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Visiting Salento was a non-negotiable for me once I learned it is in the heart of coffee country. I couldn’t wait to spend a full day exploring a coffee farm and drinking fresh, authentic Colombian coffee. No matter which farm you choose, I’m sure you’d have an excellent experience but there was just something special in particular about Las Acacias. If small, family-owned businesses passionate about sharing their expertise through an authentic experience is something you’d like, keep on reading for this review of touring Las Acacias coffee farm.
Related: Want to earn points + miles to travel to Colombia for nearly free? Check out my favorite credit cards to earn travel rewards.
This post is not sponsored and all thoughts and opinions are my own!
Colombia’s coffee region
Why should you tour a coffee farm while you’re in Colombia? Colombian coffee is well-known as some of the best coffee in the world. The country produces some of the highest quality arabica beans and Colombia’s climate allows for a great coffee growing environment! Most of the beans produced in Colombia are shipped out for mass-production so it’s special to try the beans roasted right in Colombia while you visit.
The best area to try Colombian coffee is within what is known as the “coffee triangle.” It is also referred to as the coffee belt or the coffee growing axis. This area is made up of the departments of Caldas, Risaralda, and Quíndio. It is also known as a UNESCO world heritage site! The Quíndio region, more specifically the town of Salento, is one of the most popular areas within the coffee triangle to visit for tourists as it also is home to the beautiful Cocora Valley.
You will have plenty of options to choose from when selecting a coffee farm to tour in Salento. In this post, I’m sharing about our experience touring Las Acacias coffee farm and why I think it’s the best farm to visit on your trip to Salento!
About La Finca de Las Acacias
I learned about Las Acacias from Bri over at Bucketlist Bri! Similar to her story, I was originally planning to go to another more popular coffee farm but once I learned about Las Acacias I knew that was where we needed to go.
Las Acacias Coffee Farm describes themselves as an authentic coffee farm experience. Las Acacias coffee is only produced and sold on the farm. You cannot buy their beans anywhere else in the world except their farm… not even in the town of Salento! The farm has been maintained by the family since their origin!
To reach Las Acacias, you can take a Willy or you can walk. From the center of Salento, it took us about 30-45 minutes to walk. The route is easy and very scenic! The farm is on Google Maps, so I just opened it and left it open on the walk to follow (you can do this even if you don’t have an international plan). You’ll come around a bend and the farm will be on your right. You won’t miss it! There will most likely be people ready to greet you and get you to come in and take a tour.
The farm is open for tours from 9 am to 5 pm with tours happening just about every hour. The schedule is loose and they’ll let you know how long until the next tour starts once you get there. Relax and have a fresh coffee, you’re on Colombian time!
Tour Review and What to Expect on a Coffee Tour
Upon arriving at Las Acacias, there were plenty of people standing around the gate ready to usher us in. I didn’t make reservations ahead of time, so I was a bit nervous but they assured me it was no problem! You can make reservations but after seeing how they operate, I really don’t think it’s necessary.
Enter through the gate and head to a covered porch area where you are offered our choice of a latte or café americano to wait for the tour to start. The owners have snacks and a beautiful tree with plenty of landing spaces for the amazing birds in the area. We had the best time sipping coffee and watching the birds come in. We also got to meet those that would be on the tour with us which made it that much more intimate!
Now that you are appropriately caffeinated, it’s time to start the tour! The tour costs 20,000 COP per person (at time of writing).
Our guide, Alfred, was friendly and knowledgeable. He allowed us plenty of opportunities to ask questions, look at the farm, and enjoy the tour.
To start, you walk down the path through some coffee trees before stopping to see some budding coffee plants. Alfred explained the process of planting and growing, how they select beans to plant, and how long it takes a coffee tree to grow before it’s ready to harvest. We even got to try our hand at planting a seed!
The path is also surrounded by beautiful tropical flowers and the guide knew every plant. Seeing the unique plants we don’t have in the US was almost (almost) as fun as learning about coffee.
After planting the beans, you walk a little further into the field to talk about harvesting. You learn about when a bean is ready to harvest and what distinguishes a good bean from a not-so-good bean. We also had the opportunity to harvest our own! Alfred explained that harvesting coffee is difficult and dangerous work. The workers must work quickly, as they are paid by the kilogram with one kilogram paying about $100 USD for the whole day! You have to pick your own beans to truly appreciate what a feat this is. Not to mention with the steep hills and mud which can easily cause you to slip and tumble down the hill. (We may or may not have almost fallen down the hill ourselves…)
Now your time in the field has come to an end. Traverse back through the field and up to the house where the beans are processed. Here, we learned about the machines that peel the skin away from the beans before they are prepared to roast. After that, you walk through and learn all about the process of drying the beans in the sun and then roasting and preparing coffee.
Hopefully, you’re ready for more caffeine because before you leave it’s time for another fresh cup of Colombian coffee! We chatted some more with our amazing guide and new friends we met on our tour and then bought plenty of coffee to take with us back to the US!
All in all, the tour took us about an hour and a half. It was the perfect amount of time and we enjoyed getting to see how coffee is processed. We’re so grateful to Las Acacias for sharing their farm and coffee with us!
What to wear on a coffee tour
Don’t be like me, friend. I don’t know WHAT I was thinking. I vaguely remember thinking “Oh, I have to wear this cute jumpsuit because I need all my other outfits on the rest of the trip and I need cute pictures while I drink coffee!” Sigh. Sandals was not a good choice. Oops. Like…. We walked a mile on a dirt path and not once did I think “this is not a good shoe choice.”
The farm is muddy. It rains a lot in Colombia, especially in the coffee region. You can be pretty confident you’ll have to traverse through some mud. Prepare accordingly and wear good shoes or hiking boots. I also recommend a rain jacket for those frequent rain showers. Most others on the tour were wearing things like leggings or loose fitting shorts and a jacket. This would be perfect! Just maybe not a cute jumpsuit and sandals. I survived, but I could’ve been more comfy… that’s for sure.
Final thoughts and recommendations
Any trip to Colombia isn’t complete without exploring the coffee region. Salento is a lively small town that perfectly situates you to explore coffee farms to your heart’s content! You’ll have plenty of options to choose from but Las Acacias will provide an intimate, authentic experience that you’ll be thinking about for years to come! Learning about coffee growing and harvesting in one of the world’s biggest coffee producers is a bucket list item you can’t turn down. Doing the coffee tour is even more special at Las Acacias where you can only enjoy their beans at their farm!
No time to spend 3 full days in Salento or just don’t want to organize a tour on your own? No problem! Check out these great coffee tours offered through Viator.