Salento and Valle de Cocora

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February 13th 2012
Published: February 19th 2012
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Palma de ceraPalma de ceraPalma de cera

The largest palm in the world. Up to 60m tall. Colombia's national tree.
After the coffee farm tour, our awesome driver Orley met us at the hotel to drive us for the day to Valle de Cocora and Salento. Both of these towns are set amid gorgeous green mountains in the coffee zone. We first visited the Valle de Cocora that is the home of a ton of "palma de cera" (wax palm), that is the largest palm in the world (up to 60 meters tall) and is also Colombia's national tree. The views in the valley were breathtaking and the people were kind and helpful throughout.

We enjoyed an excellent trucha (trout) lunch at Bosques de Cocora Donde Juan B. We also tried their speciality cinnamin drink -Canelazo. YUM!

We ventured down the opening path of the Reserva Natural Acaime and saw the trout farm that our delish lunch probably came from. We were able to take some pictures and do a little shopping in this area and got some great deals and I even Spanglished my way to a slight discount!

After the Valle de Cocora, we stopped in Salento. The population of this town is a mere 3500 and it survives on coffee production, trout farming, and tourists! It was founded in 1850 and is one of the oldest towns in this area (Quindio). A lot of tourists were strolling down the main drag called Calle Real and shopping in the atesanias. At the end of the street there were stairs that let to Alto de la Cruz, a hill topped with a cross. I was the only one to travel up the stairs with my cervesa in hand as the others sat at the bottom in a little coffee place and enjoyed a cafe.

While Greg and I were sitting on a bench waiting for Carrie and Jose to complete their shopping, we noticed some people taking pictures of us! Gringos! Haha. I guess we really stood out there.

A long day ended with another fabulous dinner at La Tata and we hit the sack early again.

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