Monday, April 13, 2009

The Tallest Palm Trees in the World

I haven't posted for nearly a month because I was traveling in central and southern Colombia and Ecuador. I'm back home now and plan to post regularly again.

In mid March I visited the Valle de Cocora, in Colombia's eje cafetero region. The valley known for producing Quindio Wax Palms, the tallest palm trees in the world. They can grow to nearly 200 feet. The palm once faced extinction due to over harvesting of wax from its trunk and fronds for Palm Sunday services. It was declared Colombia's national tree in 1985 and since then has been officially protected.

At 8,500 feet the valley is rainy and cool most of the time, with cold nights occasionally dipping near freezing. Luckily the rain had just stopped when I arrived on the 45-minute jeep ride from the town of Salento. Still, most of the forests of giant palms that covered the green mountainsides were shrouded in fog. But as evening fell, the sun started to peek through the clouds.


The valley is all dirt roads and muddy trails, dotted with farms, a few rustic watering holes and a trout hatchery. I ran into this procession on my way back to the main road.

2 comments:

Joe April 23, 2009 at 10:15 PM  

OMG! 200 Feet! I never knew they could grow that high! That's wicked!

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About This Blog

I'm a freelance journalist based in Medellín, Colombia, developing my photography skills by posting regular photo reports on the country. For more information, visit: www.kennethfletcher.info

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