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Salento and the Valley of Cocora

From Manizales, I took a bus to nearby Salento, a small colorful tourist town whose primary function is to serve as a launching point for those looking to do the Valley of Cocora hike.

You can play the uniquely Colombian sport of Tejo here. It involves throwing metal disks at a board filled with clay and lined with a circle of explosives. Your goal to set off the explosives. It's often played in a casual manner, beer in hand. Think bowling, Colombia style.

The "Willys", these are the taxis in Salento, and they are what take you to the trailhead for the hike.

Below are my pics from the hike. The Valley of Cocora features the tallest palms in the world, reaching 60 meters in height. The wax palms here are a national symbol in Colombia.

A Colombian favorite is to mix cheese with hot chocolate. It's not as bad as it sounds.

At the halfway point there is a hummingbird sanctuary you can visit. It features hummingbirds photobombing your pics of other hummingbirds.

The hike is definitely worth the $0 entrance fee.

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