo, which consists in throwing a metal disc across an alley about 15m long, to a one metre by one metre board covered with clay set at an angle. The metal disc is the tejo itself and the aim is to use the tejo to his small parcels of gunpowder which are placed on the clay. These parcels are usually triangle-shaped envelopes which are set on the edges of a metal ring within the clay. On impact with the tejo the parcels explode loudly in a puff of smoke. Different shots are awarded different points but, most importantly, tradition dictates the game should always be played whilst drinking beer. Head to Beta Town, a local hang-out in Salento, for some friendly Tejo instruction and some pretty decent food.
Food and Dining
Fresh trout is the iconic food of Salento and much of the coffee region, and there are myriad places to enjoy the tasty fish throughout the town. Order the fried local trout and a typical plate of rice, beans, plantains, and salad. The price ranges from about USD$4 to USD$9 depending on the type of the restaurant. Even if you're on a tight budget make sure to find some wiggle room to eat fresh trout in Salento. How better to pass the time than sample some of the local coffee. There are plenty of places to choose from. Although, it is worth mentioning that the best of the coffee crops are usually for export, meaning the local coffee for domestic use is not quite as good.
There are buses from 5h30 to 20h every 20 to 30 minutes from Armenia, which will cost you about USD$1.70. The ride takes around 45 minutes and you can pay your ticket directly in the bus. There are also direct buses from Medellin at 9h, 11h and 13h. The journey takes 7 hours and costs USD$15.70. From Pereira, a bus to Salento will cost you USD$2.60 and leaves every hour from 5h30 to 18h20 on weekends and holidays and a little less frequently on weekdays. If you miss the last bus to Salento, the cheapest option is to take a bus to Circasia and then a taxi from Circasia to Salento for USD$7.