In the heart of Colombia’s coffee country is the small town of Circasia. It lies on the road between the cities of Pereira and Armenia. There really isn’t much to the town and not much reason to visit, but I enjoyed our quick stop there. Circasia is part of the UNESCO World Heritage listed Coffee Cultural Landscape of Colombia.
The plaza is very large and surrounded by a few colonial buildings. In the center is a small fountain and a pool filled with fish. Next to it is a statue of Simón Bolívar.
Unlike most main plazas in Colombia, there is no church. At least not yet. During my visit, Circasia was in the process of building a new church. Some of the walls were constructed and there was a large banner in front asking for donations to support the construction process. Services were being held in a small makeshift structure inside the skeleton of the new church.
A block from the plaza was a lookout tower called Mirador Alto de la Cruz. After climbing a staircase, we entered a small café and went up to the top of the tower. Admission was COP$1,000 and there were nice views of the town and surrounding areas.
The absolute highlight of our trip was a small café we visited before leaving. La Ruana Café Tertulia is located in an old home. Besides outdoor seating in the garden, there are a few rooms all decorated with antiques. Marisol and I each had a cappuccino flavored with liquor and shared a café campesino (coffee with aguapanela). It was some of the best coffee I’ve found in Colombia.
Buses regularly run through Circasia from Pereira and Armenia. There is no bus terminal so you will have to ask the bus driver to let you off in Circasia. The buses run along one way streets just a block or two from the plaza. It’s easier to get to and from Circasia via Armenia. We paid COP$1,900 each. There are several companies to choose from for that route. From Pereira’s bus terminal, we paid COP$5,000 with Flota Occidental – the only company that ran buses from Pereira directly into Circasia.