Finca el Mirador, Filandia, Colombia

All my life I thought that coffee should always be Colombian and that they were the first producer in the world. And here I am reading about coffee production and finding out that Colombia is actually only the 3rd biggest producer in the world after Brasil and .... Vietnam!!! I could imagine Indonesia being on the list with their coffee beans being pooed out by a wild cat of some sort but Vietnam! I am still hoping that the Colombian coffee is the best:)

So there we were in Filandia, little town in the heart of the coffee region which we have never ever heard about before. To be quite honest we went there by total coincidence. Before going to Colombia we went through all volunteering opportunities on Workaway and we found one that captured our attention. A young couple running a hostel. They seemed like warm, nice people with a dream and bad web page:D so we thought we would help and we ended up in a charming little town, full of colorful colonial houses, welcoming locals and a few lost tourist. The town offered actually more than we expected. It was really alive, with bars and restaurants and good supermarkets. And just outside of it there was an unbelievably green nature... We were surrounded by coffee beans, bananas, waterfalls, monkeys, hummingbirds, toucans and amazing people. Perfect paradise! We wanted to learn and explore so we visited one of so many small coffee farms. Colombian hospitality- the owner came to give us a tour. Colombian guy, working in the US and coming back for the weekends for his passion- his farm. Buying it he actually wasn't a huge expert on coffee but well, it seduced him. He walked with us for a few hours showing us his trees, beans, explaining the process. and he made us realize that: Colombian coffee is picked up by hand... So how could we resist and not try the produce made with love... We tried to taste it all, organic, cheap- drunk by the locals. It all tasted good. But it is widely known that the best coffee doesn't stay in Colombia and the farmers cultivating the best don't try their own produce.

Finca el Mirador, Filandia, Colombia

In Filandia, except of strong coffee aroma, we felt the power of Christmas. 1st of December is a strict deadline for everyone to put their Christmas lights on.... As they say Christmas in Colombia lasts only one month...:) obviously we couldn't be worse than the rest so our Camilo (Colombian part of the couple) was running around buying lights. It was the highest priority. Higher on the list than fixing anything.
As the more the merrier, we had also two other volunteers coming... Entering our dorm we saw a guitar and a tiny little guitar-like instrument with stickers on it... "Great, hippies" we thought. Absolutely not excited we went to say hello and it turned out Dominic and Sarah were a positive, crazily twisted couple of music teacher and knitting master. No dreadlocks, no dirt (not visible at least) and no funky piercings. Sigh of relief. It turned out that they were actually amazing people and our future "Christmas family". So it won't be a totally lonely Christmas. We gonna visit our "hippies" in the countryside of Medellin:)

Mini guide- hikes in Filandia:

1. Double Waterfalls- short bike ride and short but adventurous (since there is no path just grass) walk down to the hidden waterfalls. Very calm place, perfect to enjoy beauty of nature and some natural spa treatment in the waterfalls' basin.
We didn't want to kill ourselves or the bikes so we left them by the house indicated on the map.
One way bike plus walk time: around 45 min
On the way back we took a jeep that was passing by the main road since the way back it's all up.

Double Waterfalls.kmz and Double Waterfalls.kml for your Google Maps or
2. Finca el Mirador- coffee farm that we visited with a passionate guided tour by the owner himself (20 000 pesos per person). It offers not only views of the coffee but also a nice cafe with stunning views over the valleys. Only around 20 min from Filandia by bike.
Finca el Mirador.kmz and Finca el Mirador.kml  for your Google Maps or
3. Way to Quimbaya- one of those trips where not the destination is important but the way. The town is less than special but the views on the way to it are spectacular, coffee, birds, valleys, all green and inviting.
One way time: around 1.5 hrs by bike
On the way back we took a jeep because as usual it was all up hill
Route to Quimbaya.kmz and Route to Quimbaya.kml  for your Google Maps or
4. Salento- touristic little town which probably once was charming, now it was for us just a start point to get to Cocora Valley to see the tall wax palms and as it turned out also a bar which feeds people and hummingbirds (entry 5000 pesos per person) so it's a perfect spot to see both species: birds and people. A hike that we did cost us 3000 pesos per person for entering private property and it was around 11 km.
Cocora valley,kmz and Cocora valley.kml  for your Google Maps or

5. To the river- another hike that we did was going to the river which was supposed to be breathtaking. It might have been on the way back but only because we got tired going up. Nothing special but if someone would be bored and had 55 minutes one way....:)
Roble river.kmz and Roble river.kml  for your Google Maps or

One thought on “Two tea drinkers in THE coffee region of Colombia

  1. Reply
    Lida - December 8, 2015

    O wat is het daar ook weer mooi en zoveel kolibries! !!! Prachtig!!

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