Hi! My name is Rani Permentier and I’m a twenty-something from Belgium. Welcome to my article on the most beautiful pueblo in Colombia: Jardin. I live between Brussels and Ghent. In 2017 my boyfriend and I graduated and decided to travel the world for eight months, before ‘real life’ would start.
In 2018 we started working, moved into our apartment and meanwhile we also adopted three cats. After this first world trip, we knew this wouldn’t be the last time. After saving some money we decided that 2022 was the right time to travel again. This time to another part of the world: South America.
We travel to get inspired, meet new people and discover new landscapes. Travel allows us to experience a culture different from ours. We travel to experience, explore, learn and grow. It has become a big part of our lives and identity. We want to share our experiences with others, and love to inspire others to take their backpack and step out of their comfort zone.
Colombia was the logical first stop on our South America trip. For many it’s the gateway to other destinations in this continent. At first I didn’t plan to visit Colombia, but I heard so many enthusiastic and positive stories from others – so that was the trigger to discover this country by ourselves.
We did the typical gringo-route which starts in Bogota, then heads to Salento, Jardin, Medellin, Palomino, Tayrona National Park, Minca and ends in the colorful city of Cartagena. We spent 28 full days in Colombia and absolutely loved the vibe, colorful buildings and friendly people.
Enjoying the Simple Life in Jardin
We stayed for three nights in Jardin and for us it was mainly to take some time off. We stayed at a unique accommodation called Casa Nativo, and it was the perfect place to get some rest and enjoy the beautiful nature.
We loved the surroundings around this little village. It’s so green and you can take a lot of lovely hikes in and around this village. We loved spending time at the central square that has tons of terraces where locals drink their coffee. They look genuinely happy and relaxed. You should try the delicious infusion special with maracuya. It’s tea with fresh passionfruit.
Another must-do is strolling through the colorful streets and taking a ride in the old funicular. The funicular takes you from one side of the valley to the other, while you can enjoy spectacular views along the way. The last thing you can’t miss is searching for the cock-of-the-rocks. It’s a very unique and bright red bird that you can spot at Reserva Natural Jardin de Rocas.
Top 5 Things To Do in Jardin
Jardin was the most authentic village we saw in Colombia. It’s not well known, so very few tourists go there. The colorful houses, relaxed vibe and friendly locals make it a must-visit on your trip to Latin America. Jardin was one of the most special spots we went to. It’s a beautiful village where you can enjoy yourself for at least two days. Here are the top things to do:
- Spot the cock-of-the-rocks
- Take the funicular over the valley
- Go hiking and adventuring around Jardin. You can do the La Garrucha Hike (4 kilometers) or you can book a tour to the Oilbird Cave.
- In case you didn’t do a coffee tour in Salento, this should also be on your bucket list. Visit a coffee farm and see the process of making coffee.
- Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea at the central square. I just loved sitting there for hours and people-watching. It was our favorite place in Jardin.
Casa Nativo – Nestled in Nature
Casa Nativo was incredible. You can only reach it on a short hike through nature. In the morning, you can spot hummingbirds during breakfast and the views from these accommodations are just insane. As far as you look you only see nature and the mountains. The dog and cat give you the feeling that you’re coming home. Looking for something cheaper in Jardin? In the village you can find lots of cheap and cozy rooms.
How to Get to Jardin from Salento
Getting to Jardin is where the real adventure begins. It takes quite a bit of time and effort to get to Jardin, and I think this is the reason why the place isn’t so touristic. From Salento it takes almost 10 hours to reach the village.
Firstly, take a bus to Riosucio which goes once a day. From Riosucio take the Chiva bus to Jardin. This is an open-air truck with cheerful colors, where the music plays loudly. It’s an off the beaten ride through the mountains where you drive past landslides, close to the abyss and the most remote houses. From Medellin it’s a lot easier. It only takes four hours by bus.
Need to Know Before you Go
Stroll through the streets and dare to get lost in this small village. This way you will find the best places. There is not much to do in the village but that’s the beauty of it – simplicity. The happiness that the locals exude through this way of life is so beautiful to see and experience. During these moments you will realize how precious life is, and you should enjoy the little moments. For more information on Jardin, check out my blog post here.