Wax Palms in Dr. Suess Land near Salento, Colombia

Wax palms are the tallest palm tree in the world. They can be found deep within the Andes in central Colombia outside of the neat little town of Salento.

Check out the wax palms on a Willy’s ride and a beautiful hike.


This small colonial town is full of colorful buildings, shops, restaurants, cafes and TONS of old Willy’s jeeps! In fact, the Willy’s is how one gets around. These classic taxis will take you to the Cocora Valley where you can go on one of many hikes to explore these strangely tall palm trees. This is the main attraction of the area and an absolute must-see.

You can walk along the river, or head up into the hills. We did the hill hike and took a break on the most curious and comfortable grass I have ever sat on, even better than a hammock! The weather can change quickly up there, be sure to bring a rain jacket!

Things to do in town

Despite its small size, you will find plenty to do in town! The central square is surrounded by great restaurants, including many food trucks serving trout. They all seemed to be rather similar but we ate at several and they were all delicious. Just order the trucha and patacĂłn! Colombia loves trout and they prepare it right!

Calle Real

One can find all sorts of trinkets, hats, clothing or anything else on this festive street. If you have people on your souvenir list, this is the place to find them something neat. At the end of this street, there is a tall staircase leading up to the Mirador. Great exercise and an excellent place to watch the sunset.

An orange pink and purple sunset over the Andes mountains. Located behind the small town of Salento, Colombia.
A view well worth the steep staircase hike!


Now if you came to Salento without playing the national sport of Colombia, you’re making a big mistake. This game involves chucking stones across a room to try and explode paper packets with gunpowder in them… for points! You’ll find plenty of locals playing as well as many other gringos, don’t be afraid to buddy up, this sport is more fun in teams! We played at Los Amigos, but there seemed to be a few options around town.

A place to play Tejo in Salento, Colombia. There are clay bins with a metal ring sitting in the clay. Then, paper packets are laid over the top to throw rocks at, in hopes they explode.
The Tejo pits. A metal ring sticks out of the clay, then you place the exploding paper packets on top of the ring and throw rocks at it. IT’S FUN!

Getting there/around

The coffee region should definitely be part of your Colombia trip plan. If you are in Medellin, Bogota, Cali or other big cities, you may want to consider a flight to Pereira. It can take a really long time to cover ground in busses, but sometimes you can find great last-minute price deals between the bigger cities. Once you are in Pereira it’s only a short bus ride to Salento and from there it is all Willy’s or walkin’! Enjoy 🙂

One Comment Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s