The Valle de Cocoro (Cocoro Valley) and the nearby town of Salento are two of the most popular tourist destinations in Colombia. The valley is part of Los Nevados National Natural Park. Stephanie Jack travelled there with two friends, staying in a hacienda that is run by American students who went for a visit and stayed indefinitely.
One of the highlights of the trip was hiking in the famous Valle de Cocoro (Cocoro Valley). We got a jeep taxi from the plaza in Salento that dropped us off at the end of the trail. Then we walked back so we did it from back to front.
The first part of the trail is through grassland so the hiking is easy.
The views in the valley are spectacular.
“Hi cow, we’re just passing through.”
The trail can change quickly and seem more suitable for cows than people.
It rains here almost every day so it is very muddy in places. We were glad we were wearing rubber boots, otherwise we would have lost our shoes. One of my friends tried to avoid the mud by holding onto the fence but she got zapped.
You’re in this valley and then you go over a creek and suddenly you’re in a tropical forest.
It was getting really foggy and we could just see the outline of the trees. It was kind of eerie. Then it started to rain—pouring rain.
The valley is protected to maintain its natural environment and preserve the wax palms. Bird watching is a popular activity.
It took us 5 hours to do the trail and by the time we finally made it back the fog almost hid the final sign. It’s also called a cloud forest.
Standard Salento fare is fried trout, fried plantain, and tomato salsa. I guess the plantain and salsa are supposed to be vegetables. The trout is fresh though.
There are lots of crafts and artisan shops in Salento. It is isolated but very beautiful and a good place to relax.
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Santa Rosa de Cabal, Colombia
How three young Canadian women travelled around Colombia
Other hiking articles
Walking the Camino de Santiago de Compostela
Is hiking the Inca Trail tough? Depends on whom you talk to
Losing the trail in Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park, Canada
An unexpected trek through Dogon Country, Mali
Hiking the West Coast Trail in Canada
Other Stephanie Jack articles
Canyoning in Vietnam
Biking in Vietnam from the mountains to the coast
Catching the wave in Playa Nosara, Costa Rica
This interview has been condensed and edited.
Photo credits Stephanie Jack
© Riding the buses 2013