The Salento Cocora Valley hike or (Valle De Cocora hike in Spanish) is one of the most popular things to do in Salento. And for good reason. The wax palms (Colombia’s national tree) are dotted all around the valley and reach up to 60 meters in height. So they are bloody impressive! Visiting the Cocora Valley in Colombia can be a little confusing once you arrive in the area. So I’ve written this handy dandy guide to the Valle De Cocora Colombia. So you’ll have an amazing time and definitely won’t get lost!

How To Get To The Cocora Valley Colombia

Things to do in Salento Colombia - take a ride in a vintage jeep
One of the Jeeps you’ll take to your Valle De Cocora hike.
The start of the Cocora Valley hike is a 20-minute drive from the centre of Salento. The easiest way to get there is to head to the town square and find yourself a Jeep. A one-way ride should cost you 3,800 COP per person. And I hope you’re not awkward about personal space as they’ll pack as many people as possible into the Jeeps. We had 11 in total with a few people hanging off the back.

Where To Stay To Visit The Cocora Valley Colombia

As Salento is the closest town with access to hiking the Cocora Valley Colombia everyone stays there. It’s also a pretty cool place to check out in its own right. Have a look at my article on ‘The 10 Best Things To Do In Salento Colombia‘ if you’re not already convinced.

There are a tonne of fantastic places to stay in Salento Colombia. From stunning Salento Colombia hotels to fun and social Salento hostels. Here are my top picks of where to stay in Salento Colombia.

La Serrana Salento

La Serrana Hostel Salento is one of the nicest hostels I’ve stayed in. Super social with a generous breakfast, family dinners and stunning views of Salento.
Check rates and availability

Mochila Hostel Salento Colombia

With free breakfast, table tennis, billiards and darts this is a great Salento Colombia hostel. WIth lovely staff and owners it’s a 20 minute walk from the centre of town.
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Finca Campestre La Adelita

Located in the countryside the bed and breakfast has a pool, warm owners, free breakfast with fresh milk from the cows every morning.
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Montana Guesthouse

One of the nicest hotels in Salento Colombia. It has a stunning view, free breakfast, giant hammock and a hot tub. Very romantic!
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What Does It Cost To Do The Valle De Cocora Hike

 There are two hiking routes for the Cocora Valley Salento (I’ll go into more detail later). The shorter hike to the valley is free. And the longer hike that takes about 5 – 6 hours will set you back 3,000 COP which you pay as you enter the area.

What To Pack When Hiking The Cocora Valley

Both hikes are pretty easy, so you don’t need to take too much along with you. The weather, however, can be quite changeable. So keep this in mind. I’d recommend bringing along:

  • A rain jacket
  • Waterproof shoes as the path gets really muddy
  • A litre of water
  • Lunch and snacks (You can get an excellent packed lunch from Brunch Cafe for 18,000 COP which is so big you’ll still have snacks left over the next day)
  • Camera
  • Maps.me app. Just in case.

The Guide To Hiking The Cocora Valley + Which Way To Take

Things to do in Salento Colombia - world's tallest palm trees
The incredible views on the Valle De Cocora hike

As I mentioned above there are two hiking options for visiting the Valle De Cocora Salento. The short and the long. The short way takes about 1.5 hours return and takes you straight up to the famous Cocora Valley Palm trees where you can snap your pics and then head back to town for a tasty lunch. If you’re in the mood for a hike and pushing yourself and your fitness a little more, the long version is a great option. It takes about 5 – 6 hours and you climb to the top of the valley, stop at a hummingbird sanctuary and then come down above the palm trees. Wanting to DIY your Cocora Valley Tour but can’t decide which one to do? Keep reading!

The Short Cocora Valley Hike

  • Your Jeep will drop you in a parking area. Jump out, head towards the gate and turn left.
  • Walk up along the path, and keep walking past the blue gate (this is the entrance to the long route).
  • Follow the path all the way along for about 30 minutes until you reach the Valle De Cocora.
  • That’s it!

The Long Cocora Valley Hike

Cocora Valley hike Valle De Cocora Hike Cocora Valley Hike - map
A Cocora Valley map from Maps.me.
  • Your Jeep will drop you in a parking area. Jump out, head towards the gate and turn left.
  • Walk up along the path and when you reach the blue gate go through it.
  • Walk along for about 5 minutes and you’ll see a fork in the road. The road to the right leads to a house. So follow the path along to the left.
  • After another 5 minutes, you’ll reach the entry to the park. This is where you pay you 3,000 COP entry fee.
  • After about 30 minutes, you’ll arrive at the wooden signpost that says ‘Fundacion Herencia Vero’ along with some other signs. Take the fork that heads to the right here.
  • Continue along the track, you’ll cross a number of suspension bridges. Be careful as these bridges can be really slippery.
  • After 5 or 6 bridges you’ll arrive at a T Junction with a wooden sign saying ‘Acaime La Casa de Los Colibris’. Take the path leading to the right and this will take you to the hummingbird sanctuary. You can stop here for lunch and watch the hummingbirds.
  • After you’ve visited the hummingbirds head back down the path you came up until you reach the T Junction again.
  • Once you reach the T Junction take the other path that leads upwards to the left.
  • This track is really steep and you’ll climb all the way to the top of the valley. Take your time. It’s a pretty tough walk.
  • After about an hours climb up-hill you’ll reach a little farm.
  • From here follow the path along to the left and after a 20-minute walk, the Valle De Cocora Salento will come into view.
  • You then head all the way down into the valley taking epic snaps as you go
  • And then continue to follow the path, which will take you all the way back to the car park you arrived at.

Top Tips For Hiking Valle De Cocora

  • If you want clearer views and fewer tourists on the Valle De Cocora hike head there early around 9am.
  • The packed lunch from Brunch Cafe is a great choice.
  • If you’re not keen on hiking the Cocora Valley, you can go on horseback. It will cost you about $25,000 COP per hour and the trails are really packed with other riders.

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