Tuesday, February 02, 2010


Ahhh, Salento and the Valle de Cocora... your cool breezes and mountain cowboy culture, your cobbled streets full of horses, your sunsets coloring verdant mountains in all directions... how I miss thee from this hot and sweaty internet joint / beauty supply store.

It really was spectacular! Salento is a quiet and lovely town (except on the weekends when the main plaza fills with big city Colombians eating giant fried plantains, shopping, listening to distorted and deafening music, and of course drinking aguardiente.) Set at 6000 feet above sea level and surrounded by rolling green hills with the occasional glimpse of snowy mountain peaks, the climate was invigorating. We hiked into Cocora Valley, famous for its wax palms, the only palm tree that grows in the mountains - many over 100 feet in height! We decided against the main tourist trail and headed up the steep valley wall to the towering massif, the morro gaucho at 10,000 feet. It was a long slow walk, and we felt the altitude. But we took our time, stopping to ask the occasional farmer for directions, and sometimes losing the trail altogether. The sun was strong, but it quickly cooled as mist blew into the valley, swirling and eddying in designs that captured our attention far more than the horribly dubbed action flicks we suffer through on buses. We took a long and leisurely lunch with beautiful views down the valley and beyond to the peaks of the nearby National Park Los Nevados, some rising over 15,000 feet and perpetually snow covered.
We spent our remaining time here drinking their famously delicious coffee, wandering the hills outside of town, watching toddlers lead packs of horses, and chatting up the cowboys over beers. Salento is a beautiful and invigorating area. We loved it!


Post a Comment

<< Home