Filandia, Colombia – Budget Travel Guide 

Colourful Streets, Filandia

Buried deep within the Zona Cafetera (coffee zone), the unassuming pueblo of Filandia, Colombia is everything the bustling Salento used to be – but it’s unlikely to stay this way for long. Colourful streets, artisanal coffee shops, fancy yet affordable restaurants and some great accommodation options mean Filandia’s popularity with tourists is soaring!

Surrounded by lush valleys and a launchpad for exploring the Cocora Valley, Filandia is a hotspot for hikers, cyclists and nature enthusiasts. You don’t need to travel far out of the sleepy town to be truly immersed in some of Colombia’s most beautiful landscapes! 

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Filandia, Colombia – Travel Guide

Best Time to Visit Filandia

The best time to visit Filandia, Colombia is January and February and June-August. 

But as with most of Colombia’s coffee region, there is no bad time to visit Filandia. Due to its elevation and location in the tropics, the weather is relatively consistent. Average daytime temperatures hover around 20℃, although the nights can get chilly. 

View of countryside from Mirador, Filandia
January/February offer dry(ish) days and cloud cover for shade!

However, if you want to hike and spend lots of time outdoors, it’s worth avoiding the rainy season if possible. March/April/May and October/November/December see more rainfall in Filandia than other months. Rain tends to fall in the afternoons but can arrive at any time of day. Travel to Filandia is easily doable during the rainy seasons but beware of landslides which can cause long delays. 

The only other negative with visiting during the rainy seasons is that getting outside to enjoy nature is a much muddier affair! 

Is Filandia Safe?

The sleepy town of Filandia is one of the safest spots in Colombia. While you should still take precautions when exploring the town and surrounding areas, especially after dark, Filandia feels much safer than Colombia’s larger towns and cities! 

Filandia is a kind and welcoming place but you should still practice common sense safety precautions as you would in any Colombian town. Don’t flash your valuables, avoid wandering around at night by yourself – especially if you’re intoxicated – and only carry a small amount of money with you at a time.

If you’re going hiking, let someone know where you’re going and when you expect to be back. That way, if anything happens to you on the trail, people will know where to look!

Where to Stay in Filandia

Filandia is a small town, so no matter where you stay, you’re only a few minutes walk from the main square!

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Best Budget-Friendly Accommodation in Filandia

Bidea Backpackers Hostel

Popular among backpackers visiting Filandia, Bidea Hostel offers budget-friendly dorms and privates with shared or ensuite bathrooms. Although old and creaky, the building has a chilled-out traveller vibe and the staff are attentive to your needs. There’s a shared kitchen and a simple breakfast is included with your stay – however, if you have a large appetite, this is unlikely to suffice! 

Outside Bidea Hostel, Filandia
Unassuming on the outside, Bidea is a great backpacker hostel!

Bidea is two blocks from the main square, so it’s relatively quiet while still being in the thick of things. The hostel rents bicycles for those wanting to cycle out of town for the day! 

Filandia Hostel

Located less than a block from the main square, Filandia Hostel is right in the middle of the action. The road can be noisy during the day but traffic drops off as night descends. The hostel has no dorms but offers budget accommodation in the shape of tents! If you’re looking to spend a little more, however, the deluxe double room is particularly cool but involves scaling a ladder or two – don’t say we didn’t warn you! 

There’s a mix of ensuite and shared bathroom options available and the onsite restaurant provides excellent food all day. There’s also a BBQ in the shared garden if you fancy having a crack at your own asado! 

El Zocalo Boutique Hotel – The Flashpacker Option

If you’re looking for a more upmarket option, El Zocalo Boutique Hotel fits the bill. With its modern decor and classy style, El Zocalo is a world away from the hectic Colombian street outside. 

Outside El Zocalo Hotel, Filandia
Don’t let the exterior fool you, El Zocalo is an oasis of sophistication!

Perfect for flashpackers, El Zocalo is just three blocks from the centre of town, on the road towards Mirador Colina Iluminada. The staff are friendly and attentive and an excellent breakfast is included as standard. 

Things to Do in Filandia, Colombia

1. Visit the Mirador Colina Illuminada

Visible for miles, the Mirador Colina Illuminada stands out like a giant tree house. The towering structure is built on massive stilts and offers a 360-degree panorama of Filandia and the surrounding landscape. 

