Jardín is one of the most beautiful and colorful towns in Colombia. Walking the streets will definitely blow your mind. It is only 3 hours south from Medellin making it perfect for either a day trip or a weekend getaway. As it is located in the Andes, Jardín is famous not only for conserving its colonial appearance but also for its stunning landscapes.
If you are in Medellin it is pretty easy to get to Jardín, you head to the South Terminal (Terminal del Sur) and look for the companies Rápido Ochoa or Transporte Suroeste Antioqueño vía Andes-Jardín. We took Rápido Ochoa and it had an amazing bus with good service. The price is not bad at all, the round trip costs 50,000 COP ($18.00 depending on the conversion rate).
Check their schedule before heading to the terminal. We knew we only had one day to visit Jardín, so left Medellin at 4:45 am. Keep in mind that in Rápido Ochoa seats are assigned and available for purchase online. We did not have an issue with it because the bus was almost empty when we left.
It is not super cold but it is not hot either, especially in the morning. Remember Jardín is located in the Andes so take a jacket just in case.
1. Explore the city by foot
Even though we also recommend to take a motorbike tour, you need to explore part of the city by foot. This way you can take tons of pictures of the colorful homes and better interact with the locals. People are super friendly and they will start talking to you when you least expect.
The main plaza is the most beautiful part of town. It has the most colorful building, the Hotel Jardín, plus the Cathedral. The main plaza is full of restaurants, merchants and colorful chairs, where you can enjoy a delicious Colombian coffee.
2. Motorbike tour of the town: 12,ooo COP
Renting a tour is not only cheap but it also saves you a lot of time when doing a one day trip to Jardín. We first took the tour and then walked back to the places that we liked the most. It is a good way to quickly explore the whole city and decide which places you want to enjoy more in depth.
In the tour you can make as many stops as you wish. Just keep in mind that if you take longer than expected you are also using the driver’s time. We gave him an extra tip for his great service and patience while taking pictures. The tour can be tailored to your needs and time. The driver will be explaining more of the history of the town and will point to all the historical buildings as he tells you the story behind it.
3. Visit the Trout Farm La Trucheria: 16,000 COP Round trip
After exploring the town the driver drove us 15 minutes to the trout farm. The motorbike can also take you to the farm and wait for you if needed for an additional price. We hired a complete tour for 40,000 COP plus tip.
The farm is located along the side of one of the largest rivers in the area. Within the farm there are many tanks, each made for different size trouts according to its age and size.
If you are lucky you can see them selecting the trout and moving it from one tank to another. You can event fish your own trout and ask for it to be cooked in the restaurant. They count with the restaurant service even if you do not fish your own trout. The entrance to the trout farm itself is free.
4. Ride the Teleferíco or the Garrucha
Keep in mind that the Teleferico and the Garrucha are not open on Tuesdays, according to locals. We visited the town on a Tuesday so we missed the five minute ride in the teleferico that takes you to a mountain peak of the other side of the city.
You can also hike it if you please. From this peak you can get one of the most beautiful view of the whole town and its valley. The ride is not expensive at all, you can get there and back for less than 6,000 pesos.
The Garrucha does not have such a good view of the Teleferico but it is rustic making it magical in its own way.
5. Visit the factory of Dulces el Jardín
Your trip to Jardín is not complete if you do not visit the Dulces el Jardín confectionary shop. They are the most famous attraction in town. Started in 1995 with a love for jellies, jams and sweets, the shop quickly grew to the best place to stock up on some delicous goodies.
6. Explore the Charco Corazón and the Tunnel: 12,000 COP
Charco Corazón is a magical place where you can swim, visit two waterfalls and a tunnel. The tunnel and one of the waterfalls (Hidden waterfall) is located on private property and cost 5,000 COP to enter. It is not always open so we recommend to contact the owner in advance to set up a tour. Their phone number is: +57 313 753 1599.
The other waterfall, Love Waterfall, is on the path to the creek.
7. Cave El Esplendor
We did not have enough time to visit the cave because you need at least one full day to take the tour to the caves and the waterfall. The tour leaves around 8:30 am and returns around 5:30 pm. The Cave is closed until March-April 2017 for conservation.
It requires a lot of walking to get to the caves and waterfall. Locals said the long hike is completely worth it though. The waterfall is inside the cave and it was “perforada” making it a unique waterfall.
8. La Cueva de los Guacharos
It is also located in the same route than the previous one and it is also inside a cave.
9. Salto del Angél Waterfall
Salto del Angél is a 50 meter waterfall. At the base of the waterfall there is a natural cave you can enter. It is 20 minutes away from the Cueva de los Guacharros.
10. Coffee Plantation
We did not take the tour as we are planning on going to Sarlento, which is in the main coffee region of Colombia. However, the Maria de los Angeles farm provide an in depth tour of the process of coffee cultivation and making.
11. Reserva Loro Orejiamarillo
In the Reserva Loro Orejiamarillo you can bird watch the Yellow-eared parrot, a highly endangered species.
12. Reserva Natural Jardín de Rocas
Just at the edge of the city, you visit the Reserva Natural Jardín de Rocas. Here you can watch the Gallito de Roca bird. Make sure to make a reservation in advance to guarantee your ability to visit!
Taxi Contact information:
Juan: +57 310 529 5942