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Art Velez Hostel

Art Velez Hostel
Carrera 7 #8-11, Sector Hospital, Salento, Quindio
310.535.6662 (celular)
(+57) 314.806.1153 (whatsapp)
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artvelezhostel.com

Overview: Tiny Salento, nestled in the central cordillera of the Andes mountains, has become a major tourism draw. Its biggest selling point is its proximity to the majestic Parque Nacional Natural los Nevados, which features towering peaks such as the Nevado de Tolima and the Nevado de Ruiz. Art Velez Hostel is a new option just three blocks from the plaza, which also offers guests a chance to study cooking.

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Neighborhood: Art Velez Hostel is located just three blocks west of the main square, the Plaza Bolivar. From the southwest corner of the plaza, head west two blocks, and then you will see a sign for the hostel. Head down the stairs, and then look to your left. Here you are just minutes from a wide variety of restaurants and food stands, bars and cafes, and shops, as well as quick and easy transport to the Valle de Cocora, and the entrance to PNN los Nevados, via willys jeeps which leave from the Plaza Bolivar.

How to Get There: Virtually all travel in Colombia is done via a combination of bus and plane. The hostel has a service to pick people up at the airport, both at Pereira's Matecana International Airport (PEI), and at Armenia's El Eden International Airport (AXM). It is approximately one hour to hour and 15 minutes to both. It costs $140.000 to get to the Pereira airport, and $110.000 to Armenia. This convenient van service is a great option if you're traveling as a group, as you can fit up to four peole in the van. You can reserve this service via booking.com or hostelworld, or by email, or Facebook.

If you are arriving by bus, you'll arrive at the terminal on the northern end of town. While buses once dropped off passengers directly in the Plaza Bolivar, this is no longer the case. While there are some direct buses to Salento from other areas in the Coffee Zone, and Medellin, many travelers take a bus to Armenia, and then take a colectivo from there. The ride takes under an hour, and costs $4.500. There is also a direct bus service from Medellin that costs $47.000, and takes around 7 hours.

Management/Staff: The owner, Fernando, is seven months into his new hostel project, and is putting the finishing touches on the preparations for the new cooking school.

Rooms: There are five rooms in total, with space for 15 guests in total.

Shared Rooms: There are two dorms, each with four beds. One costs $25.000 per night, and the other costs $30.000.

Private Rooms: There are three private rooms in total. There are two rooms for couples, that cost $85.000 a piece. Additionally, there is a large room that can hold up to five that is suitable for families, which costs $30.000 per person.

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Amenities: 

Breakfast: No, but there is free coffee available in the morning.

Kitchen: There is a kitchenette for basic use.

Restaurant: No.

Bar: No.

Terrace/Patio: Yes.

TV Lounge: Yes.

Computers: No.

Wifi: Yes.

Lockers: Yes, there are lockers in the common area, but you must bring your own lock.

Bicycles: Yes, you can arrange bicycle rentals and horseback riding through the hostel. La cascada de santa rita.

Credit Cards: No.

Luggage Storage: Yes.

Check-in Time: 2pm

Check-out Time: 12pm

Tourism in the City: The Coffee Tour is the highlight of tourism within Salento itself. Here, you can learn about the process from planting to harvesting, to drying, to packing, and shipping. There are 4 fincas that offer highly recommended tours in town: El Ocaso, La Arsasia, Las Acacias, and Don Elias.

Tourism outside the City: El Valle de Cocora, and its postcard-worthy photo ops, are of course the biggest selling point in Salento. On the same loop, which takes around four hours, you can also see la Casa de los Colobries, or the House of the Hummingbirds.

If you are interested in heading to the Nevado de Tolima, this is a great place to arrange the standard 3 day tour. You will spend two nights in lodges along the way, and the tour company provides breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. Food consists of typical Colombian home made food: rice, beans, chicken, chorizos, avocado, banana. 

This tour will take you to a height of 5100m, and has a cost of $500.000. All tours pass through the Valle de Cocora on the way to the summit. Along the way, you will pass through Estrella de Agua, los Arenales, El Refugio la Primavera, la Laguna del Encanto, las Cuevas, and during the second day you arrive to the high-altitutde "paramo" zone, located above the treeline.

It's important to note that the Nevado de Quindio, is now known as the Paramillo de Quindio, due to melting glaciers.

The region is also spectacular to arrange downhill mountain biking excursions.

The area is also great for trying vegetarian food, trout, bandeja paisa, and patacones.

Another exciting option is a tour which takes you to the 12 villages of Quindio, over the course of three days. For a couple, it is $380.000. You travel around in a van.

Also highly recommended are the Parque del Cafe, the Parque Panaca, and El Mariposario. Art Velez sells tours for all of these locations.

The Cooking School: Fernando is proud to announce the grand launch of his new cooking school. He graduated from a culinary institute in Cali, and then wen to work for a year in Canada. The school will offers classes on preparing a  wide variety of dishes, including deserts, Colombian Pacific food, cocina criolla, tempura, sushi, garnishes, and fruit dishes.

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Conclusion: Art Velez is a great spot to make your home base while you enjoy everything that Salento, the Coffee Zone, and PNN los Nevados has to offer. Fernando and his family are full of useful information about planning all of your activities, and his new cooking school is certain to be an interesting choice for those who are interested in learning about both Colombian and international cuisine.

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