The perfect place to get on a horse. During your 3 hour ride surrounded by mountain peaks- those of the Andes adds to the experience. The Cocora valley was named a wildlife sanctuary in 1985 to help protect Colombia's national tree the Wax Palm. Located in the Quindio district itself belonging to the Parque Nacional de los Nevados. You can also take 1 of 3 Hiking trails to enjoy the valley.
The Wax Palm stands at 60m almost 200ft high!
Horseriding the Cocora Valley
The trip on horseback will cost approximately COP 170,000 and the three hours will fly by. The valley is beautiful to behold you will learn about the majestic wax palm trees and perhaps spot the Andoran Condor flying.
A farm visit may be partaken depending on the particular tour provider. Some farms have been named after indigenous animals such as the hummingbird.
Hummingbird of the Cocora Valley
You do not need to have any experience of horses to enjoy this experience. You will see why horses are so valuable to the people. Temperatures in the Cocora Valley can get fresh, with an average of 59 degrees, so be sure to bring a jacket. Wear old and comfortable clothes, and bring an extra pair of socks, as the horses will carry you through rivers.
Keep your possesions with you at all times no matter what the guide says. Good guides should not make you feel uncomfortable in doing this. There have been thefts in the past and this is your reason to be prudent. But do not miss out on this tour for that reason alone. By now you probably have your travel wits around you!
Hiking the Cocora Valley
One of 3 trails awaits you of differing difficulty.
How to get there? As with the Horseriding you get a Jeep ride one of the few suitable vehicles for the terrain made soft and muddy from the high rainfall this area gets. Oh yes take some good all weather gear. You should already be somewhat forewarned on that if you're here! Salento is your spot for linking with the hike and horseriding. You can of course get well informed by hostels. There are some good ones in the area and you probably are best to chat with other backpackers enroute before selecting where you want to be. On the trails you can stop and rest at a couple of the Fincas (Farms) and enjoy a drink.
Hummimgbird by Felipe Palacio on Unsplash
Single Wax Palm Tree by Christian Holzinger on Unsplash