If the scenery, music, or Spanglish in the newest Disney movie Encanto enchanted you and your loved ones, why not enchant yourself further by visiting Colombia’s Encanto. In the movie, we all watched the magic of Colombia come alive through the colors, the music, the nature, and the food of la Familia Madrigal.
However, Disney’s Encanto is not just about entertaining kids, it was created so everyone could appreciate the beauty and magic that lives in Colombia. Why not take it one step further and visit Colombia’s Encanto for yourself? Allow your inner child or child’s dream to come alive by visiting the locations of Salento, Cocora Valley, Barichara, Cartagena, and Caño Cristales.
Experience The Locations
Salento/ Cocora Valley
The true backdrop of Disney’s Encanto green mountains and palm trees is without a doubt Cocora Valley which sits in Colombia’s coffee capital of Salento. Situated with colorfully painted homes in the coffee region of Antioquia this is the perfect setting for this film. Hike into the Cocora Valley to witness the hidden landscapes that will drop you straight into the set of Disney’s Encanto.
High up in the clouds in the Central Andean valley, the rolling green mountains and palm trees are waiting for you deep in the Cocora Valley. Here you can hop on a “willy” (vintage jeep) to explore local fincas (coffee farms) or the world’s tallest palm trees. Choose between hiking or horseback riding in the towering palm trees of Cocora Valley past cascading waterfalls and streams. Finishing up a great day with some of the world’s best coffee or playing Colombia’s famous stone and gunpowder game of tejo.
How To Get There: The closest airports to Salento are located just a 40-minute car ride away in Armenia or Pereira. From the quaint quiet town of Salento, Cocora Valley is a fast adventurous ride in a willy.
Categorized by the director of Encanto as a “town lost in time,” the architecture and cobblestone stone streets of Barichara were mixed into the setting of the town in Disney’s Encanto.
A small town in the Colombian countryside filled with whitewashed terra cotta tiled houses and cobblestone streets rich in history, Barichara offers the historically significant El Camino Real cobblestone path, which today connects small towns and a day trip or multi-day hike for tourists. Weave in and out of the Colombian countryside with the opportunity to enrich your authentic Colombian vacation.
How To Get There: From any major city in Colombia, you will need to take a flight to Bucaramanga and proceed with private transport directly to Barichara.
With the click clack of a horse-drawn carriage through the maze that is Cartagena, you will hear cumbia on every corner. From the locals dancing at home to the restaurants filled with local cumbia dancers and musicians, you won’t help but notice the resemblance of sounds to the film.
This modern port city is one of the many places where music comes alive in Colombia. Typically known as the walled city with colonial architecture, Cartagena offers a maze of narrow cobblestone streets lined with colorful homes and colorful people. It is not just the city, but the unknown and untouched islands a boat ride away that reveal the Afro-Colombian culture that lives and breathes through rhythm and dance here.
How To Get There: The easiest way to Cartagena is a simple international flight from The US or a quick trip from Bogota or Medellin.
At the end of the movie, did you find yourself wondering if a river could really look like a rainbow? In fact, this river exists just as vibrant as it was shown in the film Encanto but in the center of a Latin American country.
The magical “Rainbow River” known as Caño Cristales is colored blue, yellow, green, black, and predominately red between July and November due to plant growth on the river. Located in the Serrania de La Macarena National Park, the magical realism of Caño Cristales is accompanied by jungles, wildlife watching, and savannahs, which are only accessible with a licensed tour guide.
How To Get There: To get to this surreal place, your only option is Stena Airlines, which flies directly to La Macarena, the closest town to Caño Cristales.
Experience The Food
In the Disney movie, la Familia Madrigal shows how the magic flows endlessly through Colombian food. While Maribel’s mother can heal the town with her arepas and buñuelos, they are the perfect representation of the sweet and savory snacks in this region.
Enjoy these arepas (cornmeal cakes) or buñuelos (golden crunchy balls filled with cheese) any time during your adventure. During your private luxury journey through Colombia’s Encanto, a bite into either of these Colombian delicacies will heal you instantly.
Through all these quaint pueblos (towns) the food is a large part of the Colombian culture. Trust that you will always find the best arepa or buñuelos on any Colombian street corner that will heal your soul. While the city varies, the insides of these healing arepas change, from Arepas de huevo (stuffed with a fried egg) in Cartagena to the savory mixes of yucca and chicharrón (fried pork rinds) in Barichara.
Experience The Wildlife and Biodiversity
Situated among the rolling hills of Colombia’s coffee region, the film unveils a teaser of the true biodiversity beauty of Colombia’s Encanto. To see supreme biodiversity of Colombia, visit Reserva Natural El Almejal or Parque Nacional Natural Sierra de la Macarena. But, to hear jungle cats in the middle of the night visit Reserva Natural Tanimboca in Amazonia.
A country with diverse wildlife and plants that change just as fast as you can blink your eyes. Follow the yellow butterflies, hummingbirds, toucans, iguanas, or pumas through the magical vibrant country of Colombia.
Where To Stay
Take it one step further and wake up in the Colombian coffee region among the palm trees, creaky windows, and traditional architecture just like the home of the Madrigal family. The secret hotel of Hacienda Bambus is just that place, as magical as the casa (home) in Disney’s Encanto.
Preserving the traditional architectural style, this large hacienda was built out of bamboo and clay. The charm does not end here, this unique spot in an oasis of peace and nature among the mountains has the relaxation of a pool, a garden, and the magic of Colombia’s Encanto. For an even more authentic trip, indulge in coffee tasting, cacao tasting, traditional cooking lessons, or a hot air balloon ride.
Let Kuoda Guide You Through Colombia’s Encanto
When matching reality with a fantasy, the key to the perfect curated travel experience involves hitting all the correct locations, eating all the right foods, and making dreams a reality. At Kuoda, we pride ourselves on authentic, responsible, and luxury travel experiences that leave us and our world a better place.
If you or your loved ones have Disney’s Encanto film or soundtrack on repeat, maybe a family trip to this setting is the perfect plan for your upcoming vacation. Experience the vibrant beauty and magic of Colombia’s Encanto through the cuisine, landscapes, and culture. In turn, explore what happens when a movie becomes reality in Colombia with Kuoda Travel.