The Eje Cafetero (aka Coffee Triangle) is a part the Colombian Paisa region famous for the growing and production of a majority of the Colombian coffee, which is renowned as some of the best coffee in the world. At the start of the 20th century, however, the region was known for its rubber production. Try to imagine if they didn’t switch over to coffee, Colombia would be known for its great rubber and Juan Valdez would’ve ditched the donkey for a Yipao.
The triangle is composed of three departments: Caldas, Quindío and Risaralda, although coffee is also produced in other departments such as Nariño, Norte de Santander, Antioquia, Valle del Cauca, Huila, Tolima, and Cundinamarca. Of all the coffee that is grown in Colombia, only one third remains for the national market and the rest is marked for exportation. In terms of coffee production by country, Colombia ranks third worldwide, tailing Vietnam yet way behind Brazil (the long reigning king). To put it in perspective, Indonesia, which ranks fourth, doesn’t even produce half of what Colombia produces.
The region offers thematic parks such as the National Park of Coffee in Montenegro (Quindío) as well as Panaca (The National Park of Agriculture). If theme parks aren’t your cup of….err, coffee, then try out the thermal hot springs (pictured above) of Santa Rosa de Cabral (Risaralda). Your other option is eco-tourism (in SP) which offers you a wide range of activities.