Street of brightly painted houses
Colombia,  Colour,  Travel galleries

Gallery: an explosion of colour in Colombia

We live in a rainbow of chaos

Paul Cézanne

And what a wonderful rainbow it can be, none more so than on the streets of Colombia’s towns and cities!

You may be tired by now of me saying that Colombia is colourful, but hopefully not of seeing the evidence. Many of its small towns are as imbued with colour as the cities; indeed maybe more so as they don’t spill out into more drab commercial and industrial areas.

Colour is a power which directly influences the soul

Wassily Kandinsky

Passing through even the smallest village I would spot murals on local bars, bright doors and windows on the houses. But some places have really gone to town on colour. This can seem like a deliberate move to attract tourists, and it’s true that popular destinations work hard to keep their colours bright and promote themselves with gorgeous photos. But not all colourful Colombian towns are the same. Today I want to take you to two in the country’s coffee region. One, Filandia, is still very much a locals’ town, although gradually being discovered by tourists. The other, Salento, is close to the popular Valle de Cocora, so gets many more visitors, as witnessed by the plethora of souvenir, crafts and arty shops. But it’s still very much worth a visit. Both are a photographer’s paradise, as I hope these two galleries will show!

My feature photo, by the way, is from Salento.


Filandia was the first of the colourful Colombian towns we visited. For that reason, it perhaps made the biggest impression on me. It gets its names from filia (Latin for daughter) and Andes. This is therefore the daughter of the Andes, and a beautiful daughter she is. The people here take pride in painting their doors, windows, balconies and other building details in the brightest of colours.

You can click on any photo to open a kaleidoscope of colours in a slide show


Salento is, as I said, busier with tourists, and even more so probably as we visited mid afternoon rather than morning as we did Filandia. I probably enjoyed it less too because by then I was struggling with the bad knee that had flared up after my climb to the viewpoint in the Valle de Cocora! Because of that we skipped the mirador here that is one of the town’s main attractions, but we did spend some time wandering its rather hilly streets and taking loads of photos!

Again, click on any photo to open a slide show

I don’t think this is quite what Terri had in mind when she set her ‘Awakens‘ theme for this week’s Sunday Stills challenge, but if these colours don’t wake you up, nothing will!

I visited Colombia in February 2023


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