Located in the southwestern part of the country, facing the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Valle del Cauca Department to the north, Tolima Department to the northeast, Huila Department to the east, and Nariño Department to the south. Putumayo and Caqueta Departments border the southeast portion of Cauca Department as well. It covers a total area of 29,308 km2 (11,316 sq mi), the 13th largest in Colombia. Its capital is the city of Popayán.
According to the limits set in the request for recognition of Café de Cauca Protected Denomination of Origin, coffee under this geographical indication is produced in 29 municipalities with an average altitude of 1758 masl., but which can stretch as high as 2100 masl. The region’s climate, rainy seasons and volcanic soils are homogeneous.
In the same way as other coffee producing regions in the south of Colombia, the precipitation cycles here are monomodal; that is, with only one annual intense rainy season, which usually takes place in the second semester straight after a dry period in August-September (see chart 1). The arrival of the rains, which coincides with the passing of the inter-tropical convergence zone, also gives way to flowering of the coffee plants, which means that there is a concentrated harvest period in the first semester of the following year.
The temperature variations during the day and night are essential to the quality of Café de Cauca. The low nighttime temperatures, associated with relatively high altitudes, reduce the coffee bean ripening rhythm and give it higher levels of acidity and very particular sweet notes