Antioquia wants tourists to visit the northwestern Colombian department’s coffee farms to see how they produce “the world’s best coffee.”
To achieve this, the department launched the project, “Antioquia: Origen of gourmet coffees,” a government’s development plan that aims to advance the department’s economy while revamping rural tourism in the region.
“Coffee is a lifestyle here,” coffee grower Jhon Felix Trejos from Venecia, a village in the southwest of the department, told Colombia Reports.
To share this lifestyle with visitors, Antioquia governor Sergio Fajardo — a self-proclaimed coffee aficionado — invited journalists to visit Venecia and the surrounding villages to see how the coffee is being picked, dried, roasted, and most importantly, consumed.
According to Fajardo, “we have the talent, we have the potential, and we have the capacity to produce the best coffee in the world… Our task now is to transform our department.”
Ninety-four of Antioquia’s 125 municipalities contribute to 16% of Colombian coffee production, with over 300,000 acres planted and 120,000 families involved in the production process. The main idea of the new project is to combine the local culture, the coffee, and the production process with tourism in the southwestern region of the department.
The tourism service will be made up of three main routes focusing on coffee families, interest groups, and of course, gourmet coffees.
Tourists will be able to choose from these different packages, all of which will involve a day of different activities in the various municipalities, as well as tours of the coffee farms to learn the production process of gourmet coffees.
The government hopes the coffee tours will spark tourists’ interests in the municipalities and their particular attractions.
For example, Venecia is a friendly region that has beautiful hills. Tourists visiting the coffee farms will also be able to follow indigenous trails up the five different hills that surround the village.
“The question we want to answer now is how we will benefit the communities and the coffee families of Antioquia,” said Luz Helena Naranjo, Antioquia’s tourism director.
The project is meant to combine all aspects of coffee production and its surrounding culture to pass on the education to younger generations. The government eventually wants to open a school in Antioquia where producers and professionals of the coffee industry pass on their knowledge.