Valle de Cocora — the Possimpible

Posted by on Dec 30, 2012 in Colombia, Play-by-plays, South America | 2 comments


After a day exploring Salento and Finca Las Brisas (coffee farm), we set out early on Christmas Eve to hike the Valle de Cocora, famous for its wax palms, Colombia’s national tree. The loop is maaaaybe 5-7 km total and usually takes 4-5 hours. Despite warnings from some people in our hostel about taking wrong paths hiking, we figured we’d wing the loop.

The walk up to Acaime, the hummingbird feeding spot was picturesque, relatively easy and fun, with occasional mud, horse droppings, and precariously hanging bridges.


We chilled with the ADD birds for a bit and continued on.


Three hours and probably 7 km later, I was 3500m up some volcano, above the fog and cloud cover, walking a narrow dirt path and finally and reluctantly admitted to myself that I had hiked all the way to the place where the possible and the impossible meet, to become… the possimpible! (HIMYM) All in the Colombian jungle (this is where people shake their heads in disappointment). Yus was smarter and turned around earlier. I guess given the Christmas spirit and all, I was trying to find Jesus (I didn’t).


This is when I also realized that to make it back down by sundown, I would need to go fast. And that is when I ran. Ran fast. [Insert general curses and profanities about the situation and how I felt.] Luckily, got back in time to catch one of the Jeeps back to town, albeit without hiking the actual part we came to see –the verdant valley of the wax palms.


So to resume, what TO DO: catch a jeep ride from Salento’s main plaza at 730am, 930am or 1230pm –3000cop pp. Once dropped off in Cocora, walk to the right and follow directions to either Acaime (hummingbirds–3k to enter) or La Montana (wax palms). You can feasibly do both in 4-5 hours. But unless you really yearn to see 10 hummingbirds flutter around for a bargain price of 3000cop, skip that part and head straight to La Montana. DO NOT go to Estrella de Agua unless you like climbing uphill with no purpose. The views there are really not great (especially with fog) and the hike is strenuous. After the hike, catch a Jeep back (another 3k) and reward yourself with a cold beer in town (2-3k)! The Jeeps back don’t have a set schedule, and leave when full. Full means 11-14 people, with several standing on the back of the Jeep.


In town, Yus and I immediately re-energized with a beer and made it back to La Serrana for the hostel’s Christmas Eve dinner, which we followed up with some bar hopping and salsa dancing in the town’s main square.



  1. Sigh…. I was shaking my head at you too Nat

    • Sigh I need to make it more clear that I was still on a trail that was perfectly fine…it was just not the trail I needed to be on at the hour it was. Aren’t you psyched to do some hiking with me?!?!


  1. Colombia « everyday we're crushin' it - [...] you a bird’s eye view of the gargantuan city. Salento–go to a coffee finca and hike Valle de Cocora…

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