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The Cocora Valley near Salento in Colombia: a must hike! Valle de Cocora: tallest palm trees of the world!

The Cocora Valley near Salento in Colombia: a must hike! Valle de Cocora: tallest palm trees of the world! 🌴

The Cocora Valley near Salento in Colombia: a must hike! Valle de Cocora: tallest palm trees of the world! Need I say more? Salento is easy to reach from Bogotá or Medellín, read more about Salento at my dedicated blog. One of the best places to visit in Colombia is for sure the Cocora Valley (Valle de Cocora) - with the highest palm trees of the world. Don’t get mistaken by the name of the Cocora Valley though, this will be a good opportunity for hiking in Colombia! For sure also make sure to visit a coffee farm, read more about that here.

➡ Click here to read all about Salento 🚙

➡ Click here to read all about visiting a coffee farm in the coffee area of Salento ☕👩‍🌾

Go to the Cocora Valley (Valle de Cocora) for hiking in Colombia

Heading to Salento definitely means heading to the Cocora valley to make a beautiful hike.

What to wear and take

Make sure you wear breathable comfortable sporty clothes and good walking or hiking shoes. Parts of the trail may be (very!) slippery – also depending on the weather. Wear a hat and sunscreen. Make sure to bring water and food. The walk will take around 6 hours and there is not really a food-stop underway.

Our timetable

To give you an idea of time, I will share our ‘timetable’ with you, in retrospect 😊. So, you know what to expect. There are roughly three different parts of the walk: the grassland, the jungle/waterway (slippery and bridges), and the palm tree walk. The first and last are relatively easy (but can be steep), the jungle/waterway is the hardest part.
  • 6:45 Light breakfast at the hotel
  • 7:15 Arrived at central Square in Salento for the Willy (jeep that will take you to the valley), you will have to wait a bit here as they fill up the Willy’s
  • 8:00 Arrived at the Cocora Valley and started our walk (first grasslands, then ‘jungle’ way)
  • 10:15 Hummingbirds and more ‘jungle’ way – but drier
  • 12:00 Viewing and chill-point, after this the palm tree valley
  • 13:30 Thé palm trees! Beautiful, só high.
  • 14:00 Having late lunch at the first available restaurant
  • 15:30 Back where we started & waiting for the Willy to bring us back
  • 16:30 Back in Salento!

The costs

Its not very expensive, but there are some costs involved. The costs per person are:
  • COP 8000 Willy (jeep): 2-way Salento-Cocora Valley
  • COP 6000 Prices of the two checkpoints (3000 each) where you get a paper bracelet because you cross private ground (or that is at least their explanation 😉)
  • COP 5000 Entrance to the hummingbirds: includes one drink
  • COP 5000 Approximate cost for food and water to take with you
  • COP 20.000 Approximate cost for eating at the first available restaurant
Excluding the food this will be 19.000 COP per person. So, for the jeep and the entrances you will pay around €5,30 or 6 USD per person.

The route of the hike through the Cocora Valley in Salento Colombia

Make sure to download offline map of the Valley. Google Maps won’t be of much help. Also take a look at the pictures below! ⬇ The Willy (jeep) drops you of at the parking place. Walk to the main road, then left. At you right hand you will see a blue fence. It’s not fancy or anything, just a blue fence. This is your entrance! You will pass something called ‘Truchas Cocora’, and walk through glass lands. The first entrance fee of 3000 COP per person you will encounter here. Just keep swimming, there is only one – well indicated and easy – path through the grasslands. The road will get more and more slippery and watery, as you will walk alongside (or through) the river now for a long time. You will cross some little bridges first, and some bigger afterwards. Cross the bridges one by one 😊 At one point you will see signs to the ‘Acaime reserve colibríes’ aka ‘Reserve of hummingbirds’. Follow these signs to get to the hummingbirds. When you return from the hummingbirds, walk back where you came from. Do nót follow the signs ‘P.N.N. Estrella de Agua’. Just say goodbye to the hummingbirds and walk back where you came from. At the T-junction where you came from the left, now just go straight and continuate your walk. Now it’s some time for heavy duty, the only explanation is: up – up – up. But: at the end there is the amazing viewpoint with benches, this is called Finca la Montaña. A great place to eat your packed lunch. The hardest part is over now! Walk over the easy-going road through the Valley of the Palms (Valle de las Palmas) and take a great look at these beautiful trees. They might not be there anymore in 30 of 40 years. After the last palms you will see some signs of civilisation: a toilet and restaurants are close now. Just walk for another 10 minutes and you will see the blue fence again. Walk back to the parking place where the Willy dropped you off and get in line to get back. Your muscles will be sore the next day but you will have on of the greatest experiences in your life! 😊

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