Visiting a Colombian coffee plantation is good fun and pretty much mandatory, yet whatever you do in Colombia don’t skip the Valle del Cocora, a truely unique place not only in this South America nation but in the world. It is very easy to get there once in Salento: simply jump on any of the Jeep Willy’s that leave at pre arranged times and enjoy the ride to the valley’s entrance. Once there you can hire a guide for a tour, opt for a horseback ride or walk along the well signed path on your own. This is what I did and highly recommend you do too.
There are several itineraries to choose from, but the most typical is also the best: start by heading to the hummingbirds place (called simply like that) right through the first gate on your right and follow the path uphill. The walk is not very spectacular during this stage but it can be rather windy. Walk steadily ignoring the several signs that mention a 3 USD fee for the walk and eventually you’ll reach a place with a sign that says Colibris (Hummingbird).
Nobody had told me that this is private propoerty and there is a fee for checking them out. I was not impressed by this, but at least you get a drink (coffee or chocolate) and cheese to fill your stomach up while you rest and try taking good shots of the birds.
The way back is a little confusing because the spot where you have to divert is not very well marked, yet your intuition will make your guess a good one and you will soon find yourself following the path that meanders between the oil palms. This is the best part of the trek, and if there are no clouds you will take some award winning photos.
I recommend you get on the first Willy’s at 7:00 AM to avoid the crowds. Additionally the walk between the palm trees will be done when the sky is still clear and the light is excellent for taking pictures.
The walk takes about five hours (make sure you have water with you) if you do it slowly and will be one of the highlights of your Colombia trip, assuming you have good weather. If you don’t I recommend you wait until it is- if you can’t, well, you’ll still enjoy it but the views wont be as breathtaking. Have fun!
Have you visited the Valle del Cocora? Did you like it as much as I did? What did you like best? If you liked the post and/or photos please remember to share !