Practical tips for visiting Cocora Valley, Colombia

We have traveled many countries and have seen many places. Touristy and less touristy. Sincerely, tourists places do not give us that much. The best experience is to see places that ordinary tourists do not get. However, in order to be able to compare and understand that the less tourist places are really worth it, you must occasionally visit places that you know in advance, that you will not even visit them at all. One of these places is Cocora Valley in Colombia. Is it really worth visiting this place?

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In Cocora Valley you will find the highest palm trees in the world, reaching a height of more than 50 meters. It is located at 1800-2400 meters above sea level and is part of the Los Nevados National Park. Nice nature, nice palm trees and lot of tourists:-) We have visited Cocora Valley in December 2017 and here are our practical tips:-)

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How to get there?
  • From Salento – simply walk into the main square and speak to one of the men or women standing near the jeeps, to find out when the next jeep is leaving for the valley. If you’re lucky, or unlucky:-), you may be one of the select few who rides on the back of the jeep. It’s maybe a little scary, but it’s only a 20 minute ride.
  • With tourist agency – you can buy a trip with a tourist agency from Salento or Pereira. It’s a one day trip and private trip (just 2 persons) costs around 200 USD/160 Eur/2 persons. Trip includes visiting Cocora Valley, Salento, Filandia, private transport and lunch.
  • Which trail to take – there are 2 main routes you can take when hiking the Cocora Valley. The main – 5 hour trail, which starts at the blue gate, or the short trail which leads straight into the valley. The short trail will take you from the parking lot to the heart of the valley in just 10-15 minutes.
  • How hard is it – harder than you expected:-) The altitude definitely got to you, and you need to take plenty of short breaks. You can use also horse from the parking lot to the heart of the valley, but horses are not in a good shape.
  • What to wear – HIKING BOOTS. A lot of people wear sneakers or tennis shoes, but boots are definitely a must. A rain-coat is also a must, because the valley can be quite rainy and wet.
  • Anything else – we highly recommend bringing some snacks and water. Make sure to spend some time not taking pictures, just soaking in the views. It’s so worth it!

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Do you have any questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us for more informations or itinerary of your travel. See also why we fell in love with Cartagena, Colombia, or top tips you have to know before traveling to Cartagena, Colombia.

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