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If you’re wondering if Jardin, Colombia is worth visiting from Medellin, read no further because my answer is the same as every shocked proposal response in a crappy rom-com: yes, yes, a thousand times yes.
Daniel and I visited the most wholesome place on earth this weekend – the small town of Jardin, Colombia. The little pueblo was founded in a lush valley in 1871 and hasn’t changed since.
The well preserved colonial architecture, colorful buildings, beautiful basilica, and lively town square make Jardin, Colombia the perfect peaceful getaway from Medellin.
It’s a three and a half hour bus ride from the city (catch them at Terminal del Sur in Medellin for around 8 to 10 usd each), but the winding roads and vast mountain views make the trip thoroughly enjoyable.
The colorful Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Jardin, Colombia
Jardin is worth visiting because along with the architecture, the slow pace and quality of life haven’t changed much in this little hamlet 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 ’80s and ’90s, 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 in Jardin, Colombia.
Our truly idyllic hostel in Jardin, Colombia
A Budget-Friendly (and Very Relaxing) Weekend in Jardin
Our Friday night started (and ended) with dinner and drinks in the lively town square.
Get ready to practice your Spanish, though, because the locals in Jardin are the most friendly people I’ve ever met.
Daniel and I passed our time wandering the cozy streets, sharing a few beers with a local bar owner and his friends, and occasionally sneaking treats to the friendly stray dogs as well.
Finally, we ended our night with some local food from the street vendors and our cozy bed at the beautiful Kantarrana Hostel, one block outside of the main square.
If you’re ready to visit Jardin, click here to book your stay in the Kantarrana Hostel!
Get ready for an astonishing amount of greenery on your hikes!
On Saturday, we woke up ready to explore Jardin, Colombia. First, we treated ourselves to sunrise photography walk around the city.
Then, it was off to explore further after breakfast.
The day 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 nothing short of 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 drinks back in the square.
We were on a budget, but you can also do coffee farm tours, visit a bird-watching sanctuary, and ride horses to the Cueva del Esplendor to fill your time. Lucky for us, Jardín is in the coffee region in Colombia, so the cafes are plentiful and the drinks are cheap.
Bright, colorful buildings in Jardin
Sunday was more of the same: wandering, eating, drinking, and relaxing.
Daniel and I took the cable car up to the Cristo Rey statue for an expansive and unbelievably green view of the tiny town tucked away between the rolling mountains. 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.
View of Jardin from the Cristo Rey statue
Is Jardin, Colombia Worth Visiting?
If this post doesn’t persuade you, nothing will. Honestly, there’s nowhere on earth more peaceful than Jardin.
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 starting to feel just like a dream.
Adios, Jardín. Te amo mucho.
Ready to go?
Use Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights to Colombia and explore accommodation like unique stays on Airbnb or the top-rated hotels on Booking.com to plan the perfect night, weekend, or long-term stay in peaceful Jardin.
Then, join our new Sustainable Hiking Collective on Facebook to connect with the international hiking community, discover new destinations, join virtual trail cleanups, and take part in monthly sustainability challenges.
This article is part of the Classic Colombia series. Read the rest below:
Or, explore the complete Colombia series for more tips on what to see, do, eat, drink, and discover in the country.