Orujo Cafe – Expat Coffee Oasis at the Mirador
During my first stay in Salento in the spring of 2016, I saw this building many times on my frequent trips up to the Mirador lookout point. I was attracted by the bamboo structures, especially the 2-story tall building in the courtyard. I often checked it out but it never seemed to be open for business. It was a real mystery for me.
I wanted to go and hang out there since I liked the location. It’s at the very end of a row of shops and restaurants that line the Mirador parking lot. I was lookng for a relaxing spot with a nice view and much better seats than the meager wooden benches at the lookout point.
Steve from Chicago
Fast forward to just a few weeks ago when an expat friend told me about “Steve from Chicago”. Steve had just moved to Salento and was newly married to a Colombian lady from nearby Armenia. But even more interesting, Steve’s new wife Diana was the occupant of the mysterious bamboo buildings that I had often wondered about!
Of course I had to walk up to the Mirador, pay a visit to Steve and get the whole scoop. But first, I decided to linger a bit at the viewpoint to soak up some beauty. As I sat there I overheard two fellows speaking English, one with an American accent, the other British. I eavesdropped a while and heard the American telling the Brit about Salento weather, the view, and other advice.
Then it hit me… I bet the American is the man I came to see! I waited for a pause and then piped up, “Excuse me, are you Steve from Chicago?” He was a bit surprised but quickly admitted that he was in fact Steve from Chicago. What fun! I absolutely love the fact that Salento is so small!
After their conversation completed, Steve invited me to the cafe to talk some more, meet his wife and have a coffee.
I sat and talked with Steve for close to 2 hours, well past dark. Both the conversation and the coffee were excellent.
I discovered that during the time I was in Salento last spring, Diana had subletted the property to a different restaurant. The renters attempted to make a go of it as a sushi restaurant (an odd idea for Salento) but failed. That’s why it was always closed whenever I had come by.
Now that Diana and Steve are married, they’ve taken back the property. The 2-story bamboo structure is where they live and the small building on the right is the newly opened Orujo Cafe.
Steve and Diana expertly serve barista style coffee drinks made with local organic beans. Nice pastries and snacks are also available, and you can enjoy everything while relaxing in the large open air seating area. It’s especially nice that it’s covered to protect you from rain or too much sun.
Another interesting tidbit I learned is that the Cafe’s bamboo buildings used to be a Welcome Center for the Mirador lookout point. Just look at the huge bamboo structure at the lookout point and it’s quite obvious.
Plan a visit to the Orujo Cafe
When you’re up at the Mirador taking in the view, make sure you allow yourself some extra time. Stroll on over to the Orujo Cafe and have a delicious coffee. Say “Hi” to Steve and Diana, relax and chat a while. They’re very friendly and happy to answer your questions about Salento and the surrounding area.
To thank them for their hospitality leave a nice review on Trip Advisor.
Use +/- or mouse wheel to zoom/pan. Click-hold to move map.
Click on rightmost title bar icon to view full size map in new window.
Click on leftmost title bar icon to show/hide side panel list of all SalentoView places.
SalentoView places marked by purple ◯ icons to distinguish from other Google places.