Thursday, October 27, 2011

Salento, Colombia 14 -16 Oct 2011

Salento is about 1 hour from Armenia, a small town up in the mountain at 1895m. The average annual temperature of the town is 15 °C. Famous for it's coffee farms and Codora Valley.
A quick stroll to the town to stock up some food for the next few days. The town itself is very touristic with streets of souvenir shops. The shop front are very pretty with their coloful design. It is very busy with local tourist from other part of Colombia during the weekends.  It was cold and humid, the rain started to pour, I've decided to stay in the room for the entire afternoon and catch with my blog and photos.
Next morning I went hiking to the Codora Valley. I took the local jeep that brings people up to the valley about 10kms from town. The jeep picks up passengers from the park and fill it up with 10 to 12 people. Some standing at the back of the jeep just holding to the reeling.
The trek was quiet easy, it was an hour walk passing by some farms and crossing a few hanging bridges. Then it was a 30mins uphill to 2850m to La Montana. Here lives a local with a beautiful house overseeing the mountain. I stopped by for a cup of coffee and then the road went all the way down hill for one and a half hour, along the way the view of the Codora Valley was breathtaking. The Wax Palm tree was abundance here, this is the tree of Colombia.
Wax Palm tree

When I reach back to the starting point, I had my lunch at a local restaurant. They were selling the famous Toucha fish (fresh water fish) I had one that was cooked in cheese and garlic source. It was so delicious. On the way back in the pick up, I had to squad outside the back of the jeep, hanging on tight so I don't fell off the jeep. :-)

On the last day, I decided to rent a bicycle and go cycling in the countryside. The guy drew me a map showing me where to go. It was a 14km trail down to the valley, passing some coffee plantations,  farms and villages and then back up to the town. I had fun going downhill, stop by many places to take some scenic photos. It was an unpaved road all the way down to the river and then up to a small town called Boquia. It was from Boquia that the road went all the way uphill. I had never cycle up such a long steep hill in my life, it took me 1.5 hours to get back but I really felt a great fulfillment after the enduring uphill. :-)

After the bicycle ride, my legs were still wobbling but I had to leave to my next destination, Cali. It started pouring again and I only managed to leave around 2pm. While I was waiting for my bus at the fire station, there were about a hundred Harley Davidson bikers arrive to Salento, it seems that it was a big gathering of HD bikers from Colombia during this public holiday weekend. It was a great parade to see. :-)
Salento – Plantation House ( – 18,000Pesos for a dorm bed and WIFI available

Bus from Armenia to Salento – P3,200 per way
Jeep from Salento to Cocora Valley – P3,000 per way
Bus from Armenia to Cali – P19,900

Bicycle rental at Salento – P8,000 per hour

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