A must-do whilst visiting Colombia is to pay a visit to the Zona Cafetera, south of Medellin and comprised of the area between the cities of Manizales, Armenia, and Pereira.
In a country where coffee is king, you just can’t leave without spending at least a few days in this region of lush, green coffee plantations.
Because there’s so much to explore in the area, you’re best off picking somewhere to stay right in the middle of the Coffee Triangle.
There are lots of great accommodation options around, but the lovely Hacienda San Jose is our pick of the bunch. Located four kilometres (around 20 minutes) from the town of Pereira, the hacienda is perfectly positioned for exploring.
There’s plenty to see in the surrounding estates, packed full of trees, wetlands, plantations, walking trails and over 100 different species of birds. If you’re eagle-eyed, quietly wandering the grounds at dusk will reveal glimpses of squirrels, sloths, armadillos, ocelots and iguanas.
The hotel can arrange tours to the popular spots of Salento and the Valle de Cocora. The latter is a nature reserve home to Colombia’s national tree, the wax palm, which is the tallest palm in the world at heights of up to 60 meters!
In Salento, there are plenty of coffee plantations to visit. A botanical gardens and butterfly house are worth seeing nearby.
Horse-riding is a really popular activity here too, or you can simply relax by the pool which is lined with colourful bougainvillea. There’s also a library, roof top terrace, and bicycles which are free to rent for exploring. The hacienda has free WiFi throughout.
Inside Hacienda San Jose, there are eight individually style rooms and suites, keeping the atmosphere intimate and homely yet elegant. All the rooms are fitted with vintage colonial furniture from the estate’s 19th century roots. Some have balconies and all have views overlooking the magnificent gardens.
The master suite on the second floor boasts 180-degree beautiful views over the landscape of the ranch. Wood panelled ceilings and floors with whitewashed walls keep the style here simple yet pretty.
The service here gets rave reviews. Guests can enjoy breakfast in bed if they wish, or can have an expert massage in the privacy of their room. This is a place where you can really relax.
The dining room has the same historic feel, dotted with family heirlooms and antiques used by its original owners. There is a great selection of hearty Colombian and European cuisine to choose from, all complemented of course by the fantastic local coffee – easily the best you’ll ever drink.
This article was brought to you by Exsus Luxury Holidays and Honeymoons