There are so many things to do in Jardin Colombia, Antioquia’s best-kept secret. Learn about what to do in Jardin for the perfect, truly-local Colombian experience.
Many travellers are still to discover one of Colombia’s best-kept secrets, the colorful, vibrant town of Jardin. Jardin feels like it’s stuck in time, a by-gone time of coffee farmers, and cowboys where both Colombian folklore culture and Spanish styles can be felt. Visiting Jardin can help you discover more of Colombia’s culture and allow you to rub shoulders with friendly locals and their customs.
From hiking to discovering waterfalls, from coffee farm tours to exploring the town, there are so many things to do in Jardin Colombia that will keep you busy for a couple of days.
Unlike Guatape or Salento, Jardin has yet to be discovered by mass tourism. It’s not a stop on the general traveller’s or backpackers’ trail but it won’t stay secret for long. For this reason, Jardin still has a very authentic vibe. You’ll see farmers and locals in cowboy hats and boots having a drink together in the main square or locals heading to church on a Sunday.
For a glimpse into real Colombian village life, a visit to Jardin is a must, just don’t wait too long, it won’t be long until the secret is out. Here are the best things to do in Jardin Colombia- Colombia’s most authentic town.
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BEST TIME TO VISIT JARDIN, COLOMBIA
Jardin and this part of Colombia- Antioquia is an all year round destination with temperatures staying pretty much constant all year round with highs of 25°C/77°F and nightly lows of 11°C/50°F. The best time to visit really depends on the levels of rainfall that vary throughout the year.
Jardin is generally a rainy place we got rained on quite a bit during our stay. The driest months are December and January. The wettest months are April and May and then October and November. These months also coincide with rainy seasons all over Colombia so it’s generally better to visit outside of those months.
Note that Colombians take their vacations in January so you might want to avoid this time along with Christmas, New Year and Holy Week, right before Easter when things get really busy not just here but around the whole country.
Finally, try not to visit Jardin on a weekend if you can. It’s generally a super popular place for locals living in the surrounding cities of Medellin and even Manizales and things can be pretty busy during the weekends. It’s much more enjoyable to come on a weekday.
HOW TO GET TO JARDIN, COLOMBIA
You can reach Jardin, Colombia by car or by bus. The easiest point of departure to Jardin is from Medellin. It takes about 4 hours to reach Jardin from Medellin. You can also reach Jardin from more southern destinations like Manizales or Salento but you will have to change buses.
To get to Jardin by bus, you’ll need to take a bus to Jardin from Medellin’s Terminal Sur. Take a bus from the company Rapido Ochoa whose buses depart several times a day. Tickets cost about 30,000 COP.
The second way to get to Jardin is by rental car. This is what I did because we rented a car for a 6-day road trip of this part of Colombia. Renting a car gives you the ultimate flexibility and freedom to leave when you like and stop when you like.
Renting a car in Colombia is very affordable but I’d say only rent a car if you have a lot of driving experience. The roads are long and winding and you need to get used to many local road users who do not follow normal driving etiquette and road rules.
Check the box below for the best car rental rates from Medellin.
WHERE TO STAY IN JARDIN
A beautiful, minimalist and eco-friendly hotel, Hotel Plantacion feels like you’re staying in nature. With simple modern rooms with all the mod-cons- some of which come with private balconies with garden access, this hotel is one of the most design-forward in Jardin.
We also loved its sustainable and eco-friendly concept and they provide no plastics or disposables for guests. Their on-site cafe/restaurant is one of the best plant-based options in town. My top pick for Jardin!
Hotel Valdivia Plaza
A brilliant truly Colombian hostal, this simple yet charming hotel is located right on the main plaza. Opt for one of the rooms at the front and you’ll have amazing views of the Cathedral from your own private balcony (be wary of the noise here in the evenings and weekends though). Rooms are charming and decorated in a tasteful style with lots of local charm.
