a VirtualTourist member from Dublin asked on Nov 4, 2008
i'll be travelling from bogota to medellin in early feb. I'd really like to see the corcora vally but don't have too much time. Can anybody recommend the best/quickest way of seeing the valley. I assume I need to take a detour from the bogota-medellin route but what would be the best route to take, that would take least time. Thanks for any help.
By bus it is 5 hours from Medellin to Pereira and 1 hour from Pereira to Salento. Salento is a lovely little town to stay in and from there you can easily make a daytrip to Cocora Valley. If you are in a hurry you could probably go back to Pereira in the evening (i'm not sure if there are any buses at that time though) and from Pereira it takes 9 hours by bus to Bogota and there is probably a nightbus. If you have time it is nice to stay in Salento for another night or two.
Salento is a fantastic little town to spend the night and I would say in order to get out to the park and back with a hike in the park you should be there the night before and try to get the first jeep (public transport) out to the park in the morning. I don't remember the time schedule exactly but I think we got back to town around 3 p.m. So you could likely get out that afternoon by bus? If you decide to stay more time in Salento be sure to check out the coffee fincas – Don Elias' family-run finca was one of the highlights of Colombia for me.