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La Serrana Hostel Salento Quindio | Colombia Backpacking


La Serrana

La Serrana Eco Farm and Hostel
KM 1.5, Via Palestina, Salento, Quindio
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Overview: Salento's La Serrana hostel is the best option in town for backpackers. Located in a beautiful valley setting surrounded by undulating, tree-lined hills and cow pastures, it is a tranquil and relaxing paradise in a town already noted for its tranquility. It's a fabulous base for getting a taste of Colombia's famed Coffee Zone (La Zona Cafetera/El Eje Cafetero). And, of course, make sure to avail yourself of the opportunity to see Salento's majestic Valle de Cocora.


Neighborhood: The surrounding area is a feast for the eyes. It's the perfect place to throw back a cold Colombian beer (a Costena would be nice, although they only serve Poker and Club), and take in the sunset as is it sets through the lush, emerald hills. On weeknights relax at the hostel with your new friends, and on the weekend head into town for a little fun at Speakeasy Salento, El Camino Real, or the classic Danubio Billiard Hall.

How to Get There: Just 2km east of the city center, the only real downside is the distance from downtown. But it's a pleasant 15-20 minute walk, or a 5 minute $6.000 ride in a jeep. The bus from Armenia or Pereira will drop you off in the park, so just make your way to the row of jeeps and they'll have you to La Serrana in the blink of an eye. Salento is just 45 minutes from Armenia or an hour from Pereira.

Management/Staff: Andy, the American owner, started this hostel several years ago, and has clearly done an excellent job with turning the property into a hostel and hiring an excellent staff.

Rooms: This delightful hostel features 32 dorm beds spread out over six rooms, as well as three private double roomsDorms are clean and comfortable with well-above-average mattresses that are neither too firm nor too soft. Dorm rooms even sport nice furniture: all wood night-stands, chairs, and tables. Bathrooms are, likewise, above average, and most feature elegant tiled flooring and shower stalls.

Shared Rooms: Dormitories go for $20.000 or $22.000 a night. There is also ample space to camp out in tents if you're in the mood for roughing it.

Private Rooms: Private rooms are in the vicinity of $45.000 to $55.000. Add $10.000 in private rooms for a second person.  There are also three private rooms available at Las Camelias, a farm located next door. This is a great option for couples who want a bit more privacy.


Amenities: La Serrana has it all: a great kitchen for guest use, comfortable areas to lounge and hang out with plush couches and chairs, a nice tv room, and some of the best decor you'll find at a hostel anywhere in South America. For example, check out the antique typewriter, telephone, sewing machine, spinning wheel, enormous bull's head, and radio microphone, as well as the hilariously rustic saddle and lasso in the tv lounge. 

It's clear that a lot of thought and effort has been put into the design and decoration of rooms and common areas. The wooden ceilings, lined with hundreds of wine bottles, are a nice touch. There's even a give-and-take featuring some pretty nice stuff, mainly clothing. The only thing I found fault with was that there could be a bit more light in the common areas.

There is a free computer for guest use, and free wifi, although the signal is a bit spotty, especially if many people are logged on at once (ie. peak backpacker internet hours of 8pm-11pm).

The delightful complimentary breakfast features local hen eggs, toast with jam and butter, and, of course, coffee, while additional items are available for purchase. Dinner is served nightly at 7pm for $12.000 or $13.000. On the night that I dined we were served roasted chicken with gravy, a vegetable medley (I believe from the on-site garden), and a delicious polenta in a cheesy sauce. A Moroccan carrot salad rounded out the meal. Wine and beer are available for purchase.

And if you get bored (which is unlikely in Colombia) you can always go play with Pablo, the enormous black labrador "official hostel dog."


Conclusion: All in all, this mid-sized hostel is one of the best places to stay in Colombia. It offers a great location, great value, and comfortable accommodations in a fun, social atmosphere. If you're going to stay in Salento this is the place!

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