Colombia: Valle de Cocora

Cocora Valley is the ultimate of the Andean beauty spots – a narrow valley in the Central Cordilera range, part of the Los Nevados National Park and the spot where the world’s tallest palm tree grow. Even in the overcast and rainy weather, hiking here is a total delight as you climb steeply in the cloud and fog shrouded cloud forest full of orchids to panoramic viewpoint with the slender palm trees in all directions. The Quindio Wax Palm aka Ceroxylon Guindiuense is the world’s tallest palm, rising to the heights of 45-60m or 150-200ft, and usually growing at elevations of around 2-3 thousand meters. This is the national tree of Colombia. The valley is protected, although it is surrounded by farms pastures, and in parts is a bit touristy.