Tuesday 30th October. Cocora Valley.

The main attraction in the Salento region apart from the coffee plantations is the Cocora Valley. There is a 12km walking circuit through the valley which I walked today. First thing in the morning I headed to the central plaza where I boarded a colourful jeep headed for the 30 minute drive out to the valley. Lots of tourists were heading in the same direction and we were packed into that jeep, some people were even hanging off the outside of it!  The loop started by heading over some beautiful farmland in the countryside and then into the rainforest alongside a river. I had to cross the river over some dodgy looking bridges a number of times! After about 2 hours of walking I reached a junction where I took a turn to a place where you can see a large number of different types of hummingbirds – I saw some new types that were amazing!  After a short break at the hummingbird house, it was time to head uphill to the viewpoint at Finca La Montana. I arrived just as the thick clouds were coming over for the day so I got some views right before the white cloud curtain. After reaching the top of the hill, the rest of the day was a pleasant downhill. Right at the end of the hike I reached the Giant Wax Palms, the national trees of Colombia which can grow up to 60m tall – they were an incredible and eerie sight looming in the cloudy surrounds. I did get some good views of the surrounding area as the clouds swept by and also watched as a storm headed in from Salento. The ride back to Salento was really fun – I decided to ride on the outside of the jeep this time, clinging on for dear life around the tight corners and loving the views as we headed back down into the valley!