Palm trees, here....are you sure??

Cocora Travel Blog

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I decided to head out to Cocora to see what all the fuss was about.  From Salento, you have to take these old Willys jeeps (CP$3,000) to get the 11km to the village of Cocora, right away from it all.  6 of us crammed our way into the 9.30am jeep and after half an hour of extreme bumpiness, we arrived at the village.  Straight away, you see the marvel that is on show - the 60m high wax palm trees, the tallest palm trees in the world.  It is an amazing sight as they tower over everything else in the valley and are really the last things you would expect to see out here.  Two Israelis hired horses for the day, but the rest of us decided to hit the trails by foot.  I hadn't really planned to do any hiking and  was wearing my flimsy trainers, but decided, 'what the heck' and went anyway. 

We did a beautiful 5km trail to a settlement called Acaime, which required hiking through the valley, across rivers via log bridges and generally up hill and down dale.  Lovely, peaceful scenery that made you feel you were miles from anywhere (well, actually we bloody were miles from anywhere) and right in the middle of the coffee growing area.  There were a few fincas along the way (coffee plantations), but unfortunately none were open to tour (damn it!), but Junky, the Japanese girl I was with (I think that was her name anyway) decided to go into Acaime and have ourselves a refreshing drink.  We really could've done with some food, but all they offered was cheese that they served with aguapanela (very sweet caramel-ly drink).  After the quick break, we headed further uphill to La Montana (bloody hard work at over 3000m altitude) for the scenic walk back to Corora...and there were great views of the valley all the way back.  Our peace was only interrupted by two locals who were riding on horseback, but seemed to be having real problems with their stooges (I concluded that maybe they were breaking them in or something).  We timed it perfectly to get the 3pm jeep back to Salento, where we immediately stuffed ourselves as we had survived on my bag of boiled sweets for most of the day up til that point!

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Cocora