You will want to allow yourself a full day to visit here, as there is much to see and you will want the time to enjoy it. ‘Cocora’ was the name of a Quimbayan princess, daughter of the local chief Acaime, and means ‘star of water’. The valley is part of the Los Nevados National Natural Park, incorporated into the existing national park by the Colombian government in 1985. It is the principal location of the national tree and symbol of Colombia, the Quindío wax palm (Palma de Cera) as well as a wide variety of other flora and fauna (some endangered), all of which are protected under the Park’s national status. The valley provides the perfect conditions for the wax palms, with altitudes between 2500 – 2800m above sea level, sandy soils with a high acidity, average rainfall of 1800mm/year and temperature range of 12-19°C.
There are various ways to see the Valle de Cocora, depending on your preference and ability. Maps and directions for the valley are available at reception. Make sure you take water, snacks, insect repellent, sunscreen and/or a rain jacket, and wear sturdy shoes. You will definitely also want your camera! Remember there are steep parts on the walk and you are at some altitude so make sure you rest along the way.