From Manizales, we caught a bus to the pueblo of Salento (pop. 3000), on the other side of Parque Nacional Los Nevados. The small town feel was a nice change, Salento is a place where people actually said hello to each other on the street: I tipped my hat and offered "buenos tardes señor" to an elderly gentleman and he responded with "que caballero" and a smile. The only way to reach Valle de Cocora National Park is via Jeep, which they gladly run with the "pack as many as you can" rule; people hanging off the sides, wherever you can get a handhold. After a dusty ride and a short walk, we found ourselves in the midst of hundreds of wax palms, Colombias national tree.