Tuesday 5 March 2024

I *encanto* Cocora Valley (= I love Cocora Valley)

Hi Everyone

Ismene here! Today we visited Cocora Valley, where one of my favourite films (called Encanto) was set. Last year, when we were planning our trip, Dan found out that we will go through the valley that was the inspiration for the film and I couldn’t believe that it will actually happen. I was so excited to see how it would look like.

And today, after 7 months of travelling, we actually went there and saw it all! When we were driving to the valley, we saw so many painted, colourful houses with flowers in their garden and wax palms that were so tall I couldn’t see the top.

We stopped at a car park and started the 12kms hike through the forest and down the valley. At the beginning, we started the walk on an easy slop but a bit later, the path got steeper. Everywhere I looked, I could see tall wax palm trees that looked like they were trying to make a hole in the sky, just like the film. But that was not the only thing that reminded me of Encanto: there were many bright pink and purple flowers that stood up in the green, lush palm tree forest. Resting on those palms were beautiful birds that were making mysterious and beautiful noises. Only one of them I recognised and that was the yellow-cheeked parakeets. All the other birds we spotted, I couldn’t recognise but they were all very beautiful with exotic bright colours, like in Antonio’s room (one of the characters in the film).

After a while, we reached a little wooden gate. I wondered what was behind it so we decided to check it out. A few meters later, we stumbled upon a huge hand which you were allowed to sit on to take photographs. There were other such spots at the start of the walk for tourists but nothing as big as this one.

At the top of the climb, there was a small but colourful mountain-cabin where we stopped for a bit to have a snack. It was now time for the decent. On the way down, the forest was very lush and completely different because there weren’t so many palm trees. The air was more humid and there were loads of different plants that looked wilder. There were also seven wooden swinging bridges going over rapidly fast-flowing river. That also reminded me of the film.

But the excitement was not over. The little town we stayed at, called Salento, was so pretty and reminded me so much of Encanto. The houses were exactly like the little village in the film – coloured and bright windows and doors. Every house had flowerpots outside on their balcony which I really loved. Smiley people were out on the streets and at the main square, having something to eat and drink There was music too. It was such a joyous and happy atmosphere.

Next morning, nothing felt more magical than seeing an apostle staring at us having breakfast as if it was a character from the film. I loved Cocora Valley and loved the fact we were able to visit it! I think I might even watch the film one more time...

Love, Ismene




  2. Oh Ismene that is so amazing. How wonderful to actually visit. You've got me so intrigued that I shall watch the film. Loved your blog and I hope you'll do more. Lots of love Margaret xx

  3. great to hear from you, Ismene! It sounds magical. I hadn't heard of the film but I'd love to see it. Is the apostle the animal in the trees in the final photo in your blog? I've never heard of it so will go away and try Wikipedia. lots of love and hope to read more from you now you've started! Sal

    1. Oops, that was meant to be an opossum, though I love the idea of an apostle watching us have breakfast from up in the trees. My fault, Dan (Science and Nature Editor).