Coffee region in Colombia – What is the Cocora Valley?
The Cocora Valley is a beautiful natural forest surrounded by pastures and known for its wax palms (Colombian national tree). It is the tallest palm tree in the world that can reach more than 60 meters in height. With its slender trunk in the sky and beautiful palm at the top, these giant palm trees draw a strange landscape …
The wax palm was used to make candles. Indeed, it was enough to extract from his trunk a powder that was used for the manufacture of wax hence its name “Palm wax”. Nowadays, being a protected species that only exists in Colombia, it is strictly forbidden to exploit these trees.
Coffee region in Colombia – Where is the Cocora Valley?
The famous Cocora Valley is 16 kilometers from Salento in the Los Nevados Natural Park (Quindio Department) in the central Andes.
Coffee region in Colombia – How to visit the Cocora Valley?
From Salento, take a famous Jeep Willis on the village square. These vehicles are only allowed to travel between the Cocora Valley, Filandia, Pereira, Armenia … The Salento-Valley of Cocora lasts about twenty minutes and costs 8,000 COP per person (about € 2.50) ).
You must avoid going on weekends because many Colombian tourists go there and the site is quickly saturated …
To avoid the crowds, as for all tourist sites, it is better to go very early in the morning.
Colombia Coffee Region – Hiking in the Cocora Valley
3 possibilities are available to you:
Coffee region in Colombia – Horseback riding in the Cocora Valley
Group or private horse riding is possible and certainly very pleasant. You just have to inquire at the park entrance.
Coffee region in Colombia – Walk to Bosque de Palmas
For those who have little time and who want to go directly to the Bosque de Palmas, it will be necessary to go to the main entrance, to pay the entry of 5000 pesos and to follow the marked route to the various watchtowers. Then come back on the same path.
Coffee region in Colombia – Big tour of Cocora Valley
It is a hike for which I advise to book a full day (think to take food on site). From the bottom of the valley, take the direction of the house of hummingbirds (Acaime) and follow the path to the famous Bosque de las palmas.
This loop of about 12 km is not very tiring and rather nice (passing by small bridges, changing landscapes …). The only passage a little difficult is the arrival at Finca Montana (about twenty minutes of climb).
Be careful however to come back early because the last Jeep leave no later than 17h of the valley.
Coffee region in Colombia – Restaurant in Cocora Valley
To make it simple and practical, we ate at the restaurant at the entrance of the site: Restaurant AIRES DE COCORA
Soup, salad, trout on patacon: 25,000 COP (7 Euros) – Traditional decor and typical meal of the region.
If you want to continue following my trip to the coffee region, here is our tomorrow visits :