Jericó is one of Antioquia’s most picturesque and classical towns. It has a long tradition of coffee cultivation which has manifested with a number of ecotourism establishments that allow you to experience this culture firsthand. My personal favorite is La Nohelia. Not only is it a fun and unique look into Antioquian cafetero life, but there are a number of other activities and tours that help you make the most of your time in Jericó.
My Nohelia Experience
Due to traffic out of Medellín, we arrived in Jericó and La Nohelia a bit later than expected. Nevertheless, our host Juan, or “John Coffee,” was awake to greet us despite having to be up at five am to start the day. He showed us to our accommodations and gave us the schedule for the next day.
Glamping on the Mountainside
If you decide to stay at La Nohelia itself, accommodation is located right in front of the farmhouse in Alojamiento Piramide. As the name suggests, this is a large pyramid-shaped building designed inline with feng shui principles with wide windows looking out on the farm. Creatively built with bamboo logs and tin sheets, it’s an excellent way to experience the Antioquian jungle without actually having to be subjected to its extremes.
There are four different rooms in the pyramid: Paraíso, Primavera, Otoño and Nido. They all have their advantages and disadvantages depending on how rustic you want to get.
We stayed in the Otoño room, which is on the ground floor. It has a large bed and its own bathroom with a shower but unfortunately no windows. Still, it was nice to go to sleep with the nightly rain clattering against the tin. Primavera is essentially the same but with a window and view.
Nido is also on the ground floor, but while it has a bathroom and windows, there’s no shower in the room. You have to go to showers located outside.
Paraíso also has an outdoor shower, but it takes up the second floor and is therefore considerably larger with a much better view. Specifically, it has two double beds and one single bed, so it’s a better option for families or large groups.
Regardless of what room you choose, your accommodation comes with freshly prepared breakfast in the morning on the balcony of the main house that overlooks the valley and coffee plantation.
Coffee Cultivation from Start to Finish
The main draw of La Nohelia ecotourism is the coffee tour. Juan is a third-generation coffee farmer committed to ecological cultivation. The tour takes you through the entirety of coffee farming from planting the seeds to drying and fermenting the beans with various techniques. Depending on the season, you’ll even get to pick some coffee berries yourself!
One of the best and most unique parts of this coffee tour is that you end up at Juan’s parents’ house afterwards. It’s a very traditional Colombian cafetero house with vibrant colors, dazzling flowers and beautiful views of the surrounding landscape. It’s a great place for photos and appreciating the traditional culture of Antioquia.
Coffee Tasting With a View
After the coffee tour, we ended up back on the balcony of the main house. The clouds had risen for the morning, so the valley was fully visible. With the magnificent view, we tried La Nohelia’s different coffee varieties in the relaxing atmosphere.
Ziplining Across the Valley
With a bit more energy from the coffee, we decided to go ahead and do La Nohelia’s ziplines. There’s a short line that goes right across the coffee field, but there’s also a longer one that runs past the balcony over the valley itself. I highly recommend it, both as a fun adrenaline rush and a good way to get the full view of the countryside.
Other Tours Available
While we stuck to the coffee tour and ziplining, La Nohelia offers several other tours as well, including:
A city tour of Jericó
Hiking in the Cañon del Rio Cauca
Hiking to Indio Quebradona waterfall
Hiking in Parque Natural las Nubes
A tour of literary sites in Jericó
If you’re in Jericó for a long time, these are great ways to experience the city and its surroundings with a charismatic and knowledgeable guide.
How to Arrange an Experience at La Nohelia
It’s easy to book a room and the various tours at La Nohelia through their website. Usually, you can also reserve the tours as you go once you’re there at the farm. It’s a good idea to reserve a room a bit in advance since the small number of rooms means they may fill up. Of course, you can always stay in town and then just reserve a tour.
Unlike some other cafeteros I’ve visited in Antioquia, La Nohelia is pretty accessible. In fact, I even went on a jog from the Piramide into town. It’s located just 2.5 miles (about 4 km) outside of Jericó and is under a 15 minute drive along a mostly paved country road.
Getting to Jericó from Medellín is fairly simple and doable by bus, taxi or rental car. From there, just follow Calle 1 out of town. You will encounter a few forks, but there should be signs for La Nohelia directing you the right way.
Take Advantage of Your Time in Jericó
La Nohelia and its many tours are just a few of the things you can do in Jericó. If you have more time in the town or are thinking about returning again, read up on our many other articles on this beautiful part of Antioquia: