LGBT Friendly Hostel – Casona de Lili

Colombia isn’t well known as a tourist destination, but it has grown more popular in the recent years. Backpackers have always loved it. They had good reasons too. Colombia is a great and diverse country, populated by the friendliest people. Big and vibrant cities like Medellin, Cartagena and Cali offer a lot of good stuff like musea, high-tech metro systems, restaurants and clubs. But there’s also the countryside, a lot of it. Casona De Lili is located in the town of Salento in the lush coffee region.

Casona de Lili

Casona de Lili is on the main tourist street of Salento. Most tourists are Colombians who visit Salento for the weekend. On weekdays you only see locals and backpackers and you can feel the laid back and slow rhythm of this wonderful town. Above one of the many small shops, you’ll find Casona De Lili: a small and friendly home away from home. There are just a few rooms and they fill up quickly. The guesthouse has a clean and cozy kitchen you can use and decent sanitary facilities. You can watch a DVD in the common room, but it’s more likely you’ll be talking and laughing with other travelers and the owner. Visit their Facebook page.

Salento Colombia

The owner

Lili is a super friendly and funny Colombian lady who wants her guests to be happy. Whatever you might need, she probably has it or knows how to find it. During our visit, we enjoyed talking to her and her girlfriend a lot. One night we ended up practicing salsa with them and the other guests. It felt good to see two women run a hostel in a country we didn’t know was gay-friendly. It was a great experience and we recommend every gay traveler going to Salento to visit this wonderful place!

Casona De Lili

Salento and surroundings

Salento is a charming little village in the coffee region. The village has a viewpoint on top of the mountain well worthy of the climb. The main streets of Salento are fun to walk, especially for souvenir hunters. Coffee farms are abundant in the region and most of them offer coffee tours where you get to see the entire process of coffee making. The major attraction in Salento is Valle de Cocora with its specific palm trees. You can get a jeep on the main square to take you to the trail. It’s a fun and relaxing hike through lush vegetation on a rocky trail, but some of the bridges are pretty much wrecked. I hope some of these bridges have been upgraded recently.

The coffee tour

Valle de Cocora

Nasty Bridges

These nasty bridges

LGBT friendly?

In Colombia, we met more LGBT than anywhere else. In Medellin and Bogota, people are openly gay. Bogota is actually home to the largest gay club in South America. Although we never act all over the place in love in public, we never felt unsafe in Colombia. Visiting a hostel that is owned by a gay woman is enlightening, especially when you imagine Colombia to be a scary country. It is not. Recommended hostel.

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My name is Inge. I'm a traveler, writer and photographer. All those things I want to share with you. I've traveled a lot and wish to explore some more unknown territory.

4 Responses to “LGBT Friendly Hostel – Casona de Lili

  • So wonderful to hear such positive things about Colombia, especially that the LGBT community has strong and active representatives in the hospitality industry.
    That coffee tour sounded right up our alley – divine! The hike through the indigenous vegetation also sounds well worth a try.

    • Hey Thalia and John, thanks for commenting! Colombia really is a great destination with a lot of interesting history and activities. If you need any advice on places to go, let us know. Maybe we can help 🙂

  • Thanks for letting me know that Columbia is a very nice place to visit. I’ll make sure to add this on my bucket list.

    See you on the road,
    Daz Vagabond

    • Hey Daz Vagabond, thanks for your comment! Colombia should definitely be on your bucket list. It’s a great destination and it is on top of our favorites. We’re going back there as soon as possible. Happy travels and see you in Colombia 🙂

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LGBT Friendly Hostel – Casona de Lili

by Inge Reading time: 2 min