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Daniel and I visited the most wholesome place on earth this weekend – the small town of Jardin, Colombia. The little pueblo was founded in the lush valley in 1871 and hasn’t changed since.
The well preserved colonial architecture, colorful buildings, beautiful basilica, and lively town square make it the perfect peaceful getaway from Medellin. Jardín was a three and a half hour bus ride from the city, but the winding roads and vast mountain views made it thoroughly enjoyable.
Along with the architecture, the slow pace and quality of life hasn’t changed much in Jardín either. No matter what time of day it is, there will always be young parents spending quality time with their kids, families attending mass together, old men catching up over coffee, and of course, caballeros riding through town on their horses, tipping their hats in greeting as they pass by.
When we asked some locals at the bar if Colombia’s violence and drug problems had reached the town in the 80’s and 90’s, they looked at me confused. Of course not, they said. When I asked why, they simply said, it’s Jardín. And honestly, I understood. The outside world has never, and probably will never, break into the shell of this charming town.
It’s a breath of fresh air away from the long work hours, the stress, and the constant screen time the rest of the world seems to revolve around now, and Daniel and I were more than ready for our long weekend of relaxation here.
Our Friday night started (and ended) with dinner and drinks in the lively town square. Get ready to practice your Spanish because the locals are the most friendly people we’ve ever met.
We passed the time wandering the street venders and sharing a few beers with a local bar owner and his friends (and occasionally sneaking treats to the friendly stray dogs as well).
Our night ended with some local food from the street vendors and our cozy bed at the beautiful Kantarrana Hostel, one block outside of the main square.
On Saturday, we woke up ready to explore. The weather was warm and sunny, and we had a rough map of the nearby hiking trails and waterfalls. The lush surrounding areas are green as far as the eye can see, and walking down the dirt paths with the pups who joined us was idyllic.
We hiked seven miles to two different waterfalls on Friday and enjoyed a picnic on the rocks by the river before heading home. We took an afternoon snooze during a quick rain shower, and then we headed out for coffee, dinner, and a night back in the square.
Jardín is in the coffee region in Colombia, so the cafes are plentiful, and the drinks are cheap.
Sunday was more of the same… wandering, eating, drinking, and relaxing. We took the cable car up to the Cristo Rey viewpoint for a stunning vista of the tiny town tucked away between the jagged mountain peaks. A restaurant and a quick lunch awaited us at the top, as well as a new hiking trail to explore.
We ended the afternoon in town catching the end of a local fútbol match and, of course, with a few more cups of coffee in the square.
There is nowhere on earth more peaceful than Jardin, Colombia. I’m convinced time forgot it was there and has continued to pass by without it. If you want to decompress, destress, and get away from it all, Jardín is certainly the place to do it.
Now I’m back in rainy Medellin, and our time spent in the colonial town is staring to feel just like a dream. Adios, Jardín. Te amo mucho.
All my love,
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