Cocora Valley, Salento, Colombia (with Map & Photos)

The famous Cocora Valley, where the world's tallest palm trees grow, is a place of pilgrimage for tourists who come here from all over the world.

The Cocora Valley (Spanish Valle de Cocora) is one of the most striking places in Colombia. It is also called the "palm valley", because the tallest palm trees on the planet grow here. This is an amazing plant, the so-called. The Quindio wax palm, or the Andean Tseroxylon, is the symbol of Colombia.

Cocora Valley
Cocora Valley

The emerald valley is located in the Quindío department in the north-west of the country, at an altitude between 1800 and 2400 m in the upper reaches of the Río Quindío.

The Cocora Valley is part of the large National Natural Park "Los Nevados" (Parque nacional natural Los Nevados), which covers an area of ​​more than 60 thousand km 2 and is located in the territories of 4 departments of Colombia.


Due to the significant height above sea level, the Cocora Valley has a temperate climate. The local climate is classified as subtropical highland.

The prevailing westerly winds from the Pacific are stopped by the Andean ridges, creating a humid environment favorable for the growth of cloud forests: it rains here almost daily.

Cocora Valley
Cocora Valley

The thermometer fluctuates strongly even within one day. The average annual temperature is + 15 ° C (at max + 25 ° C and min + 12 ° C).

Journey to the Cocora Valley

Travelers from all over the world come to the Colombian town of Salento to admire the beauty of Los Nevados National Park and the Palm Valley.

Cocora Valley
Cocora Valley

There is not much entertainment in tiny Salento. Not far from a pretty town with colorful houses is the tragically famous Ruiz volcano (Nevado del Ruiz). But it is here that tourists from the neighboring cities of Armenia and Pereira come to take an excursion to the famous Valley.

To get to Palm Valley, you need to take a jeep in the central square of Salento. Powerful SUVs "Willis MB" are on the square since early morning. One such jeep-taxi can carry up to 11 people - 8 passengers can fit in the cabin, and 2-3 more are placed on the footboard.

In order to have time to leave with the first "batch" of tourists, it is better to come to the square early, around 6 - 6:30. In 20-30 minutes. The SUV will take passengers to the village of Cocora, from where the route through the Los Nevados National Park begins.

Cocora Valley
Cocora Valley

The village tour provides several options for routes - to go to a mountain hike, go to the horse riding, walk in Palm Valley, take a tour to the summit of La Montagne (La Montagna). It is possible to combine all this. Just remember that the last jeep leaves for Salento at 17:00.

First, the trail descends into a valley surrounded by bright green hills, on which the famous Wax palms rise upward, sweeping the sky with their tops. Cows and horses graze serenely among the tall palms.

Then the trail goes into a densely wooded gorge, along the bottom of which a river flows, through which graceful wooden bridges are thrown.

Then there is a steep climb up the mountain through the pristine Andean forest.

At the top of La Montagnu, there are several viewing platforms, from where the entire Valley is perfectly visible.

Cocora Valley
Cocora Valley

Then a long descent back to the emerald valley begins along a dirt road, from which fantastic views also open.

Visiting the hummingbird

The Cocora Valley has become famous for another amazing feature: here, on a farm located at an altitude of 3 thousand meters, hummingbirds are found in huge numbers. There are 6 different types of them here.

Many tourists come to the Valley of Palms in order to observe the miniature birds up close, which fearlessly flutter around the feeders specially hung for them by farmers.

Nimble birds are constantly moving, so they need to constantly replenish their energy.

Cocora Valley Map