Pijao hidden treasure of Quindio

AUTHOR: Guillermo Enciso

The Colombian coffee axis is one of the destinations most visited by travelers from around the world, and although many do not know and always visit the same places, this land has much more to offer, such as Pijao.

Pijao is a true hidden and unexplored treasure of Quindio, it is a small town that is located in the mountainous area of the coffee axis, on the central mountain range at 1,700 meters above sea level.

Colors houses of Pijao

In the past Pijao was one of the epicenters of the armed conflict in Colombia, the main reason why this is an unknown territory and hidden for many.

Pijao hostel

But, thank God, those were other times and today Pijao is beginning to live his rebirth, is ready for the world to know this diamond in the rough.


You can get to Pijao from Armenia and arrive after a trip of 1 hour and 33 km. You can go by bus from the terminal in Armenia, the price per trip is $6,500 COP and the buses leave every 25 minutes.

Peace mural

From the Terminal del Sur Medellín you can take a bus to Armenia, each journey costs about COP $47,000 and once you are in Armenia it is only a matter of taking another bus to Pijao.


Pijao is the only municipality in Latin America to be part of the network of Cittaslow, a model of sustainable urban development in which responsible tourism is promoted, which does not affect residents or nature and allows travelers enjoy the genuine charm of these towns..

In this video you can learn a little more about Pijao and Cittaslow:

When you get to Pijao it is impossible not to be attracted by its magic. 

I recommend that you start the tour from the main park and you will see that where you direct your eyes you will find an explosion of colors in their houses.

Main square of Pijao
Facade of Pijao's house

In Pijao you can stay in pretty houses that keep the essence of the town and facades will make you feel that you are in a place where time seems to pass, a totally indescribable feeling.

Colored houses in Pijao

The mayor’s office of Pijao seems to be an anthropological museum, in fact, it is in a certain way.

Its church is mixed with the architecture of the surrounding shops, something atypical in the region and that attracts a lot of attention.

Museum alcaldia de Pijao, first cittaslow of Latin America
Pijao corner

If you walk from corner to corner, you will be surprised. Look for the “house of colors”, look for the murals that decorate its streets. Go in search of the secret gardens that hide in their homes.


Talk to the locals and you will discover that they are very kind people, happy that you visit their land and willing to tell you their stories of a dark past and a hopeful future.

Mural of houses of Pijao


When I explored its small streets and colorful houses I found a small store with a mural outside. We went in search of handicrafts or small village souvenirs.

Interior of store Café de Origen la Floresta Piajo

It was a nice surprise that a man in pantaneras boots took us, shirt not completely clean, with marks of earth and mud, Don Carlos Arturo, a peasant of the region, producer of La Floresta Origin Coffee, a world-class organic coffee.

More surprise still was when he took us to the back of the store and made us partakers of a true coffee experience. Don Carlos Arturo is in charge of sowing, cultivating, producing, collecting, grinding and serving coffee, as well as being a great barista.

Coffee grains

He taught us a lot about home coffee, filtering methods and preparation. He gave us a live demonstration of the chemex method and we made a tasting of different types of coffee, hot and cold.

Cafe la floresta

Pijao is a true hidden gem that is worth knowing the world, so that we can help empower the farmers of the region and enjoy the true best coffee in the world.

Next to this cafe, there is the Tiendita del Buen Vivir, a very special place where you can find coffees of origin from different producers in the region, as well as other types of products, accessories for the preparation of coffee and very special crafts.

Granos de cafe

To finish, the coffee axis is much more than you think. Pijao is a place that you definitely have to know if you want to live a genuine and authentic coffee experience, an experience that surely more foreigners have lived than Colombians.

That is my invitation, to discover that unexplored Colombia, those places that make our country pure magic realism.


Quindio: Buenavista, Salento and Cocora Valley.

Antioquia: Santa Fe de Antioquia, Jericó, Guatapé and Jardín.

Valle del Cauca: La Barra and Bahia Malaga

Huila: El desierto de la Tatacoa

Tolima, Caldas and Risaralda: El Nevado Santa Isabel

Guillermo Enciso

Guillermo Enciso

Soy un nómada urbano feliz de vivir en Cali, la sucursal del cielo pero con la misión de recorrer Colombia y el mundo. Nací para viajar. Vivo para viajar, conocer costumbres y culturas. Mi lema es "probar de todo y hacer de todo" porque cada día es un regalo que debemos aprovechar al máximo.

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