The Cocora Valley’s most scenic hiking trail leads to the Acaime Nature Reserve, some 2 hours, 30 minutes (5km/3 miles) from Cocora hamlet. A blue gate at the entry to the valley—it’s easy to spot but ask any local to point you in the right direction—leads past a trout farm and meanders through mossy grasslands where clusters of sinewy wax palms cling improbably to the mountainside. After traversing a half dozen or so ramshackle bridges that cross the Rio Quindío, the trail steadily gains elevation as it weaves through mystical cloud forest. It’s certainly worth checking out the Acaime Reserve (Km 11 Valle del Cocora; tel. 2/893-3052; COP$5,000), which provides sanctuary to eight species of hummingbird. Here, you can graze on locally made cheese and chocolate (included in the reserve’s entry fee) and you have the option of staying the night at the reserve’s basic posada (make a reservation ahead of time). When you return from Acaime to Cocora (1km from the reserve entrance), an alternate route follows a steep trail to La Montaña (2,800m/9,000 ft.) where there is a small finca which straddles a razor’s edge mountain that stares across at the magnificent Morro Gacho peak (3,450m/11,000 ft.). If you continue on La Montaña trail, you will wind back along a gravel path through the valley to Cocora hamlet. For more intrepid adventures, the Cocora Valley provides access (via Quindío department’s entrance; see below) to the snowcapped Andean mountains of Parque Nacional Los Nevados, with its five volcanoes.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.