Upon the recommendations from people on my coffee plantation tour in Manizales, I decided to ride to the Andean town of Salento. It was a really short ride as you can tell from the map at the end of this post. However, it was relaxing, and the last few kilometers into Salento were twisty among a beautiful forest.
Salento is known for the nearby parks. East is Cocora Valley where lofty wax palm trees, a national symbol, and home to rare parrots. Salento is also the gateway to the snow-capped peaks of Los Nevados National Natural Park, to the northeast.
When I arrived in Salento I looked at tours to these areas. In the plaza there were a lot of 4x4s lined up to take people into the mountains. However,they are expensive, especially if you are going as a single, and it requires at least a day. The weather also wasn’t the greatest. So, I decided not to go but rather just enjoy the town.
Coffee Shop in Salento
One of the first things I do when visiting a new town is find a relaxing coffee shop. No Starbucks in this village 🙂 It took me a while to find a coffee shop here that had the atmosphere I was looking for. I finally found one tucked away amongst a group of stores. This was my first thing in the morning stop.
Walk Around Salento
As I walked around Salento, I noticed a considerable number of tourists. I could certainly understand why. The town is picturesque.
Dogs at every corner sleeping. Kind of a common sight throughout Central America and now Colombia.
The plaza was a disappointing. While Salento is beautiful, I much preferred Jardin.
Mirador Alto De La Cruz
One thing I have mentioned before is that it is difficult for me to keep in shape while motorcycling. It could be done for sure, but for me I need to get into a routine. Routine just doesn’t happen on a motorcycle trip of this kind. And that is one reason it is so appealing. Everyday is different. The result is that I have gained weight on the trip and my muscles have atrophied ha ha ha 🙁
Getting to the Mirador Alto De La Cruz consists on many steps up a hill. I was sore for days after climbing the steps in Medellin. So when I first saw these steps I said to myself … NAH not going to do it. However, I finally told myself I had to do it. The views must be great and the exercise would be good for me.
The Mirador Alto De La Cruz did not disappoint on both counts.
As I mentioned, the weather was not great while I was in Salento. The torrents came in the afternoon.
Time to head back to Bogota where I was looking forward to going home for Christmas.