On my second day in Salento we hiked up into the mountains and through the Cocora Valley! There was Ernesto, the hostel owner, a Colombian couple staying at the hostel, and a couple (one Spanish the other Swedish) we picked up along the way. Our guide was Jairo, a friend of Ernesto’s.
To get there we took a Jeep/Willy. Fun adventure!
I now have waterproof shoes so when we got to a shop that offered boot rentals I wasn’t interested. But Ernesto recommended I rent the boots and boy was I glad I listened. It was very muddy the whole way and we had to cross through many streams.
Wow, the views were amazing, the hike was intense at times, and the climate changed completely. As soon as we entered the forested part of the mountain, it felt much more tropical and humid despite the temperature being lower. At a certain altitude you find yourself inside a cloud forest.
Sadly, it’s almost always cloudy in Salento so all the pictures have a gray sky. Still, the views in person are amazing!
After hiking to Acaime we sat down at the only house there and had some coffee to rest. They are bird lovers and had some feeding and water stations set up. I think they were humming birds because if one flies by you it sounds like a fighter plane whizzed past your ear. Beautiful.
After the pit stop, where it conveniently rained for an hour while we rested under the roof, we continued the hike. We could have returned the way we came, but we opted to climb up and over another peak to reach Finca la Montaña and then walk through the valley to get back.
The hike was very, very intense. We seemed to stop to rest every few minutes. But it was great and there were nice views of the mountains.
After Finca la Montaña within minutes we were approaching The Cocora Valley. How truly beautiful! To the left is something amazing though. We found a seed for a wax palm tree – the gigantic trees in the valley. Such a small seed makes such gigantic trees. Mother nature is amazing! 🙂
Returning to Salento was a lot of fun. I stood on the back of the Jeep/Willy and had fun with my camera in the mean time. Below a picture and two videos of the beautiful scenery on the way out, and the beautiful city of Salento on the way in!
As you can imagine, I was exhausted at the end. We got back around 4pm or 5pm when we finally had lunch. I was starving. By 8pm I was ready to sleep. I pushed myself to 10:30pm and then I gave up. I slept ten hours – not normal for me but I needed it.
If you ever find yourself in Colombia, I definitely recommend checking out the Cocora Valley. Truly beautiful.
Lastly, if you ever find yourself a nomad responsible for your own photography, don’t try and talk and take pictures at the same time. It doesn’t turn out well, as you can see below! 🙂