Hacienda Venecia

Top choice in Zona Cafetera

This hacienda has won numerous awards for its coffee. It offers a tour in English that includes an informative presentation about Colombian coffee, an introduction to coffee cupping, a class in coffee preparation and a walking tour through the plantation. You can use the pool afterwards, and a typical lunch is available for COP$15,000. The tour price includes transportation to/from your hotel in Manizales. Barista workshops are available.

The plantation is centered on a well-preserved paisa farmhouse with majestic views that has been converted into a lovely boutique hotel (rooms with/without bathroom from COP$374,000/200,000). The gardens are well kept, and there's a pond with lily pads and a round blue pool. The rooms are full of books, antiques and old photographs, while the wraparound verandah has hammocks and rocking chairs to rock away the evening.

There are also cheaper, although slightly less atmospheric, accommodations in a newer building – the Coffee Lodge (rooms COP$180,000 to COP$200,000) – which are across the river from the main house and have a swimming pool. And there's a hostel building a short walk away with breezy dorms (COP$30,000 to COP$35,000), snug rooms (COP$90,000) and a guest kitchen. All accommodations include unlimited farm-fresh coffee and those staying in the hotel or Coffee Lodge are treated to a wonderful breakfast spread.