I’ve always had a special place in my heart for theme parks. I love the food, I love the games, I love the people, and I especially love the rides. So when I heard Colombia had a coffee-themed park, I knew I had to get there. It is right outside of Montenegro, and it is one of the coolest places on earth.

Have you ever heard of Hershey Park in Hershey, Pennsylvania? It’s like that, only with coffee. When we walked into the park there was a huge directory. I skimmed the directory for all the high points of the park. My eyes immediately went to the rides. There were bumper cars, bumper boats, a Ferris wheel, a free-fall, go-karts, and a roller coaster. All the rides were across the park from the spot we were standing, so we looked for the attractions that were closest to us then we made our way over to the rides.

National Coffee Park - Quindío, Colombia

It just so happened that the Interactive Coffee Museum was close, so we went there first. It’s a science and technology museum, so most of the exhibits were related to the science and the technological advances that have allowed Colombia to dominate the coffee-trading business. Before we left we saw a 3-D coffee movie. It was cute, but I really didn’t like the coffee bean flying at my face!

I got really annoyed with some people in the group. I won’t name any names, but someone didn’t wear the right shoes, so that someone complained so much that we decided to take the train tour around the park instead of walking through it. I wanted to go to the top of the lookout tower, but we couldn’t go because you have to walk up the stairs to get to the top. I wanted to go to the indigenous tribe cemetery, but we couldn’t go because the pathway was made of rocks and very uneven. I’m not complaining about the train ride. It was a fast way to see all the attractions in the park, but I wanted to be out there experiencing it up close and personal! The last straw for me was we couldn’t get on the bumper cars as a group because we all had to wear closed-toe shoes. At that point, I decided to go off on my own for the rest of the day.

Colombian National Coffee Park - Quindío, Colombia

After that, I went to see everything! I went to the National Coffee Museum, I went to the makeshift Quindian town plaza, I went to the coffee gardens, and I went horseback riding. I wasn’t alone for long. I met a guy named Martín and his sister Leidi when I was sitting at this musical theater performance. Being around them and all the fun I was having in the coffee park made me lose track of time. When I looked at my watch it said 5:00 pm. I was supposed to be at the bus at 5:00 pm! I ran all the way across the park, all thirty-six acres, in about fifteen minutes. Good thing I’m in great shape. But don’t think I didn’t get Martin’s contact information before I ran.

Activities:

  1. Do you like theme parks? Why or why not?
  2. Read more about Colombian coffee: http://www.cafedecolombia.com/particulares/en/el_cafe_de_colombia/
  3. Mention a few factors that contribute to make Colombia’s coffee so outstanding.
  4. Take a look at the descriptive map of the Colombian Coffee region http://www.cafedecolombia.com/particulares/en/el_cafe_de_colombia/un_cafe_sobresaliente/  In which parts of the country does coffee grow?