Colombia: Cocora Valley

Trip Start Jul 04, 2012
Trip End Jun 02, 2013

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Flag of Colombia  , Quindío,
Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Our day trip started with an early bus ride to a small village Salento. Salento is a sleepy little town, in the zone cafetera region of Colombia. On weekends and holidays, the town is flooded by tourists from to visit the Valle of Corora. Here grows Colombia's national symbol, the 60 meters high wax palms (palma de cera).

As we arrived to the Plaza in Salento, jeeps which leave from there were waiting for tourists. We left with one of them as soon as it filled up. The Jeep took us to the hamlet of Cocora. And so we began our hike into the Valle de Cocora, one of the most striking landscapes in Colombia. We started on the trail through grassland, towering wax palms, crisscrossing a creek into a cloud forest. After about 3 hours of fairly easy hiking we got to a ranger post (Acaime) where we had a cup of coffee or tea with cheese and watched lots of hummingbirds. From there we did the entire loop over La Montana. To do this we backtracked from Acaime up the hill to the ranger station at La Montana. This trail was fairly strenuous as it goes straight up for 1.8 km to 2860m. The view from the Mountain House is spectacular. From there it was an easy 3 hour downhill walk along a wide dirt road with fabulous vistas and lots of giant wax palms back to Cocora Valley where we took a Jeep back to Salento.

The landscape was really surreal! This was an amazing day… we never saw such a beautiful landscape. Very impressive!

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