Updated: Jan 27
Jardin, Colombia is a picturesque town located in the Andean region of the country. Known for its charming colonial architecture and lush green mountains, Jardin is a great destination to experience the traditional culture of Colombia. It’s not that long ago that this beautiful colonial town was one of the best kept secrets.
How to get to Jardin?
Jardin is still a hidden gem on the way from Salento to Medellin. Most people go visit this little picturesque town out of Medellin as it’s about a 4-hour drive with a comfortable bus. (leaving from Terminal Sur Medellin, price 5€/person) We took a taxi driving us from Salento/Pereira to Jardin and took the picturesque road, which is quite adventurous and off the beaten track. As you cross the beautiful mountains of Colombia, the views on the way are amazing.
TIP! Depart early from Salento as the trip takes at least 7 hours by car. (depending on the traffic and the state of the mountain roads)
Start your visit by strolling around the main square
The town's main square, Parque Principal, is the heart of Jardin and a great place to start exploring. Here you'll find the Cathedral of Our Lady of Chiquinquira, a beautiful church built in the 19th century. The square is also home to a number of local shops and restaurants where you can try traditional Colombian dishes such as bandeja paisa and ajiaco. You will find here a lot of coffee houses as well; every coffee house has its own colorfully hand painted chairs and tables outside set throughout the plaza. Which makes this plaza very inviting and colorful.
TIP! Looking for a great place to eat? Restaurant Bon Appetit is a must visit! Delicious Italian dishes are served here in a great atmosphere.
One of the main attraction in Jardin is the coffee plantation tours, where you can learn about the history and process of coffee production in Colombia. You can take a tour through the lush coffee farms and taste the different varieties of Colombian coffee. (coming from Medellin this is definitely a great experience) We already visited a coffee farm near Salento.
Go hiking in the countryside of Jardin and take a brake at Cafe Jardin
Jardin is also known for its beautiful countryside, with many hiking and trekking options available. One popular hike is to the nearby Páramo de Frontino, a high-altitude grassland with stunning views of the surrounding mountains. From the village you can hike up to the viewpoint of Café Jardin. One of the most iconic spots in Jardin. From the middle of the town, you will see the Jardin sign on the hill side. That sign is located right at Café Jardin. The view from the terrace is amazing, try the coffee and the delicious pastry here.
If you walk up the hills you can discover some beautiful waterfalls. Like this one.
Have an exciting ride with the old cable car at La Garrucha
A hike to La Garrucha is also a very nice experience. Passing the Cascada Amor and River Corazon. Try to do this walk early in the morning. The views on the way are amazing and you might see the red rock rooster! A beautiful bird which has his natural habitat in these mountains. We were lucky to see and hear this songbird. There are also some amazing flowers beside the road. From La Garrucha you can take the cable car down to the city center of Jardin. This cable car is manually operated on request and nothing more than a wooden box and costs around COP $3500 (less than a dollar/euro)
What to pack for Jardin?
As this village lies in the mountains, it’s usually not so warm and it can rain occasionally. I would suggest packing: hiking boots, fleece jacket and raincoat, a bottle of water, sunscreen (Jardin is situated on an altitude of 1750 meters) and a hat.
Safety in Jardin
The reputation of Colombia, as being a dangerous country is slowly getting better. Smaller colonial towns like Jardin are safe to visit, but of course you better be careful as usually. If walking around the countryside of Jardin you need to watch out for strayed dogs. (we used to take a stick in hand, just in case)
Best time to visit Jardin?
Jardin has a very similar climate to Medellin, which is called the city of eternal spring. The best time to visit is the dry season between December and February or the second drier time of the year, from July to September. We visited Jardin in July and had a little bit of rain there, the rain showers occur mostly in the afternoon, therefore it’s better to go hiking in the morning.