When traveling to Colombia, I absolutely recommend visiting a few villages. Cities are not really my thing anyway, but the villages in Colombia are incredibly nice to stay in. This includes Jardín which is less than 4 hours by bus from Medellin. Jardín is known for its well-preserved colonial architecture and charming atmosphere. In addition, the village is surrounded by green jungle and numerous rivers, streams and waterfalls. What to do in Jardín you will read here!
What to do in Jardín
Stroll through the village
As I mentioned, Jardín is full of beautiful colonial buildings that the locals have painted in the most cheerful colors. Because the village is located between the mountains, you’ll have a beautiful view of the landscape from every little street.
I loved spending a morning walking through the village. But also in the evening there’s a nice atmosphere around the cafes. You will see that everyone likes to sit outside chatting with Colombian music playing in the background. The atmosphere is lovely at any time of the day!
There are plenty of good cafes in Jardín. Highly recommended is Café Macanas Parque Principal with a great selection of delicious homemade coffee from local farmers and incredibly delicious carrot cake!
If you’re still looking for a little souvenir for yourself or for others, I can recommend you to visit Dulces De Jardín. Here you can buy traditional sweet treats. Their specialty is the homemade jam made from different types of fruit that grow in Colombia.
Mirador Cristo Rey
About a 45-minute walk from the center you will find the Cristo rey viewpoint. This is one of the most beautiful views of Jardín and the mountainous surroundings. With clear weather you can see incredibly far.
At the restaurant you can score a nice meal and a refreshing drink after your walk.
Cascada Del Amor
On the other side of the village, just a 20-minute walk from the center, is the Del Amor waterfall. The Cascade Del Amor is a popular attraction for locals. You can’t really swim there, but if you’re daring you could climb up a little for a refreshing shower.
Maak een kleine hike door Parque Natural Jardín de Rocas
From the Cascade Del Amor, you can continue your walk for a short hike through Parque Natural Jardín de Rocas. The hike is about 2 to 3 hours including several breaks.
You will first cross the river. Here it’s possible to paddle with your feet in the refreshing water. Swimming is a bit risky because of the strong current, but at some places you can take a dip.
After the river you continue the walk up where you pass different types of plants and fruit trees. Here I even saw a gallito de las rocas bird, an Andean cock-of-the-rock in English. This bird is only found in South America and is very conspicuous thanks to its bright red color.
After walking for about 20 minutes you will find the café La Herrita on the right. What makes this café special is the beautiful view from the hammock.
Next, a little further on, is the café La Garrucha. Here you can choose to go back down via the cable car. To be honest, it looks pretty rickety and makes a lot of noise, but everyone has been using it for years. If you’re not up to it, the walk from La Garrucha back to the center is about 20 minutes.
How to get to Jardín
Jardín is easily reached from Medellin by bus. The bus leaves from Terminal Sur and takes about 3.5 to 4 hours.
From Salento it’s also possible to travel to Jardín. This is a long journey of about 8 hours in total and a few transfers. First you travel in the morning to Riosucio. There you take the bus to Pereira and then from Pereira onwards to Salento. You can also travel via La Felisa instead of Riosucio and from there to Pereira.
Pro tip: If you travel by car between Jardín and Salento, be sure to choose the longest route of about 285 km via La Pintada. Do not choose the shortest route through the mountains. We made the mistake of taking the short mountain route because “that’s a heck of a lot less distance”. With a city car this is absolutely not a good idea and after 5 hours of driving through the mountains we were glad we were still alive. Colombia is full of adventures!