The department of Quindío is located in central-west Colombia and has an area of 1,947 square kilometres. It is bordered by the departments of Valle del Cauca, Tolima and Risaralda.
The western region has an uneven terrain, with many rivers such as the Quindío, La Vieja, San Juan, Barragán, Espejo and Rojo . The eastern part of the region is a volcanic zone in which El Nevado del Quindío sticks out.
The department was created in 1966. It was part of Caldas Department.
Before the arrival of the Spaniards, the land was inhabited by the Quimbaya natives who had an abundance of gold and so were great goldsmiths. Their beautiful pieces can be admired in several Colombian and Spanish museums.
At present, the population of Quindío is about 604,000, mostly descendants of Antioquia.
The economy is based on agriculture, commerce and services.
Although it is the second smallest department in Colombia, it produces about 10 per cent of the country's coffee. Quindío is one of the departments that form part of the so-called “coffee axis” of Colombia.
The department has many attractions, There are beautiful places worth visiting, such as the Coffee National Park (located in the in the municipality of Montenegro), the National Park Panana in Quimbaya, the Valley of Corocora in Salento, the Centre of Guadua (“bamboo”) in Cordoba, Piedras Balncas in Calarcá, the Quimbaya Museum (winner of a national prize for architecture), the Laguna del Encanto and Los Nevados natural park, which is surrounded by the departments of Quindío, Caldas, Risaralda and Tolima.
In Quindío, and mainly in the municipality of Salento, grows the tree called Palma de Cera (“wax palm”). The Palma de Cera was adopted as Colombia's national tree in 1985.
This city was called Armenia, after Turkish Armenia, because when it was founded in 1899, the Antioquia settlers that built the first estate wanted to pay tribute to those who perished in war in Turkish Armenia at that time.
Armenia's development and growth was so fast that in the 1960s, the former Colombian president Guillermo León Valencia, called it Ciudad Milagro
A devastating earthquake destroyed this beautiful town in 1999 but it has risen again gradually thanks to the enterprising and hardworking spirit of its people. At present, the city of about 300,000 inhabitants has become one of the most modern cities of Colombia, with numerous new governmental buildings and excellent freeways.
There are many interesting places such as the Cultural Centre and the Quimbaya Museum, the Metropolitan Cultural Centre, the bullfighting ring, the Institute of Fine Arts and the Parque de la Vida
(“Park of Life”), among many others.