A World Heritage Coffee Valley (Cocora Valley)

Dear Readers:

As one of you pointed out recently, I have not been doing my job in finishing up my posts about our South American odyssey. Therefore, even though we’ve been home since late May, this posts takes up where the last one left off: deep in the heart of Colombian coffee county.

Our last morning in Colombia’s  coffee triangle began with a visit to the town of Salento, in the Cocora Valley, where we visited the roasting house of the coffee maker Jesús Martín.  We learned how the coffee beans are selected for quality, and how the beans are roasted. The smell was pure ambrosia.

In the Coffee Triangle

In the Coffee Triangle

In the Coffee Triangle

In the Coffee Triangle

In the Coffee Triangle

In the Coffee Triangle

In the Coffee Triangle

In the Coffee Triangle

In the Coffee Triangle

In the Coffee Triangle

In the Coffee Triangle

In the Coffee Triangle

Then we stopped at the coffee shop run by the same producer, and learned how “latte art” is created.  It’s so fun to be an adult and to be able to play with your food!

In the Coffee Triangle

In the Coffee Triangle

In the Coffee Triangle

In the Coffee Triangle

In the Coffee Triangle

Then we loaded into the backs of these open-air 4-wheel drive jeeps to drive up into the Cocora Valley, for a hike.  The valley is at about 7,000 feet altitude and is home to only wax palms in the world. These amazing palms grow to about 250 feet and are the only known high altitude palms.

In the Coffee Triangle

The valley itself was lush and green and clouds hung on the tops of the surrounding peaks. All of this made for a beautiful hike.  We returned to the valley floor and planted some wax palm seedlings of our own to try to preserve this endangered species.  For our labors, we were rewarded with another great country-style lunch, and then we drove back to Salento to wander around this cute hillside town.

In the Coffee Triangle
In the Cocora Valley

In the Coffee Triangle

In the Coffee Triangle

In the Coffee Triangle
The Wax Palms
In the Coffee Triangle
Planting new wax palms

Finally, it was back to Hacienda Casilla for our final dinner, as we prepared to leave for Cartagena in the morning.

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