Official language: Spanish
Time zone: UTC -5
Currency: Colombian peso (COP)
The beginnings of the city weren't easy. Mountain terrain for many years has been accessible only for people and mules. The first asphalt road was built in 1927.
Originally the city was named in the honour of Carlos Holguin, the president of Colombia back then. It was changed to Armenia after massacres involving Hamidian and Armenian Genocide, to commemorate their memory,
In the evenings, step by La Esquinita de Pele, a vibrant local eatery on the crossroad of Carrera and Calle 17. It has a collection of more than 4000 vinyl discs.
The founder of the city was Jesus Maria Ocampo, widely known as Tigrero (the killer of tigers), due to its love for hunting for wild cats. He arrived there in 1889 and for 100 pesos in gold bought the land. He built the trading centre and sold the land to other settlers. In that way in a few months number of citizens grew to one hundred, which allowed to officially establish a city.
You can realize that citizens of Armenia love jeep, if you come there in February, when you can witness one of a kind parade of jeeps – Yipao. Those vehicles came to the city after the Second World War. They were supposed to help residents of difficult, mountain area in moving around and transporting goods. Nowadays, vehicles are richly decorated, painted in extravagant patters and filled with goods to the breaking point. The parade is divided into a few categories, among others, transport of people, coffee, agriculture products, furniture.
You can see attachment to tradition and get a real lesson of Colombian folklore during beauty contest Chapoleras. Ladies are dressed in traditional gowns to gather coffee from the end of 19th century. The competition is accompanied by dance shows.
Armenia is a great starting point for people hiking on high, challenging mountains. Barely 30 minutes by car to the north of the city starts the National Park Los Nevados, where the highest peaks of central Colombia are situated. With height of even 4500 metres above the sea level, mountains are covered by snow all year round. In the city you can use services of a guide, who can securely lead brave men by the mountain range.
When you get hungry, go to a restaurant Balcon del Quinidio, that is situated on 10 km Via Armenia Pereira. In eagerly visited by Colombians spot you can eat home-made, cheap dinner. Additionally, the view is breath taking. If you fancy some fish, make sure to visit situated 30 km to the north of Armenia town Salento, famous for perfectly prepared river trout.