The Magic Coffee Route in the Huila region of Colombia
As part of its strategy to increase the number of visitors to the department and to support its agrotourism development, the government of Huila continues to strengthen the attraction “The Magic Coffee Route”, with which it hopes to increase the number of national and foreign visitors by 40% by the end of 2022 and to increase the department’s tourism revenue.
This route aims to make the quality of Huila’s coffee visible and appreciated, as the optimal soil and climate conditions produce a coffee with an intense fragrance and aroma, with unique fruity and caramelised sensations appreciated throughout the world, which have led to the department having the highest number of designations of origin in the world and awards in the international “Cup of Excellence” competition. In addition, thanks to the natural and cultural wealth of the municipalities of Garzón and Gigante, visitors will be able to discover a land shrouded in mysticism, where many of the country’s most famous myths and legends originate.
“Most of the department’s tourism was concentrated in two points, in the north in the Tatacoa desert and in the south in municipalities with a rich archaeological culture such as San Agustín and Isnos. But Huila as a whole is a wonderful region and we wanted Colombians and foreigners to get to know all that not only these two traditional points have to offer, but also the centre of our department with the Magic Coffee Route, where they will find unique natural landscapes, the best coffee in the world, the rich heritage and culture, the gastronomy and, of course, its people,” says Luis Enrique Dussán, Governor of Huila.
So far, the department, through international cooperation and different entities, has invested around 500 million pesos in the implementation of the “Magic Coffee Route”, which has only been a destination brand for one year, which has brought a significant benefit to the people of Huila, as this new attraction has involved more than 88 agri-tourism operations and more than 30 gastronomic establishments, generating around 900 direct and indirect jobs during weekends, which are the days when the most people use this route. This has motivated the development of the hotel infrastructure with an increase in tourist numbers of 116% in Gigante and 87% in Garzón, achieving an increase in the department’s tourist income of 52.4% compared to the same period in 2021.
“Our department is fascinating in itself, it is the cradle of the country’s most popular myths and stories such as the mohan, La patasola, the mother mountain, the sombrerón, among others. And it is precisely in the municipalities of Gigante and Garzón that the story of Mirthayu and Matambo can be found, two giants of a legend whose memory lives on in the mountains and reliefs and whose shapes evoke the faces and breasts of these mythical characters. You can also visit the village of La Jagua, the village of witches with its mysterious stories, or visit the Duende waterfall, which always surprises visitors. Tourists will be able to get close to these stories full of mysticism, taste the best coffee in the world, learn more about the culture of coffee in Huila and explore a privileged geography through the beautiful landscapes of our municipalities”, adds Nelsy Tovar, secretary of culture and tourism of Huila.
Among the main attractions of the itinerary are the possibility of visiting both municipalities enjoying unique views in its emblematic viewpoints such as the Mano del Gigante, the Brisas de Mirtayhu or the famous Balcón del Huila, nature excursions through the natural reserves of El Carriquí, El Barranquero or the foothills of Miraflores National Park, all of which are great places for birdwatching and walking, enjoying different shows, tasting the delicious local cuisine, getting to know the tourist routes of these municipalities and their rich cultural heritage.
“What we are very proud of with the Magic Coffee Route is the commitment to the environment, with an emphasis on ecotourism and with more than 18 groups in charge of protecting the ecosystems of the area, but also with the use of all natural resources through the circular economy, to the extent that we reuse the feet of the coffee tree (zoka) when its trunk is no longer productive, for the construction of rural hotel infrastructures that are located along the route”, explains the department’s secretary of culture.
The Magic Coffee Route focuses on its route through the municipalities of Gigante and Garzón and the central towns of Tres Esquinas and Zuluaga. This amazing route can be completed in 2 or 3 days, during which tourists can enjoy ecological rural accommodation, experiences around the coffee culture and adventure activities in unique natural settings.
Source : Gobernación del Huila
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