Salento, Colombia

Tucked among the verdant hills of Colombia's Coffee Triangle or eje cafetero region, Salento is a colorful town that attracts locals and travelers.

The town's biggest attraction is its traditional bahareque architecture: a collection of one- and two-story buildings, mostly white but with doors and window frames adorned in brightly painted colors.

These structures are built from native bamboo, a material that's well suited for this earthquake-prone region.

"Visiting Salento is like traveling back in time," says Alexander Rodriguez Arcila, a guide for local tour organizer and operator Colombia 57.

"The town has preserved the architectural styles that originated during the period of colonization 200 years ago and combined them with beautiful colors.

"Along with this you've got the perfect location in the Colombian Andes with the Cocora Valley just a few miles away where you can see the national tree (wax palm) and eat the best trout in your life."
Calle Real, aka Royal Road, offers a beautiful stroll through a colorful thoroughfare lined with restaurants and trinket shops that leads from Salento's main square, Plaza Bolivar, to a lookout point called Alto de la Cruz.

Café Jesús Martín offers an incredible cup of joe.

Berny Polanía

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