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Daily Daydream: Zona Cafetera, Colombia

Come drink the freshest coffee you’ll ever have—straight from the source in Colombia’s Zona Cafetera. Also known as Eje Cafetero, this region produces nearly half of the country’s coffee crop. Plantations, from small family options to large-scale industries, can be found covering almost every spare space in the area. Be sure to visit one of the many farms for a personal tour, and see where beans are born.

Continue your education with a stop at El Parque del Cafe, the National Park of the Coffee. Here, you’ll learn about the history of the area, as well as the step-by-step process involved in growing and making coffee.

Once you’ve reached your caffeine limit for the day, you can hike in the lush green forests, go for a horseback ride, or visit the snow-capped mountains in Los Nevados National Park.

Where is it? The Andino region of Colombia. Fly to Matecana International Airport (check prices) and drive or take a bus into the coffee zone.

Where to Stay? Many intrepid coffee plantation owners have small B&Bs on their property. We like Finca El Balso, a 100-year old farm near Armenia.

What Else Should I Know? Zona Cafetera is not small—it is spread out over three distinct areas known as the “coffee triangle”—Caldas, Quindio and Risaralda.

Who’s it For? Coffee fiends, hikers, horseback riders.

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