Salento & Valle de Cocora

Salento, one off few places we were advised as a must-go before our travel started. So we did. Salento is famous for its chill and relax ambiance, great places to stay, eat and in weekends to go out for a drink. The main leading from the town square up until the viewpoint is the busiest at night, especially in weekends when many locals come to stroll the streets. During the day at the main square so called Willy’s are gathered for Salento’s main attraction, Valle de Cocora, which lies about over 15 min by car. Valle de Cocora is a valley covered with a type of palm tree which can grow to over 60 metres high.

The valley lies in a natural park so you can combine your visit with a 12km, appr. 5 hours hike. We choose to do the hike in the counterclockwise direction so we would save the valley until the end of our hike, as a kind of reward. As we prefer to be as lightly packed for our entire journey as possible (Leo’s backpack weights appr. 11 kg and Martin’s appr. 14kg), we did not pack heavy hiking shoes. Instead we’ve bought for our trip some good sneakers, both suitable for running, as an occasional hike.

The hike begins for the first half hour trough farmland passing some shallow creeks after which it heads into the jungle and up into the mountains for about 2 hours. Luckily we ran into some girls heading down from a wrong turn we would have taken as well, as the signs we’re not that clear at that point. After about 2,5 hours we had reached the highest point of the hike were we stopped to enjoy our boxed lunch. We tried to capture a perfect shot of the amazing colored, but incredibly fast hummingbirds before we continued the path descending towards the Valle de Cocora.

Arriving at the Valley from above provided a great view over the valley. Although we were slightly disappointed about the number of tries and the distance between them, it felt quite amazing walking underneath these enormous giants rising almost straight up in the sky. If you combine visiting Valle de Cocora with the hike through the beautiful jungle, it’s definitely worth it!

Next stop: Cali and than on to Ecuador!

 

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