The best secrets are well kept and this is the case of Salamina. 4 hours of travel to get to the road that leads to Manizales from Medellín. Going south, through Caldas Antioquia, you can choose to take the road that leads to La Pintada where you will surely find beautiful mountain landscapes, viewpoints full of fog, a muleteer and a mule with their cargo or simply the peasant houses with their beautiful corridors and flowers. When starting to descend towards the Cauca River, the farmers take their fruit stalls to the road: corozos, mangoes if they are in harvest, tangerines, wooden sticks of chaparro for diabetes, guanábanas and some other delights of the forest. You can also choose to walk the road that leads to Fredonia or if you are more daring go to Bolombolo and admire the hill Tusa and delight with the charm of small roads full of orange and citrus crops in the area.
Passing through coffee town La Merced
When you pass La Pintada, you can take a photo in the Cauca River and follow the road to La Felisa, there you will cross the Cauca to go up a narrow road to La Merced and get ready for an hour and a half of traveling up the mountain. La Merced is a must to stop for a coffee in the processing plant of the town, there, William will tell you all about the history of coffee shop Trópico and how they have specialized to get one of the best coffee in the area. Take your time and get to know the coffee history of this small town.
While at La Merced, ask how you get to Tambor. There if you want and have the time, you can schedule a trip in paragliding and see from the air the coffee landscape and in the background Marmato, a town that defies gravity in search of gold, one of the towns oldest of caldas where the Spanish and African indigenous history is mixed.
Before leaving La Merced, visit Patricia in the restaurant El Balcón Paisa and enjoy some delicious smoked sausages with giant patacón and arepa de mote, do not forget that these can be a delicious gift for those who stayed at home.
The natural mountain landscape that surrounds Salamina
The journey is not the goal, but the path and the way to Salamina, although long, is a delight for the senses. The road is not paved and the inhabitants of the mountain still keep their peasant houses full of flowers and painted a thousand colors, orange, blue, yellow, red. On the road that from the Felisa on the Cauca River, leads to Salamina you will find humid forests and watersheds full of nature. Have a stop on the road, enjoy the smell and sounds, look for the simple flowers of the “bienezas” and other more daring as the striking heliconias and epiphytes bromeliads.
Casa Carola, an eclectic lodging option.
When you get to Salamina, look for the best hotel option for your taste. In Salamina there are variety of prices and styles. Personally I recommend La Casa Carola, its owner is a Salamineño publicist, who decided to leave the life of agitated Bogota, to give tourists in the house of his great-aunt, a unique experience of time travel. Pipe is an artist by profession, botanist and chef by vocation. He loves and feels proud of his people and knows how to take care of a tourist and make him feel at home.
Your hotel combines in an eclectic and timeless way, the essence of his ancestors, showing the luxuries of other times, combining them with a contemporary environment, with music, furniture and garden.
With pipe you can take mini-courses of Spanish, ride a bicycle, enjoy a delicious breakfast prepared by the owner of the house, know the varieties of flowers and trees in the garden and make a tour by the hand of a true Salamineño who will tell you the charms and disappointments of your land and if you are good the day you hurl will have made an almojábana cake that will leave you speechless.
Salamina a trip to feed all your senses
Salamina is a culinary journey, not around very sophisticated or exotic preparations, but towards new creative uses of very common dishes in our towns and cities.
The steamed eggs are served in a cup and cooked with hot steam from the POLO coffee machine. In the club, a building from the 50s where once gala dances for high society Salamineña took place, today everyone can try the Macana a sweet that looks like the coladas with cookies that grandmothers made and that remembers the best of being at home. You can not leave without trying the cucas, panela biscuits with a delicious milk kumis made by hand and in salamina in all corners you will find delicious restaurants with food of the region at unbeatable prices.
After delighting your taste, the view is the next sense that is most used as you walk its streets and observe its facades, colorful and full of enriched textures of nature, devils and cherubs carved in wood and metal knockers in the door frames. If you have the opportunity to contact a good local guide, you will be able to visit some of the most representative houses.
Young people of Salamina are committed to their heritage
Salamina is arts and crafts, The Escuela Taller de Caldas Foundation collects the traditional knowledge of carpentry, cooking, furniture maintenance, construction, handicrafts, work in guadua and new concepts on heritage tourism guides, to teach young people about the region. It has its headquarters in a beautiful and large house in this town, where young people consolidate useful knowledge to care for and preserve one of the heritage towns of Colombia. If you have the opportunity go and know their training processes and enjoy a delicious lunch at the school restaurant.
Salamina is also partying and fire
Finally remember that Salamina is also a party, schedule your visit in cold weather if you want to live the town in peace, but if you want to know the splendor of its culture, you should not miss La Noche del Fuego and the next day plan a lunch wrapped in leaf in the Corregimiento de San Felix, they say that the landscape is beautiful and you will know the wax palm.
How to get there:
- Private car: take the road Medellín – Santa Barbara – La Pintada – La Felisa (from this point crossing the river Cauca and take the road for an hour and a half to Salamina, the road is in good condition but it is uncovered, there are 2 options to get there 1 via Merced-Salamina, shorter but a stretch of 12 km without pavement, although in good condition, 2 via Filadelfia-Arazazu-Salamina, longer 15km but paved.)
Alternative route: Medellín – Fredonia – la Pintada – la Felisa
- Bus: Expreso Sideral is direct Medellín Salamina and leaves at 7 am – Option 2 is a bit more complex: take a bus Medellín la Felisa another car La Felisa – La Merced then a jeep La Merced – Salamina
What to do:
- Remember that Salamina is a heritage town of Colombia, here you will find information in Spanish and English
- December 7 fire parties
- visit the coffee shop El Polo to try the steamed eggs
- Enjoy a Macana in the Club
- Visit the School workshop
- Ask for the best cucas with Kumis
- Explore the architectural gems of this beautiful place
What to bring
- Salamina is at 1822 meters above sea level, the weather is cool but at night it’s cold, around there are sites of natural interest that are worth visiting, comfortable walking shoes and a good jacket for the cold would be very good if you are going to explore a little more
Where to Stay
- In Salamina there is a wide range of accommodation for all tastes and budgets. Our favorite place is La Casa Carola, but you can find many more doing a search on the internet. Felipe, the owner of the Hotel, will tell you more information about activities to do in the town.