Salento sits atop the VALLE DE CÓCORA, which contains a thick forest of the skyscraper wax palm, Colombia’s national plant, which grows up to 60m high. The valley, which offers picturesque hikes, is easily explored in a day-trip from Salento. The hamlet of Cócora, with a handful of restaurants, small shops and hotels, lies 11km east of Salento. From Cócora a well-trodden path leads into misty, pristine cloudforest, scattered with the remains of pre-Columbian tombs and dwellings. Orchids, bromeliads and heliconias are just some of the plant species that thrive here, and the fauna includes spectacled bear, native deer and puma, along with hundreds of bird species such as toucans, eagles and motmots.

A five- to six-hour loop walk starts from the blue gate in Cócora; the muddy track passes a trout farm and runs through farmland for around 45 minutes before reaching the park entrance, after which you’re following an uneven, slippery trail through cloudforest. The trail eventually branches, with one track leading up to the extremely worthwhile Reserva Acaime (entrance COP$3000), home to eighteen species of hummingbirds that flock to its bird feeders. The price includes a large mug of revitalizing hot chocolate and a chunk of locally produced cheese. You then retrace your steps to the main trail that crosses nine rickety wooden Indiana Jones-style bridges over the Río Quindío before the Finca La Montaña branch culminates at a mountain-top viewing platform with exhilarating valley views. The way down along a wide gravel road takes you past a cluster of wax palms – Colombia’s national tree.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Colombia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

6 reasons to visit Bogotá: South America’s underrated capital

6 reasons to visit Bogotá: South America’s underrated capital

Polluted, rainy and business-orientated. Let’s face it, a trip to Bogotá hardly sounds appealing. And many travellers don’t bother to probe much further th…

18 Apr 2018 • Olivia Rawes insert_drive_file Article
24 breaks for bookworms

24 breaks for bookworms

1. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas In 1971, fuelled by a cornucopia of drugs, Hunter S. Thompson set off for Las Vegas on his “savage journey to the heart of …

02 Mar 2017 • Eleanor Aldridge camera_alt Gallery
Providencia: an introduction to Colombia’s Caribbean island

Providencia: an introduction to Colombia’s Caribbean island

Colombia meets Jamaica? Not quite, but two competing images loom large over the Caribbean island of Providencia: Bob Marley, adopted saint of the local Raizal p…

11 Mar 2016 • Stephen Keeling insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Privacy Preference Center

Necessary

Mandatory - can not be deselected. Necessary cookies help make a website usable by enabling basic functions like page navigation and access to secure areas of the website. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

PHPSESSID,aelia_cs_selected_currency,cookie_notice_accepted,RS,bp-message,bp-message-type,id,UIDR,w3tc_logged_out,__cfduid
__cfduid

Statistics

Statistic cookies help website owners to understand how visitors interact with websites by collecting and reporting information anonymously.

__utma,__utmb,__utmc,__utmz,_ga,_gid,__atssc,__atuvc,__atuvs,di,dt,ssc,ssh,sshs,uid,uit,xt
__utma,__utmb,__utmc,__utmz,_ga,_gid
__atssc,__atuvc,__atuvs,di,dt,ssc,ssh,sshs,uid,uit,xtc

Marketing

Marketing cookies are used to track visitors across websites. The intention is to display ads that are relevant and engaging for the individual user and thereby more valuable for publishers and third party advertisers.

__gads,PISID, BEAT, CheckConnection TempCookie703, GALX, GAPS, GoogleAccountsLocale_session, HSID, LSID, LSOSID, NID, PREF, RMME, S, SAPISID, SID, SSID,__utmv, _twitter_sess, auth_token, auth_token_session, external_referer, guest_id, k, lang, original_referer, remember_checked, secure_session, twid, twll,c_user, datr, fr, highContrast, locale, lu, reg_ext_ref, reg_fb_gate, reg_fb_ref, s, wd, xs
__gads,PISID, BEAT, CheckConnection TempCookie703, GALX, GAPS, GoogleAccountsLocale_session, HSID, LSID, LSOSID, NID, PREF, RMME, S, SAPISID, SID, SSID
__utmv, _twitter_sess, auth_token, auth_token_session, external_referer, guest_id, k, lang, original_referer, remember_checked, secure_session, twid, twll
c_user, datr, fr, highContrast, locale, lu, reg_ext_ref, reg_fb_gate, reg_fb_ref, s, wd, xs