Having heard too many good things about Jardin, we used a public holiday in the middle of the week to travel there for a 24 hour trip. It was well worth the visit and probably the most beautiful town we visited in Colombia (with possibly the best coffee too).
Jardin is located about 4 hours from Medellin. Again another Colombian bus journey took considerably longer than expected and our 4 hour journey took 6. The road travelled was probably the worst road we’ve ever seen. The bus was reduced to driving around 15km an hour for huge chunks of the journey. At one point we could see a huge bridge and an adjacent tunnel under construction that will presumably make this journey considerably shorter in the future.
We arrived at our hotel at around 8pm on a Tuesday evening. The following day was Simon Bolivar day, a public holiday in Colombia, so we were unsure whether we were arriving to a Friday like atmosphere with everyone taking advantage of the next day off, or if we wwre arriving to a town where everything was going to be shut for the holiday. Jardin’s not the kind of place you find too much info about on Google either.
With this in mind we dropped our bags and headed straight for the town’s main square in search of food. We found things to be pretty much business as usual. Plenty of people were sitting out on the square having there after dinner coffee. What was immediately noticeable is that the entire town seemed to be drinking coffee rather than anything else.
We found a fairly local restaurant offering local fair and went for the local speciality, rainbow trout. We decided not to follow in the locals steps after dinner and opted for margaritas rather than coffee.
The next morning we made up for this and had several coffees on the square. We found an amazing coffee shop on the corner of the square called name name.
We needed the coffees as we’d been up since 6am hoping to start our day visiting a local cock of the roque bird sanctuary. Unfortunately it wasn’t open at sunrise but we caught it again at sunset.
After soaking up the early morning atmosphere on the square, we set off an a short hike in the mountains surrounding the town. The hike took us past some wonderful swimming spots that the the locals were taking full advantage of on their day off. Emma couldn’t help but get involved.
//Pic of Emma swimming
The hike took us up and around to one of the towns major attractions. A shed like cable car that connects the town with the viewing point we’d now arrived at. Grateful of the opportunity to take a shortcut back and to tick one of the main attractions off the list, we jumped aboard the shed (after a quick beer whilst we enjoyed the peaceful scenery).
We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the town and were back on the bus to Medellin by 6pm! It was a quick visit but well worth it. Jardin is a unique little town full of character and charm.
Needing a break from Medellin we decided to squeeze in a 24 hour trip to Jardin. Our 2nd week of Spanish lessons landed on a week with a public holiday on the Wednesday of the week (Simon Bolivar day). From what we’d read and heard, a 3 hour bus journey to see one of Colombia’s prettiest colonial towns was an easy decision.
The bus journey turned out to be closer to 5 hours (add several hours to any bus journey in Colombia) and we arrived in town at around 8 in the evening. We stayed in La Casona hotel, located just 20 metres off the main square. We threw our bags in and set off in search of food and activity on the square and quickly found both. We ate some typical local cuisine (fresh rainbow trout from local farms) and enjoyed a cocktail on the square after.
Needing to make the most of our 1 day in Jardin we rose the next morning at 6am to catch the “Bird Names” at the local sanctuary and although we managed to see some from a distance on our way there, we had to wait till later in the day to see them properly as we’d missed the morning opening hours for the sanctuary.
Jardin is famous for it’s coffee. Los Andes is one of the better places in town and we sat on the square enjoying a coffee and prepared ourselves for a short hike.
Hike & Swim
There’s 2 easy walks right outside the town of Jardin. The one we took takes you along a nice river with an excellent spot for swimming so Emma jumped straight in with the locals who’s swarmed to the place on their much appreciated day off.