Mountain Wildlife Hike3 days / 2 nights
3 days / 2 nights – 30.5km (19 miles)
Level of difficulty: Athletic / Intermediate
Minimum altitude: 2,400m
Maximum altitude: 4,700m
Valle de Cocora to Finca La Argentina
Alt. start: 2,400m
Alt. end: 3,400m
Lunch: El Bosque
We meet at Salento Trekking office at 8:00 am to be ready to leave by 8:30 am and hop on a Willys Jeep for the 12km drive to Valle de Cocora where our Trek starts. Valle de Cocora is a natural cloud forest and home of the Colombian national tree Palma de Cera. This giant wax palm tree, the tallest in the world growing up to 65 meters, was near extinction but regained life after the Colombian government designated it a protected area in 1985.
In Cocora, after about a kilometer of easy hiking taking in the beautiful view of the valley, we cross the Rio Quindío for the first time, enter the Bosque de Palmas forest and start hiking in the jungle. This is also the entrance into the Parque Nacional Natural Los Nevados created on April 30, 1974.
We will cross the Rio Quindío twice before our destination. The forest is home to 250 species of birds including hummingbird, yellow-eared parrot, Blue-crowned motmot and Andean condor to name a few. The trail heads up quickly and we climb for the next 2.8km (about 3 hours), crossing the Bosque de Niebla and passing by an indigenous cemetery. After about an hour (2.5km) of hiking, we will take a lunch break (altitude 2,900m).
After lunch, we head out for the 3.5km (2.5/3 hours) hike that takes us to our final destination Finca La Argentina. The trail will ease up a bit and cross a prairie where sometimes raccoons can be seen walking around. The last 600 meters to Finca La Argentina will get a bit steeper again and take about 30 to 45 minutes. Dinner at Finca La Argentina.
In case of weather change, the guide determines the safest path.
Finca La Argentina to Paramillo del Quindio to El Jordan
Length: 16 km
Alt. start: 3,400m
Alt. end: 3,200m
Lunch: Bosque or El Berlin
After breakfast, At 7 am, we head out toward Finca Buenos Aires (altitude 3,700m), on a kilometer steep uphill section where we will take our fist break, have a cup of tea or coffee and resupply of water. After 20 minutes we reach the Paramo (from 3.750 to 3-750), In this vegetation, we can see the Frailejones.
Some time after, when we reach 4.200 Mts, you will choice your next destination. The first and shortest option is to go up to 4.300 Mts and make a descent to El Berlin where we would have lunch and then, going directly to El Jordan reaching; completing an itinerary of 7 hours.
As a second option, we can Leave our backpacks 1 hour far from Paramillo del Quindío, go there, and then come back to have lunch in the place where we leave our luggage. And finally, we head out again for the 8km hike that takes us to El Jordan, a family farm, which is going to be our second night refuge and where Tapirs come freely, completing an itinerary of 9 hours.
El Jordan to La Florida
Length: 14 km
Alt. start: 3,200m
Alt. end: 2,100m
ETA: 12 noon
Lunch: La Florida
In our third day and according to your destination, we start hiking, mostly downhill, at 6 or 7 am for around 5 hours in a path of 14 km, in order to arrive at El Cedral at 2.100 Mts, through another Bosque de Niebla located at the same altitude of Cocora Valley, but with a different flora due to the kind of land where it is situated. In el Cedral, there is going to be a Yeep waiting for us to drive us to La Florida, where we will have lunch; In this path sometimes it is possible to see Howler Monkeys.
Finally, another car picks you up and takes you to the bus station of Pereira, Risaralda. You can pay a little extra to the driver and he would take you to the Airport or back to Salento.
- Transportation from Salento to Valle de Cocora and Pereira’s Bus Station.
- Bilingual English/Spanish guide
- All meals: 2 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners and snacks
- Luggage transportation
- Insurance policy
What’s Not Included
- Breakfast on the first morning
- Dinner on the last night
- Tips for the guide