Filandia, Quindio is a Colombian town you’ve probably never heard of. 

I hadn’t heard of it myself until I decided to make it my base in the Colombia coffee region

While most travellers choose to stay in the well-known town of Salento, I headed 20km east to the even sleepier town of Filandia – and it was the best decision I could have made.

Of my 10 days in Colombia, the few I spent in Filandia are the ones I look back on most fondly. I would even go as far as saying that they transformed Colombia from a country I liked to a country I loved.

Honestly, I really struggle to put into words how much I loved visiting Filandia. And, for someone who writes up to 10,000 words per day – every single day – that’s a big deal.

While I liked Salento, Filandia was by my favourite town in Colombia’s coffee region.  There was just something about it – so much so that I can’t believe how untouched it is. 

If you’re planning a trip to Colombia, I urge you to check this place out. I promise you won’t regret it. 

Here are eleven of my favourite things about Filandia, Colombia.

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Filandia Colombia

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11 Reasons to visit Filandia, Quindio

Unless you’ve been to the Quindio region of Colombia, there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of Filandia. 

Even if you have been there, there’s a good chance Filandia eluded you.

Don’t let its relative anonymity put you off, though. There are lots of reasons to base yourself in Filandia over Salento and the other Colombian coffee towns – here are eleven of them.

1 – Filandia is an authentic coffee axis town

It’s impossible to deny Salento’s charm. Its colourful houses, quaint restaurants and artisanal traditions will capture your heart.

But it’s also hard to ignore the high number of tourists in Salento.

Tourist restaurants – with tourist restaurant prices – surround the main square, hostels flood the main streets and souvenir shops scatter between the local handicrafts.

Filandia has all the same charm as Salento, only without the tourist presence.

In my three days in Filandia, I barely saw another “gringo” and felt completely immersed in small town Colombia life. 

My time in Filandia felt authentic, and – in my experience – allowed me a more immersive travel experience in which I could interact with locals in a more genuine way. And it was special.


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Building in Filandia Colombia
Colourful balconies, mural walls and decorative details are all over Filandia.

2 – The Quindio architecture is beautiful

Lots of people head to Salento to see its impressive architecture, but Filandia has it too!

Filandia’s buildings have all the same colourful balconies, mural walls and decorative details as those in Salento. Only, in Filandia, you can see them better because there’s far fewer people. 

Filandia also has a an impressive church. It takes centre stage in the square and can be seen from miles away. Speaking of which…

The town of Filandia in Quindio Colombia
A view of Filandia’s church from the Mirador. No matter where you are, the church is the focal point of the town.

3 – Filandia has the best views in Quindio 

Visiting the town’s several view points is one of the best things to do in Salento. Of all the viewpoints in the area, though, I personally preferred Filandia’s. 

On paper, it doesn’t sound like a time-consuming activity. Once you head up to El Mirador, though, you quickly realise you could whittle away an entire afternoon here.

The viewpoint is a wooden structure with several storeys, each full of 360-degree views and history to read about. 

Aside from the viewpoint itself, there are also gardens to walk around, shops to stop by and several photo opportunities (including an overloaded Jeep Willy’s!).

If you look carefully, you can spot a number of nearby – and not so near! – towns, parks and mountains in the distance.

View of the countryside from the viewpoint in Filandia Quindio Colombia

4 – Filandia is an incredible ecotourism destination  

Filandia is a little further from Quindio’s biggest attraction, the Cocora Valley, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. 

It’s still easy to get to the Cocora Valley from Filandia , but you’ll also be closer to some of the best ecotourism experiences in Colombia.

The area around Filandia is brimming with nature reserves, social initiatives and other chances to experience the greener side of Colombia.

The double waterfalls in Filandia Quindio Colombia
The “secret” double waterfall is one of the best hikes in Filandia.

5 – Hiking opportunities are endless in Filandia

The Cocora Valley hike is an easy day trip from Filandia, but it isn’t the only one. 

The countryside surrounding Filandia is full of secret hiking trails and places to work up a sweat. 

There’s not much about it online, but your hotel or hostel will be able to help you out if hiking is your thing.

6 – Filandia has howler monkeys!

Love animals? You’ll love Filandia! 

Not only can you find hundreds of Colombia’s bird species here, but there’s also howler monkeys!

The monkeys live in the Barbas-Bremen nature reserve, a protected area with a jungle-like climate. It’s quite different to the rest of Filandia!

A howler monkey climbing a tree in the Barbas Bremen nature reserve in Filandia Colombia
I was lucky enough to spot several howler monkeys in Filandia!

7 – The Cocora Valley is an easy day trip from Filandia

Lots of travellers stay in Salento because of its proximity to the Cocora Valley. However, Filandia is also a great place to stay to visit this impressive valley of wax palms. 

While it will take a little longer to get there from Filandia, it’s still very possible as a day trip. 

The jeep to Salento takes around 35 minutes, and the rest of the day is exactly the same.

READ NEXT: 31 essential Colombia travel tips.

8 – Filandia’s coffee farms are less visited 

Filandia has plenty of coffee farms to visit. And, since most people go to one of the well-known Salento coffee farms, they’re much less visited. 

Taking a coffee tour in Filandia doesn’t just increase your chances of having a completely private tour, but it also helps the local farmers.

My coffee tour experience was yet another highlight of my time in Colombia.

