We had been driving south from Manizales through the Zona Cafetera, the coffee growing region of Colombia where most of that famous coffee comes from. We ended up in Filandia, a town in the northern part of Quindío department. Driving up the cobble stone street gave us a first glance of town, and we immediately fell for it. We see bright colours on wooden doors, on window shutters, on balconies, and decorations hanging over the streets. We quickly park our car, get on our masks, and start exploring. It turns out the streets are also filled with people: there is little traffic, but lots of visitors, by far most of them Colombian. Actually, together with the coffee growing around Filandia, the second biggest income comes from tourism, and it is easy to see why. This is a cute town, very well maintained, where you can spend several hours wandering the streets.
We see a man with a guitar on the corner of Simon Bolívar square, and when rain starts to fall, take a seat at a balcony overlooking the square. Great for protected people watching, but also to have a different perspective on the balconies, on the decorations (we still see loads of Christmas decorations in place), and see the dark clouds sail away, making room for the sun, which means it is time to get the bill and continue our walk through Filandia. No, the town is not wrongly named after Finland, the country in northern Europe, like quite a few towns in Colombia have country names (Armenia, Montenegro and Palestina are just a few cases in point), but is a combination of Filia and Andes: daughter of the Andes. On top of that, Filandia has a nickname: the Colina iluminada de los Andes, or the Light of the Andes. We will find out soon why that is an appropriate name.
To do so, we drive a little south and walk up to the Mirador de la Colina Iluminada, the viewpoint over Filandia. Set in the verdant green landscape of hills clad in vegetation, the viewpoint is on top of a hill. When we walk the circular stairs, every step offers us a better view, until we reach the top. We admire the landscape to the south, the countryside with fincas and agriculture, see Pereira to the northwest, and when we turn towards the north, see a rainbow grow over the houses of Filandia that are scattered over the hill. We are lucky: the rainbow becomes full and offers the perfect frame for the Illiuminated City. Alas, when we look east, the summit of the Nevado del Ruiz, the snowcapped mountain of the region, hides in clouds. We see a sculpted monument for the coffee of the region, and say goodbye to pretty Filandia.
Around the World in 80 Clicks
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Filandia (Colombia). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Filandia. Read more about this site.