The final days we spent in Colombia were split between 2 towns in the coffee region, Jardin and Salento. Both were extremely stunning.
Jardin supposedly has the prettiest central plaza in Colombia, and we would have to agree. Big, clean, and adorned with many rose bushes, it was an easy place to spend hours just hanging out drinking coffee and people watching. The ornate cathedral stood on one side, and with the backdrop of the green mountains, it made for a very picturesque square. There were colorful tables set up throughout the square all color coded to the corresponding cafes/restaurants surrounding the plaza. The homes were also so colorful and well kept.
We hiked, we paraglided, and we adopted a couple of stray dogs - actually they adopted us. One of them slept outside our room at the guesthouse and even accompanied us to the launch site for paragliding. It seemed to be a common occurrence that dogs would latch onto foreign travelers. I guess they intuitively knew that was their best bet of getting attention and maybe food.
Of course with any type of traveling, there is a transportation story. So it goes with our trip from Jardin to Salento. It took 11 hours, and 3 buses to travel less than 200km! Between the “lumpy bumpy jungle track” of the first leg, and the delay from road construction on the second, we finally arrived in Salento. Another quaint village in the mountains, it was not quite as pretty but charming nonetheless. The surrounding countryside is what draws the tourists. Specifically, most people come to hike the Cocora Valley, home of the wax palms - the tallest palm trees in the world. Indeed, it did not disappoint! These palm trees can reach up to 60 meters (200 feet). The hike was stunning and the trees were impressive. Best of all, the boys did the hike without complaint! As we were in coffee country, we also did a coffee tour in Salento. It was fantastic and the boys were right into it. It was educational and interactive, and of course we had a delicious cup of joe.
After 5 and a half weeks in Colombia, we bid it farewell. We truly loved it! It is difficult to narrow it down - a but if I HAD to pick, my top 5 highlights are: graffiti tours in Bogota and Communa 13, Jardin, Medellin climate, Barichara and the Cocora Valley hike!!