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October 5, 2013


Salamina the unknown jewel of the coffee triangle!

by swebackpacker

If Salento was unknown for backpackers Salamina is completely unknown. I have not even heard or read anything at all about Salamina before going to Colombia. I stayed in a hostal in Zona Rosa in Manizales and was planning what to do next. The hostal had a leaflet over interesting places in Manizales and around Manizales. Most places were known to me such as Los Nevados, Hacienda Venecia (Coffee tour) but one place was unknown. I asked the manager is Salamina an interesting place? This is one of our most beautiful villages we have in Colombia! A lot of artists, writers and poets have made Salamina a famous village in Colombia. However very few people visits Salamina but I recommend going the village is incredibly beautiful! The carpenters work around the village is astonishing.

Salamina main road

Expected travel time to Salamina was two to three hours by bus. My guidebooks had no information about Hostals, hotels or restaurants. I decided take a chance and go anyway! I took a taxi to the bus terminal in the morning I was lucky a bus was leaving for Salamina within minutes. The road was tarred and of high standard. One travelled through an incredibly beautiful landscape. After two and a half to three hours a wonderful view of Salamina turned up on the left hand side of the bus. Five minutes later the bus arrive Salamina!

Salamina from Manizales road

I jumped off the bus and asked a man if there was any hotel in Salamina? The man said, you can find a room for 2 mil peso (about one US dollar) two blocks from here, turn left and walk all the way downhill to the end of the road. You shouldn´t pay more than 2 mil peso for a room in Salamina! I left the man and walked towards the village Centre. After two blocks I stopped and looked down to the left in the direction the man has given. A young boy turned up and took my hand and made a sign to follow him! We walked on the main street towards the main square in Salamina. On the right hand side hostal Casa Real turned up we left the street and walked upstairs into a fantastic reception area.

Reception desk Casa Real Salamina

The building was at least 100 years old and very well maintained. A lady greeted me welcome and asked what kind of room I wanted? All of the three shown rooms had the same price 25 mil Peso (about 12 US dollar). I decided for a room with balcony towards the main street (noisy choice but the balcony was very nice). I had a wonderful room with a very nice bed, shower with hot and cold water and WiFi for the computer. The Colombian small villages are really cheap for the backpacker far cheaper than the bigger cities. I stayed four days in Salamina and did see one backpacker during that time.

Outside hostal Casa Real Salamina

There are two restaurants in Salamina one opposite hostal Casa Real and one on the main square called Tierra Paisa. I visited the one opposite hostal Casa Real since the receptionist recommended it. They were serving different kind of meat dishes simple ones as Perro Calienete (hot dog), hamburgers to more substantial meat dishes.

Main square by nigt Salamina

Next day I went to Teirra Paisa this is a restaurant serving traditional Colombian food. One can have meat and fish dishes here I strongly recommend fish dishes such as Robalo. Tierra Paisa has a very beautiful interior displaying old traditional Colombian culture. This becomes one of my favorite restaurants in Colombia because of their friendly staff and very interesting traditional and tasty food. If one thinks it to expensive to stay at hostal Casa Real one can check up the rooms rates at Tierra Paisa they seems to have rooms on first floor.

Interior in Tierra Paisa restaurant

If you want to walk in the beautiful valleys around Salamina hostal Casa Real can help to arrange for a guide. I did a couple of walks but stayed on the roads around Salamina. One walk well worth doing is backtracking on the road towards Manizales for about an hour to see a great view of Salamina and a wonderful landscape.

View north of Salamina

Another day I took a walk out of Salamina to the north. Take the road from the main square to the left of the church. There is a medical center at the corner of the square. Follow this road downhill until you reach some stairs. Continue downhill on the stair until you reach the main road. There is a possibly for several hour walk downhill to a river. You decide how far downhill you go. There seems to be an interesting finca there one can stay overnight if you want to stay somewhere else instead of in Salamina.

The road between Salamina and Aguadas

After four day I left Salamina with a bus going to Medellin. The bus was supposed to leave at 09:00 in the morning but left at about 09:20. The road to Aguadas is very beautiful but it´s a rough and bumpy journey.

Building at main square in Salamina at sunset

One has a fantastic view of Salamina from the left side of the bus after about half an hour travelling time. There are very few buses going this way so the bus becomes very crowded for one to one and a half hour. Most people left the bus at Aguadas maybe I should have done that as well.

Salamina towards the cemetary

Aguadas is also a well-known traditional village for Colombians. However I continued the long bumpy ride all the way up to Medellin in a very beautiful landscape. The bus arrived Medellin southern bus terminal at about six in the evening.

Small talk in the evening Salamina

Night photography is particularly rewarding as can be seen on these pictures during the evenings in Salamina.

Farmer riding home during the night in Salamina

Man in the dark night Salamina© SWEBackpacker, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material including pictures without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to SWEBackpacker with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


10 Comments Post a comment
  1. Nice pics and info

  2. alain castrillon
    Apr 29 2014

    gracias por visita nuestro pueblo. la proxima tiene que hospedarse en una finca cafetera para que conozca la cultura del cafe, sentir el amanecer con olor a leña, leche recien ordeñada y cafee netamente campesino, son sensaciones completamente indescriptibles.

  3. Apr 29 2014

    hello swebackpacker, i am Lucas Giraldo and i am a “salamineño” , you cant imagine how happy i am with your comments about our little peace of heaven but you didnt wrote about the most wonderful thing than we have THE PEOPLE. Did you feel like an “amazing alien” who everybody wants to be friend with or at least met? (i said that because the last friend i brought to my city was overwhelmed by all my aunts and relatives … of course in a good way ) anybody invited you to “almuercito”(lunch) at their home? or one aguardientico ? DUDE!!! you have to come back and please let us know!!! we love show to the people how awsome we are with our visitors

    best regards


    check this out, 7 and 8 of december every year we have “la noche del fuego” (the night of fire) if you came in that date you will never leave my town

    • Apr 30 2014

      I agree completely definitely a mistake not mentioning peoples hospitality!

  4. Great Article and Fotos! We’re happy to see that others are discovering Salamina too! We’ve been sending people there now for quite some time.



  5. Apr 30 2014

    Thank you for a nice comment!
    Good luck with your travel business!
    Great that you are sending tourist to Salamina!

  6. Andrew
    May 10 2016

    Very awesome read! Great to see that you were adventurous and wanted something different. The people,food and beautiful scenes is what traveling should be all about! Great job once again!

    • May 11 2016

      Hi Andrew!
      Thank you for very nice comment!
      It´s always nice to be among the first few to unknown place.
      Best regards from


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