Salento, Colombia is a small, quaint town in the southern part of the country, a 7 to 8 hour bus ride from Bogota. It is surrounded by majestic rolling green mountains, and rich vegetation, which provides for endless panoramic views of the area.
Salento, Colombia is a popular weekend getaway for Colombians, when the small population seems to triple. It is also favoured by travelers and backpackers alike for it’s laidback feel and the plethora of activities offered. However, even with the onslaught of visitors at times, the town still holds its charm, appeal and serenity. It’s an easy place to hang around for more than a few days to reprieve. The locals are more than friendly and welcoming.
The town offers a variety of cuisine, including Colombian, as well as much appreciated vegetarian options, which can be near to impossible to find in Colombia. The days in Salento are easily spent wandering the modest town, browsing the shops, taking in the view or sunset over a cerveza, going for a walk, taking a coffee tour (‘Organic Coffee Farm in Salento, Colombia’) or participating in some of the more active options such as 4x4ing, hiking or horseback riding.
Cocora National Park is one of the most desired ventures while in Salento. It is a short ‘Willy’ ride away, about 30 mins. A ‘Willy’ is probably not what you’re thinking it is; it is a Jeep that is a common mode of transit here used for shorter distance.
Cocora offers spectacular views of the region while hiking through lush jungle, past rivers, and ascending several hundred metres for a prime view. The park has an easy to follow trail that loops around and returns you to your starting point 10 kilometres or 5-6 hours later, where the ‘willy’ dropped you off. The area is well worth the day trip, and be sure to pack a lunch.
I spent 4 days in Salento, Colombia; it was my last days in Colombia this time around before heading to Bogota for a flight. It was a grandeur finale to a priceless journey of Ecuador and Colombia. Thank you to all the people that crossed my path and brought light and love into my heart. I am forever grateful for yet another pilgrimage that makes up this life, my life.
“Wherever You Go, Go With All Your Heart” ~Confucius