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Commercial and touristic, but still a gem. Hidden in a green valley near Pereira in the Colombian coffee district, Salento makes for a relaxed weekend with pool playing, reading in the hammock and a day hike in the Cocora valley.

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It is indeed way too crowded in Salento during a Colombian “puente”, the long weekends when a public holiday is moved to the following Monday and the weekend becomes three days long.

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There are shops everywhere, selling the same kind of universal handicraft found all around South America. But still, Salento with its colourful houses, the emerald green mountains, cheap beer, nice people and chilled atmosphere is worth visiting.

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We visited a friend of ours who has a beautiful house in Salento.

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The valley seen from the view point just above central Salento.

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Salento seen from the view point.

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The activity number one of the locals. We did as they and spent hours at “Billard Danubio”.

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And relaxed in the patio of the house, eating fresh pineapple and all sorts of fruit.

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Our favourite restaurant in Salento, “La gata Carola”. Cheap and delicious food.

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Twilight Salento.

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The main activity near Salento is a day hike in the Cocora valley with its impressive giant palm trees. Read more about this here.

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