Valle del Cocora
The big natural attraction next to Salento is the Valle del Cocora and the famous national Colombian tree. So crossing fingers that it won’t rain, I woke up at 5h30 to be part of the first group of people heading to this Valley. The clear blue sky of the morning gave us a good preview of the day. Here is the central place of Salento at 6 am.
We all climbed in one of these jeeps for a 30 min drive to reach Cocora.
I found myself with a couple of Slovenian, an Austrian girl and a Polish guy, all motivated for this walk. We started at around 2’200 and climbed until 3’000 meters. As it rains every afternoon, the soil was definitely humid and the boots we used were more than useful.
Starting the walk we have already seen a couple of these “Palmera de cera” which is the official National Colombian tree. But the more we walked the more astonished we got, as they grow on the hills, even where cows are eating. So at some point you may think “hey this looks kind of like Switzerland Cows in the mountains, but… we have Palm Trees, the temperature is at around 20 degrees. And the other vegetation around is sub-tropical.
Passing this first part of the walk we went following a little Rio (river), but into some kind of deep sub-tropical jungle dense vegatation. We had to cross sometimes this river on a very improvised “bridge”, that put a little bit of spice into our walk.
We finally reached “Acaime” a little farm lost in those mountains, where we were invited to drink a hot chocolate and some cheese (yes fairly unusual to have both at the same time, but after that walk it was welcome). This place also has a great surprise, about 10 species of Colibris, are fed by the farm and flew very close to us.
It was 10 am when we decided to head back through another walking path which led us walk until 3’000 meters, pretty steep but still didn’t feel being that high. From “finca de la montana” we slowly walked down to reach Cocora and got caught by the rain, so the body cover we had for the rain where not carried for nothing 😉 But the views on this way back all foggy gave another athmosphere with those trees.
The end of the day was a surprise as the american couple suggested to celebrate “Thanksgiving” therefore we followed with pleasure and enjoyed a great meal with nice wine in an international ambiance with people from all around the world. This is part of the nice surprises that a backpacker’s trip offers sometimes. “Cheers to all the travel lovers !!!”
The whole album picture of Salento and Valle del Cocora can be found here :