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On the southernmost point of the Coffee Axis and far from the madding crowd lies Armenia, the slow-paced capital of Quindio. After being devastated by an earthquake in 1999, much of her city-centre was tragically lost and as such, she doesn't boast many attractions. The city centre appears relatively makeshift in its appearance: the cathedral, for example, was hastily rebuilt using prefab concrete slabs. That being said, Armenia has a vibrant downtown area, incredible coffee shops and is an ideal starting-point for exploring the pueblos of the nearby area. Since the earthquake, this city has struggled tooth-and-nail to reignite her charm in the eyes of others and our collection of the best places to stay in Armenia will give you a reason to go back again.
Founded in 1889, Armenia is one of the leading lights of Colombia's coffee-country. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011, the "Coffee Axis" produces internationally-renowned coffee and part of Armenia's brilliance lies in this fact: what a western coffee connoisseur considers to be gourmet coffee is sold in downtown cafes as a standard, while still being incredibly cheap. There are coffee shops on just about every street, particularly downtown.
In terms of attractions, Armenia sadly lacks in an abundance of them though the Museum of Gold is still worthy of checking out and the botanical gardens makes for a wonderful place to have a picnic. Out-of-town there is plenty to do and the city is a great starting-point for exploring Quindio: a short bus away is Calarca, where there is a botanical garden and enormous butterfly sanctuary, and the nearby pueblos give you the opportunity to tour coffee farms and trek through the mountains.
Not to miss
- Museums: the Museo del Oro Quimbaya is a small but fine collectin of gold artefacts from both the colonial and pre-Colombian eras. There are free guides who take you round and explain the histories of the different civilisations.
- Gardens: the Parque de la Vida botanical gardens in the city centre is a great place for a picnic. A short bus ride from the city is the Quindio Botanical Gardens, whose butterfly garden is extraordinary and the whole place is alive with birds and rare plants.
- Pueblos: visit Salento, a nearby pueblo, ideally for a few days. You can tour the local coffee farms or go hiking in the Valle de Cocora.
Not your average tourist hotspot, Armenia is a city abundant in gourmet coffee that makes for an excellent starting-point for exploring the region. We hope that our collection of the best places to stay in Armenia will surprise you.
The best places to stay in Armenia
An authentic country retreat
Hacienda Bambusa is a great example of the area’s traditional architecture and offers rustic comfort, not to mention spectacular views over the surrounding green hills. This hotel is particularly popular with couples.
For an apartment or villa
- Our partner Booking.com has a wide range of villas and apartments.
- The temperature in Armenia stays a pretty consistent 30 degrees year round. To miss the rain though, aim to visit from January to February or June to August.
- Outside of the city is the El Eden International Airport.
- If you want to rent a car, contact our partner Rentalcars.
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Best Hotels in Armenia
Hacienda Bambusa 8 rooms from £247Armenia
The rustic Hacienda Bambusa, situated in Colombia's coffee triangle, has recently been renovated to accommodate guests and offers spacious accommodation as well as an on site restaurant. Lounge by the pool or head off on action-packed days exploring the area! A superb country retreat.Romantic Break - Great accommodation, a peaceful atmosphere and beautiful surroundings-what could be better?Country Escape - Unwind at this rural spotGreat walks - Head off hiking up the nearby mountains and take in the fabulous views or simply stroll through the coffee fieldsSights nearby - A trip into the bustling colonial market town of Salento is an absolute must