La Casa de Ana
This is where we stayed when we visited Jardin, a lovely locally owned B&B, in a traditional, old house in the centre of Jardin. The B&B is simple yet beautifully decorated, clean and comfortable. There are only four rooms each with its own (external) bathrooms.
The breakfast here is one of the best hotel breakfasts we’ve had in a long time which included beans in tomato sauce, grilled vegetables, arepa and fresh fruit and juice. You can also opt to add eggs and the local speciality, chorizo.
La Casa Del Sol
If you prefer to stay a little further away from town and really make the most of being in nature, La Casa del Sol provides a beautiful oasis not far from the town center. This beautiful, old Colombian farmhouse has plenty of local charm, beautiful gardens and simple rooms. A wrap-around terrace with hammocks offers an amazing place to pass the afternoon with stunning views of Jardin and its cathedral.
A beautiful wooden hideaway surrounded by nothing but nature, this is the place to come if you’re looking for some time to simply retreat. Built with local wood and sustainable practices, this simple yet comfortable ecolodge has one of the most amazing wooden deck terraces for yoga and morning rituals. It’s located outside Jardin on the road to La Cueva del Esplendor and near several waterfalls.
WHERE TO EAT
For such a small little Colombian town in the middle of Antioquia, Jardin has some real gems to discover when it comes to eating. There are also quite a few healthy and plant-based options.
Consulado Vegetal – One of the hippest, coolest cafes in Jardin, Consulado Vegetal is actually Hotel Plantacion’s restaurant and cafe so if you’re staying there you needn’t go far.
Full of wonderful, creative spins on Colombian classic dishes, their breakfast and lunch menus are unique and delicious. Dishes include plant-based waffles, burgers and homemade soups.
As if you needed another reason to visit, Consulado Vegetal is also a zero-waste establishment. There are no disposable napkins, straws or cutlery here. If you’d like take-out you’ll need to bring your own Tupperware.
El Jardin de Jardin – A plant-based cafe and a plant nursery, this amazing place provides a beautifully decorated, natural setting for a meal or a delicious Colombian coffee.
Order a coffee and something sweet or any one of their delicious Colombian dishes- we tried the vegan bandeja paisa and it was amazing. They also have sandwiches, burgers and salads on the menu too. Have a seat on a cosy sofa or in the coolest little corner surrounded by vegetation.
When you’re done you can browse all their plants. If you do happen to live in Colombia you can buy any one of them to take home.
Óleo Bistró Restaurante– Another great eating option with tons of vegetarian options is Oleo Bistro, a french-inspired restaurant in the heart of Jardin. Go for their lovely risottos, salads and soups or try their local trout if you eat fish.
Macanas – Probably the coolest and best coffee shop in Jardin, it’s located right next to the town’s Cathedral. If you come at the weekend, you’ll no doubt recognise it by the queue forming outside onto the street.
With thick, syrupy espresso straight from the farms around Jardin, great pastries and cakes and a variety of savoury dishes too, this is the perfect place to come for breakfast or a mid-afternoon pick-me-up. They also sell bags of their coffee beans to buy and take home-we couldn’t resist.
THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN JARDIN COLOMBIA
There are so many things to do in Jardin Colombia, a fair share both in town and in the surrounding countryside. There are plenty of hikes to embark on, cafes to sip the local coffee at and curious local attractions to visit.
Make sure not to miss these amazing things to do in Jardin Colombia from your itinerary.
One of the best ways to get your bearings and uncover some new gems is by exploring the main town. Jardin is really small and it probably wouldn’t take you longer than an hour to walk around the whole town but that’s not the idea.
When exploring, you’ll soon see how authentically Colombian Jardin really is. Sellers sell fruit and vegetables from tiny stores in the side streets, cowboy-hatted local farmers meet in the town’s main square on a Saturday night for a beer, pool halls blast out Cumbia music and couples enjoy each others’ company in the local cafes.
Walking the streets will give you a glimpse into local Jardin life and into what’s on offer. It’s the best way to meet people and discover gems of your own.