Filandia

Filandia is a small colonial town in the North of the coffee region in Colombia, about 45 minutes away from Salento. Not so popular among tourists and backpackers, it still has kept all its authentic charm, with small cafés and restaurants, artisanal shops and coloured houses.

If you are in the coffee region, you should definitely try to visit Filandia for a weekend getaway.

We got to see a typical dance show in the main square

We decided to pay this village a visit as a weekend trip from Circasia, while we were volunteering there with Futuro con Futuro. The village is very small but it’s the perfect spot if you are looking to spend a night away from the big cities or other places full of tourists.

Things to see and do in Filandia:

  • Go on a jungle trek;
  • Take a walk through the town.

The main reason to visit Filandia is to go on a jungle trek in the Bremen forest. The park is privately own, so you cannot visit it on your own. The tour – that you can book through any hostel in the town or at the tourist office – costs COP 35,000 per person and includes transport from and to Filandia. If you want to have more chances to see monkeys, you should leave very early in the morning – we left our hostel at 6!

We were there in the wet season and, for this reason, we were the only people in the forest when we were doing our trek, which made it easier to spot wildlife. Our guide was always in front of us, making sure the path wasn’t dangerous because of the mud and cutting down any obstacles with his machete.

We saw a few monkeys and several kinds of birds during the trek, and we got the amazing waterfall in the heart of the jungle. At the end of the trek, we were brought to a house where we were offered tea and coffee and we got to play with three cute dogs.

If you have a couple of days to spend here, make sure you check the main square of the town. You can take a walk in the main square and visit the markets and small cafes around it. When we went to the main artisanal market, a man invited me to try and make a pot from clay, showing me how they do in the region traditional way.

In this town as well, there is a mirador. You will have to pay COP 8,000 to go up. While the view isn’t one of the best, it might be something to do while visiting the town.

Other bits and pieces…

How to get there

To get to Finlandia from Circasia, we got a bus to Armenia and then a bus to Filandia. We paid COP 7,000 in total for a 45 minute journey.

Although Filandia is very close to Salento, there is no direct bus and so you have to go to Armenia or Pereira first.

Where to stay

You don’t need to book your accommodation in advance, as you will be able to find plenty of hostel or hotels at reasonable rates. We spent the night in the Hostal Casa Colonial. This place was very small, but very clean and colourful and the owner was very friendly and helpful.

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