If you are staying in Salento, why not consider a day trip to the colourful little pueblo of Filandia? This sleepy town is well preserved and makes a refreshing change of pace from its more famous neighbour.
If you have enough time to leave Salento for a day trip we would recommend a visit to Filandia. It is a small town, still within the municipilaity of Quindio, with beautifully decorated colonial buildings. Salento is a lovely town, but honestly, Filandia is even prettier (yes, I really just said that) and offers a little peace and quiet away from the tourist crowds.
Travelling from Salento to Filandia
You can get the bus heading to Armenia from Salento’s bus terminal, just ask the driver to drop you at the meeting point for the bus to Filandia. You will need to get two buses in total but it only takes about 30 minutes to get there. Unfortunately for us, there was a miscommunication and 45 minutes later we were almost in Armenia before we managed to get off the bus! We spoke to a few other people who had also visited Filandia and I’m pretty sure it was just our bad luck and it’s usually a really easy journey to make.
Finding your way around Filandia
Filandia is a pretty small little moutain town, but there is an illustrated map to help you find the key attractions.
While the weather wasn’t at its nicest when we visited, it didn’t detract from the beauty of the town. When you are stood in the main square you’re at the top of the hill and looking down the streets that flow away you. It almost feels like you’re at the end of the world as the roads just disappear into the sky. When we went it was quite misty, which added a strange eeriness that held its own beauty.
Because of the weather we didn’t get to explore Filandia as much as we would have liked. As is so typical in Colombia, the day started out with clear blue skies and by the time we arrived in the town the clouds were brooding and heavy.
As you can see on the map, there is a view point (labelled ‘mirador’ which is Spanish for ‘view’ ) just a small walk away from the centre. We would strongly recommend taking time to visit this part of the town as it gives you wonderful views over the nearby farms and green mountains of this extremely fertile part of Colombia.
The colours of Filandia
Whilst there is a map of the town, we’d suggest forgetting all about it and just wandering the wonderful streets of this pretty little pueblo. This will give you the chance to discover the magic of Filandia’s well preserved buildings which are painted in a wonderful array of colours – no two are the same!
Filandia is a lot quieter than Salento with regards to tourists, and the square is the perfect place to while away a few hours with a coffee, just watching the world go by. We got caught in heavy rain and dived into a coffee shop and just admired nature’s show.
If you aren’t convinced Filandia is for you yet, just check out these photos!
Where to eat in Filandia
We found a great little place to eat in a small plaza, Plazoleta de los Toldos, that had several cute little craft shops, a cafe and a bar. The menu del dia (menu of the day) was well priced at 11,000 COP (approximately £3) for a juice, soup and main meal. Phil enjoyed the grilled chicken and when I explained that I was a vegetarian they were happy to replace the meat with a fried egg.
What to do nearby
We were lucky to spend eight days exploring Salento and the beautiful coffee region of Colombia, including this day trip to Filandia. If you are staying in the coffee region, either in Salento or Filandia, take a look at what else we got up to help inspire your own visit. Even after eight jam-packed days we felt there was still so much more that we had to miss!