Salento and Filandia in Photos

Salento and Filandia sit in the middle of the Zona Cafetera in Colombia. They are about 2000 meters above sea level, so the weather is really fine and the landscape intensely green. Both are colonial towns with small populations, largely focused on coffee. Cafes surround the town squares, more in Filandia than Salento, wafting aromas of coffee and cocoa, and occasionally locally made chorizo and fresh pressed juices. Another common denominator is the presence of jeeps and horses, along with motor bikes, the dominant modes of transportation, besides walking, of which there is a lot.

I almost skipped the Zona Cafetera. It seemed, and largely is, a very touristic region, with the two main endeavors being touring coffee fincas and bucolic outdoor activities like hiking the Socorro Valley, home of the tallest palm trees on the world. But after having been sick in Bogota, and rather full of city life, and as it was “on the way” to Popayan, and I had a week before my arrival to Popayan for Semana Santa, I paid it a visit.

I went to the Socorro Valley, but skipped the coffee tours. Instead I shopped the little tiendas till I found a particular coffee to my liking, and hung out at a small cafe that serves a lovely spiced hot chocolate, and excellent wifi.

Salento town center with Jeeps for hire Photo Credit: Joanne Bretzer
Photo of Cafe Jesus Martin
My seat at Cafe Jesus Martin Photo Credit
Town Square Salento Saturday morning Photo Credit: Joanne Bretzer
Across the valley from the hostel Photo Credit: Joanne Bretzer


Across the valley from Salento. Almost ever in the clouds Photo Credit Joanne Bretzer
Cathedral in Filandia Photo Credit Joanne Bretzer
Hanging on the corner Filandia Photo Credit Joanne Bretzer
Decorated Sidewalk Filandia Photo Credit Joanne Bretzer


Chocolate and Caldo. The food is better in Filandia Photo Credit: Joanne Bretzer
Standard transport
Coffee drying in the street
World’s tallest palms, Socora Valley (palms, but tall) Photo Credit: Joanne Bretzer
Yes, it is a tall palm tree Photo Credit Joanne Bretze
Traffic Jam Cocora Valley Photo Credit Joanne Bretzer


More interesting to me, Socora is full of wild orchids, often clinging to Eucalyptus Photo Credit Joanne Bretzer

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