Mirador Colina Illuminada, Filandia
The mirador towers over Filandia!

Information boards and photo opportunities offer themselves up at regular intervals during the climb to the top of the mirador. Take the opportunity to learn about the local history before being wowed by the topography. Expect to find lots of locals and travellers visiting Colina Illuminada, especially at the weekend! ⛰️

2. Enjoy Filandia’s Colourful Streets

Much like Salento, Filandia’s colourful streets are an attraction in themselves. Give yourself a few hours to peruse the brightly coloured buildings – and don’t forget to grab a few snaps for the gram! 📸

Colourful Streets 2, Filandia
There’s always a photo opportunity in Filandia!

3. Drink Coffee

No visit to Colombia’s coffee belt is complete without sampling a cup of joe (or two)! Any cafe in town will serve coffee better than you’re used to in your local coffee shop but our favourites are Cafe Filandia’s on the main square and MOCAFE on the corner of Calle 7, Carrera 8. ☕

Coffee, Filandia
You can even take your own bag of coffee home from Cafe Filandia’s!

4. Visit Iglesia Maria Inmaculada 

As with all Colombian towns, Filandia’s main square is dominated by the church. The Iglesia Maria Inmaculada is worth a quick stop while you’re in town. You can marvel at the exterior architecture any time of day but the church has odd (read:unknowable) opening hours, so getting inside isn’t always guaranteed. It’s more impressive from the outside anyway! ⛪

Church, Filandia
Find the church in Filandia’s main square!

5. Hike to the Double Waterfall

The Doble Cascadas can be found around 6km out of Filandia. Previously, the only way to get there was by asking directions and stumbling along until you came across the right house! However, the falls are now marked on Google Maps as Cascadas las Gemelas making the journey much more simple. 

Once you reach the right house, you’ll need to pay a small entry fee as the falls are on private land. The trail down to the falls is muddy so be prepared with good shoes and bring swimming gear if you want to get up close and personal with las cascadas! 💦

If you don’t fancy walking all the way from Filandia, you can take a moto to the house which takes around 15 minutes! 

6. Visit Salento 

If you’ve opted to stay in Filandia instead of Salento, it’s still worth visiting the more popular town for the day. Jeeps leave from Filandia’s main square and drop you off in the centre of Salento. 

Salento town
Salento is Filandia’s bigger, busier sibling!

To get back, grab a jeep from where you were dropped off. Jeeps run regularly in both directions and cost around 8000COP each way. 

Be warned, Salento gets swamped with tourists at the weekend. Avoid visiting until midweek if possible. 🏘️

Be Aware

When getting from Filandia to Salentio, it can be tough to find the person selling jeep tickets. When we found him, he was sipping coffee outside a cafe a few doors down from his office!

7. Visit a Coffee Finca

No trip to the coffee belt is complete without visiting a coffee farm. The small, family-run fincas around Filandia make for the perfect introduction to coffee production. Due to fewer tourists, coffee tours in Filandia are cheaper and more personal than in other parts of Colombia’s coffee axis. 🧺

Coffee beans on the plant at a coffee farm
There’s much more to coffee than with or without milk!

8. Visit Cocora Valley

Get those legs moving and embark on a visit to the world’s tallest palm trees. Towering a whopping 60 metres overhead, these trees need to be seen to be believed. If you have the energy, the well-trodden five-hour circular hike is well worth your time. 🌴

Follow the route anti-clockwise for the best experience (this means you see the epic palms right at the end) and consider visiting the hummingbird house, via the short(ish) detour Don’t expect too much from this spot though, the savvy owners have put sugar water out to lure hungry hummingbirds and the tourists have followed!

Cocora Valley
Hang out among the world’s tallest palms in Cocora Valley!

Even if you don’t feel up to the long hike, visiting Cocora Valley is still worth it. Chill out in one of the many bars, coffee shops or restaurants overlooking the valley to spend a few hours whiling away the time in true Colombian fashion! 

To get to Cocora Valley, take one of the jeeps which leave regularly from Filandia’s main square. 

