Monday, May 9, 2011

In Salento hiking a lot longer than we thought but loving Colombias small towns

views on our 45 minute down the valley

finally a sign for the coffee tour

la serrana hostel lobby was full of win bottles

Spending a weekend in Salento, camping, coffee tour and hiking around Cocora valley. Our first night we found a lovely quiet hostel Lili, on the main street (calle real) would recommend it for any backpacker, cheap and clean only $9 per person but had no parking so we had to park sienna in a secure garage for an extra $3. The next day we found the La Serrana hostel about a 5 minutes drive out of town and the place was full of backpackers we decided to camp in the van to save some money for only $12 for both also included breakfast good deal. It was located on a hill side farm with really nice views and was very secure at night with lots of big guard dogs. There was a coffee farm that offered tours nearby the hostel or so we though. We set down hill thinking it was only about an 25 minute walk but after 30 minutes we started asking the few locals we saw on the dirt road and they keep telling us just a little further, another 25 minutes later we found the farm and the large sign Coffee tours $5000 that about $3 per person and thats about what it was worth. We got short, simple no frills tour that ended with a cup of coffee but the best part of it all was the long and hot exercising hike back up. At the hostel that night we recognized a couple that had left the coffee farm just as we started our tour. I asked them how was the hike back they told me they took a cab back up for only $1 for both. like I said good exercise!

200 steps straight up

view from top of Salento
calle real the main street of Salento

this guy looks like Juan Valdez the famous Colombian coffee company
Jeep willy's waiting in the park to take anyone 4x4 is need
Next day we decided to check out the Cocora valley famous for its tall was palm trees as we were driving to the park we saw the same couple from the coffee tour walking and picked them up lucky we did because the park was a good 45 minute drive to the entrance. We decided spend the day together hiking the park. The couple were from South Africa and very nice company for the hike. We walked about 2.5 hours through mud, rocks and rivers to a point that we had a good view of the wax palm trees. Now if we had did this hike with our own shoes it would have been horrible but we rented rubber boots from the hostel for only $2 absolutely the best tonnie we've spent.

muddy road into the park

everything from rain, rivers, rocks to animals

some of the best views in Colombia

Ji's dangerous balancing act
almost done
now how do we get back

spending the day hiking with our a South African couple
last few meters back to the sienna
We spent 2 days hiking and last 2 days relaxing now were going to make one more stop at the National Coffee park the Colombians Disney world of coffee before hitting salsa capital of Cali.