The Quindío wax palm with its impressive 60 meters, is the national tree and official symbol of Colombia. We took a weekend to visit Salento and the Cocora valley, in the Colombian coffee district, where the majority of the protected wax palms are found.
We took a jeep from Salento at 8 am and started our walk early. We took the longer, and much nicer, path up the mountain so that we’d have the Cocora valley below us when we eventually reached it.
The rain had poured down the night before, but the mud was still walkable with good shoes.
The trail goes through the characteristic Colombian emerald-green forests.
Crossing six deadly dangerous bridges.
Over a beautiful stream.
And indeed, after some hours of walking we reached the valley. We didn’t check the time as we usually do, but it might have been some three hours walk.
The weather changed constantly. You might want to bring something to protect you from the rain as well as sun screen.
The valley owes its name to the Quimbayan princess “Cocora”, “star of water” in quimbayan language, the daughter of the chief Acaime of a no longer present tribe.
On a Sunday, the Cocora valley becomes a popular place for picnics among the locals. You might want to be there early to get a peaceful experience. Before noon is definitely the best time.
Loads of hummingbirds.