I had a one-to-one tour that took me through bamboo forests and past waterfalls, ending in a fantastic coffee tasting in the heart of town.

A hand holding coffee beans on a coffee farm in Filandia Quindio Colombia
I had even more fun than I expected learning about coffee in Filandia.

9 – You can get a good coffee in Filandia

Given the number of coffee farms in the region, it should be a given that you can enjoy some of the finest Colombian coffee there.

Only it wasn’t – until recently, that is. 

Until recently, all of Colombia’s high quality beans were exported overseas. That meant locals only ever got to enjoy the rejected beans. 

Now, however, Filandia coffee farmer are beginning to cancel their foreign orders to form partnerships with local coffee shops.

It’s still something that’s in the midst of change, but it does mean you can enjoy a very good cup of coffee in Filandia.

A selection of types of coffee beans in Filandia Quindio Colombia
You can get everything from the finest arabica beans to the less popular ones in Filandia.

10 – Filandia is safe

As a solo female traveller in Colombia, safety was always on my mind.

The one place where I felt I could really let my guard down was in Filandia. The locals in this sleepy town enjoy a relaxing pace of life, and it felt a million times safer than Medellin and Cartagena.  

That’s not to say I felt safe everywhere in Quindio. When I went to the Cocora Valley and Salento, I decided to leave my big camera at home – and I’m glad I did.

While I would probably take my camera out if I did go back, I didn’t feel half as comfortable there as I did in Filandia.

Arepas at Helena Adentro restaurant in Filandia Colombia
Filandia takes Colombian food to a whole new level.

11 – Filandia has the best food in Quindio

Something that really surprised me in the Quindio region was the food. Hands down, Filandia has some of the best food in Colombia.

Perhaps it was because I’d been spoilt food-wise in Cartagena and didn’t think anything could top it, but I couldn’t believe how great the food was in Filandia. 

You’ll still have to travel to Salento for some delicious garlicky river trout, but Filandia is definitely the best town to visit in the Colombia coffee region if you’re a foodie!

A street in the Colombian pueblo of Filandia

What to do in Filandia

Have I convinced you to visit Filandia yet? I hope so!

Now, here are some of the best things to do in Filandia while you’re there.

1 – Immerse yourself in Filandia’s nature

I can’t stress enough how awesome Filandia is for nature lovers and other eco-conscious travellers.

Sure, Colombia has no shortage of nature and wildlife – after all, it’s one of the most bio-diverse countries on the planet. 

But Filandia has such a unique landscape that’s full of unexpected experiences.

My highlight was probably the hike to the howler monkeys, so I can’t recommend that enough (if you’re fit enough for the intense hike).

Otherwise, you might also enjoy bird-watching or simply exploring on your own.

READ NEXT: 9 things to avoid while travelling in Colombia

2 – Soak up Filandia’s foodie scene 

I’m not sure why the food in Filandia is so good. Whether you visit Filandia for an afternoon or a week, make sure you try at least a little food here.

Helenda Adentro is one restaurant that’s worth travelling to Filandia for, even if you don’t do anything else while you’re there.

Its innovative take on traditional Colombian food is starting to gain recognition across the Quindio region and, having tried a few dishes, I can totally see why. 

If you only eat in one Filandia restaurant, make it this one – it’s popular for a reason!

Vegetarian food at Helena Adentro in Filandia Colombia
My favourite dish at Helena Adentro: aubergine, goat’s cheese and freshly baked baguette.

3 – Take it easy in the countryside around Filandia 

Filandia isn’t the kind of place where you need to jam-pack your itinerary. On the contrary, I would advise against it. 

While there are lots of tempting things to do in Filandia, you’ll want to leave some time to simply relax.

Filandia is one of the most peaceful places I’ve ever been – not just on my Colombia travels, but in the entire world. 

I stayed at Selina Quindio, which is just outside the main town. With nothing but lush rolling hills for miles around, it was the perfect spot to unwind.

There’s really nothing better than coming home from a rewarding hike and curling up with a good book in a hammock. Or falling asleep to the sounds of nature. Or jumping into a pool on a sticky day.

And you can do all of those things in Filandia.

A hammock on a balcony at Selina Quindio in Filandia Colombia
A balcony hammock is the perfect place to enjoy the nature sounds around you at Selina Quindio!

4 – Take a day trip from Filandia to Salento 

Even if you’re not staying in Salento, it’s well worth taking a day trip to the most popular town in Colombia’s coffee region. The river trout alone is worth making the journey for!

Despite the unmissable tourist presence, Salento is a fun town to explore. It’s similar to Filandia and completely different all at the same time.

It’s also an essential stop if you want to visit the Cocora Valley since the Jeeps run from the central square.

You can visit both the Cocora Valley in one day, or split them into two individual day trips.

It really depends on how much hiking you want to do in the Cocora Valley and how much exploring you want to do in Salento!

View of the historic town of Salento, Colombia
You’ll spot many similarities between Salento and Filandia – but also lots of differences!

5 – Experience daily life in the coffee region of Colombia

In Colombia’s small towns, life generally revolves around a central plaza. That’s true everywhere from Guatapé to the Colombia coffee region, and Filandia is no different. 

Whether you travel to other pueblos or not, Filandia is a great place to experience local life in Colombia.

With very few tourists around, it’s easy to get a feel for local life in Quindio.

Spend some time strolling around Filandia and I’m sure you’ll quickly fall in love with the Quindio region of Colombia.

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