The Cocora Valley is a mountainous natural environment located in the middle of the Central Cordillera in the Colombian Andes. It sits at an altitude between 1,800 and 2,400 meters above sea level. It is home to the national tree of Colombia, the Palm of Wax, and is also an iconic destination of the so-called Coffee Axis. The Cocora Valley is located just over 25 kilometers from Armenia, capital of the department of Quindío, and half hour by car from Salento, a picturesque and crowded town located in the homonymous municipality. The valley attracts many visitors every year, especially those who like hiking, due to its excellent routes that allow you to walk or do horseback around its main corners, and even go deeply into the hidden corners of the park. The options for visitors are diverse: from a two-hour trek, to camping for multiple days.
Salento, the nearest town to the Cocora Valley, is characterized by colorful houses of “Antioqueño” architecture. The beautiful Plaza de Bolivar is a place that concentrates the local gastronomic offerings (the typical dish is the trout), all the street art and the work of local craftsmen. For those who like a good landscape view, Salento has an excellent viewpoint that allows you to observe a beautiful part of the valley. To access it, the village has a 253-step staircase that connects to one of the streets in town. There is no doubt that tourism is the main industry in this town 3,000 inhabitants. It is, moreover, the town that receives more visitors from all over Quindío due to its proximity to Cocora. The locals like to say, “We are coffee and much more”.
To get to the Cocora Valley, a good option it to go via a “Willy”, a salvaged and remodeled jeep model from World War II. You can also reach the valley from any corner of Quindío by car, or public transport buses from Armenia.