Be warned, the valley gets super busy at the weekend. A midweek visit is best if you can time it right! 

Food and Drink in Filandia

Aside from the obvious array of coffee on offer in Filandia. The food scene is a mix of traditional Colombian cuisine and, as the town becomes more popular with tourists, international dishes. 

Helena Adentro 

Expensive by Colombian standards but still well under the odds compared to similar restaurants in the USA or Europe, Helena Adentro has been making waves among travellers. It’s #1 on almost every Filandia food list for good reason.

Food from Helena Adentro, Filandia
The food in Helena Adentro is excellent!

The restaurant overlooks lush green valleys and you can just make out towering mountains in the distance. They offer a fusion of Colombian dishes and international cuisine. Everything is prepared with great attention to detail and is designed to be shared. So, grab your pals and head out for a fine dining experience on a backpacker budget! 


MOCAFE is a much more intimate coffee shop experience. With just a few seats, most of the shop is dominated by a multitude of coffee machines. This gives the shop a delicious aroma and homely vibe that makes it hard to leave – even after your third cup! 

Cafe Filandia’s 

Cafe Filandia’s is a large coffee shop on the main square. Offering a vast array of hot drinks (most with sin or con liquor options), they also serve an excellent lunch. It’s a great place to grab a bite in the afternoon – especially if it’s raining as their large indoor seating area means there’s plenty of space for all! 

Canelazo, Cafe Filandia
The Canelazo from Filandia’s is even better with a drop of liquor!

Restaurant Jose Fernando 

Colombian cuisine with a fancy twist, Restaurant Jose Fernando does an excellent job of keeping the quality high and the prices low. The staff are wonderfully welcoming and the food is exquisite. Don’t expect to find many examples of Colombian cuisine quite this mouth-watering! 

Getting Around Filandia

Getting around Filandia is easy. If you’re in town, walk! It doesn’t take long to walk from one side to the other. 

If you’re travelling further afield, many hostels rent bikes which allow you to explore the rolling hills at your own pace. 

Willy Jeeps leave regularly from the town square for locations like Cocora Valley and Salento. But be aware, if the jeep is full, you’ll likely be hanging off the back. This can be a fun way to travel on a sunny afternoon but be sure to hold on!

Mototaxis are also available from the main square. These can take you to specific coffee fincas or hiking trails but are unlikely to stray too far from town. 

People riding on a jeep in Cocora Valley
Sadly, there’s no discount for standing tickets!

How to Get to Filandia

Unless you’re already in el Zona Cafetera, getting to Filandia is a bit of a chore. First off, if you’re coming from Bogotá or Medellín, you’ll need to catch a bus to Pereira or Armenia. This will take most of the day. From either Periera or Armenia, you can get a bus to Filandia. 

Alternatively, if you’re coming from another of Colombia’s major cities, you can fly into Armenia or Pereira, which is much quicker and still very budget-friendly. From there, catch a bus. It’s also possible to get a taxi from either city although this is more expensive. 

If you’re already in Salento, the best option is to get a jeep from the main square. These run regularly and the driver can strap your luggage to the roof if required.

Jeeps in Salento square
Jeeps run regularly from Salento!

Where to Go Next:

Salento – The more popular sibling of Filandia, Salento offers the same bright colourful buildings and beautiful surrounds. If you’re not keen on crowds, you could cut Salento from your itinerary in favour of Filandia but even with its boom in tourism, we still love it! 

Jardín – If you liked Filandia, wait until you see Jardin. It’s the town that time and international tourism forgot. There’s little to do except enjoy laidback vibes and people-watch in the main square. Jardin is the perfect antidote if your trip to Colombia has felt hectic so far! 

Medellín – Capital of the Antioquia region, Medellín is one of the trendiest cities in Latin America. Having thrown off the choke of its violent past, Medellín is THE city in Colombia that everyone should visit.

Tim Ashdown Bio Pic
Tim Ashdown | Gear Specialist

After a life-changing motorcycle accident, Tim decided life was too short to stay cooped up in his home county of Norfolk, UK. Since then, he has travelled Southeast Asia, walked the Camino de Santiago and backpacked South America. His first book, From Paralysis to Santiago, chronicles his struggle to recover from the motorcycle accident and will be released later this year.

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