Colombia is not only rich in coffee, but also home to the highest palm species in the world. It was discovered at the beginning of the 19th century by … of course a travel-loving german naturalist named Alexander von Humboldt. In 1985, the up to 60 meters high palm tree became the national tree of Colombia. However, you can not look at the beautiful tree everywhere, because it feels comfortable at an altitude of 2000 to 3000 meters.
A place where you can see the palm tree is the Cocora Valley. It is not far from the small village of Salento. Around the valley there are numerous hiking trails (also in the National Park, if you not are just interested in visiting the palms or Cocora). The largest is a run of about 12 kilometers and five hours. You can walk it in both directions. Clockwise, the palms come first, counterclockwise the palms are the highlight at the end of the walk. Apparently, the clockwise direction is easier, but I think that the phases up and down approximately compensate.
From Salento take one of the jeeps (Willys) which start from the local market square. The round-trip price is 8000 pesos. In addition, an entry on the trail is due from once 2000 and then again 3000 peso. The house of hummingbirds costs 5000 pesos in addition.
The hike itself is able for nearly everybody, not too difficult, but still with small passages to go uphill. In addition, fog can raise relatively quickly, but also disappear again. The track is varied and absolutely worth to train all the tasty Arepas away.