Salento is just one of the cute towns in Colombia’s Eje Cafetero, but there are more. Meet Filandia, another colorful coffee town an hour away from Salento. Personally, I liked Filandia even more than Salento. The name itself already made me think of a small paradise on earth, even though it took me a while to pronounce it correctly (something with Finland). Filandia is not overrun with tourists and I hope it will stay this way. Of course, I understand that writing about it right now will result in more people knowing about this place, but I do not want to keep this from you. In this blog post, I will tell you about the best things to do in beautiful Filanda.
Things to do in Filandia
Watching local life at the central square in Filandia
We visited Filandia on a Sunday. In the Netherlands, this is normally a pretty sleepy day on which most people have trouble getting off their couch. In Filandia the opposite is happening. Daytrippers, families, cyclists, and motorcyclists: they all head out. The results: a jolly crowd of locals all looking for something fun to do.
The lively central square of Filandia (Parque de Bolivar) is the perfect place to watch local life. Do what the seniors do and take a seat at one of the benches. Kids in electrical mini cars, men dressed in cowboy head and poncho, colorful colonial houses, and the impressive silver domes of the Iglesia Maria Inmaculada: there is enough to see!
Wander around and explore the colorful streets
Filandia is perfect for wandering around. This was already something I enjoyed doing in Salento, but it was even more fun in Filandia. Literally every street was a colorful surprise and you almost have it all to yourself. Of course, you will spot some tourists here and there, but it is definitely not the same crowd as you see walking around in Salento. This is good, because Filandia is just a tiny village. I don’t want to see Filandia filling up with tourists. The best thing about Filandia is its quiet and authentic character. Hopefully it stays like that for a long time!
Enjoy the Fantastic view over Eje Cafetero
Filandia is not only blessed with a beautiful center, it is also located in the midst of a beautiful green sloping landscape. The best place to admire this view is from La Mirador Colina Iluminada. This is a viewpoint from a 19-meter high wooden tower. From the city center, it is a 15-minute walk. The entrance fee is 8000 COP.
How to get from Salento to Filandia by bus
There are no direct busses from Salento to Filandia. You have to change busses to get in Filandia. No stress, this is really easy to do. I will show how I did it:
- At the bus station of Salento, you get on the bus to Armenia. Let the driver know that you want to go to Filandia, then he (it is always a man) knows where you need to change buses.
- The transfer point is called Los Flores. Wait until the driver calls Filandia or Los Flores and get out. The transfer point is located along the busy main road from Armenia to Pereira. Walk a little bit back to an intersection with a small cafe.
- Wait until you a bus coming with ‘Filandia’ on its front window. Waive with your hand, or the driver might not stop. If I remember it correctly, the price for the two busses was around 5500 COP.
- Good to know for the way back: there is no bus schedule or clear indicated bus stops in Filandia. The best thing you can do is to stand in a strategical open place and wait until you see the bus with ‘Armenia’ at the front window. Get out again at the intersection Los Flores and cross the road to the other side. There you take the bus to Salento in the opposite direction.
And there you have it: a list of things to do in Filandia. Would you consider to visiting this town?