A woman overlooking a green valley on the best hikes in Jardin, Colombia

6 Amazing Hikes in Jardin, Colombia

Home » Colombia » 6 Amazing Hikes in Jardin, Colombia (+ Quirky Attractions)

Jardin is one of the most beautiful and underrated towns in Colombia that you have to visit. It is located in the hills of Colombia’s coffee region and has lots to offer. It’s especially a great place if you like hiking. We loved our time there and wrote down the best Jardin hikes for you to enjoy! 🥾

🗺️ For all the hikes below I recommend downloading Maps.me. It is an app where you can download offline maps that have much more details for hikes than Google Maps.

🧭 It will make navigating so much easier and you will not have to worry as much about getting lost. All Trails is also another great website with maps and hiking reviews for most of the hikes listed below.

1. Cueva de los Guacharos to Salto del Angel (Our Favorite Jardin Hike!)

🥾 8.5 km (5.2 mi)
⏱️ 5-6 hours
💪 Difficult
🗺️ Use Maps.me

The hike to Cueva de los Cuacharos was my favorite of the Jardin hikes. But it is quite adventurous. The path will take you through muddy jungle paths. You will need to use ropes to climb down slopes.

But all the effort is well worth it! You will be rewarded with amazing several waterfalls with barely anyone else around because of how difficult it is to access them.

But you should only go by yourself if you are in good shape and comfortable navigating unclear paths. The path is not clear in several places and you could easily get lost.

However, we just used Maps.me and were fine. But we have done quite a lot of hikes while traveling so we were very comfortable finding our way.

🥾 Tip: The path is very muddy and there are several river crossings. So if you have water poof shoes make sure to bring them. But I did the hike in Vans! So you can make it any shoes if you want to.

A woman sitting on the ground overlooking a green valley while being on a Jardin hike in Colombia
Amazing views!

Also known as Los Siete Cascadas / 7 Waterfall Hike Jardin

You will see the Cueva de los Guacharos hike advertised all over town as the Los Siete Cascadas hike. If you are not an experienced hiker joining a tour is a good option to avoid getting lost.

It is called Los Siete Cascadas because you are supposed to see seven waterfalls. I am not sure whether we saw more or less than seven, but a handful for sure, and all of them were big!

Starting Point of Cueva de los Guacharos Hike

The starting point of the hike is at Cascada La Escalera. You just need to follow the road past this waterfall for 20-30 minutes until you reach a farmhouse at the end of the road

This part of the hike is weird because the path takes you right through the yard of someone’s house. We just walked through and no one said anything.

Although we were chased by a vicious chihuahua (lol) that would not stop chasing us! So be on the lookout. It chased us from the house up a steep hill so we were glad it wasn’t a scarier dog otherwise it would have been trouble.

📍Tip: If you do not want to do the whole Cueva de los Guacharos hike you can still visit Cascada La Escalera as part of the Cristo Rey loop which is explained further down our list.

Green farmland around Jardin Colombia
The first part goes through farmland

First Stop: Dragon Falls

After the farmhouse, you will walk through farmland up some quite steep hills. You will have to pass through multiple gates until you reach the Dragon Falls. This is only the first waterfall but we were surprised with how beautiful it was.

We were the only ones at the falls as it is not the most popular route to hike. It was so peaceful and was a great place to have our first snack. Find some cheap & healthy inspirations here.

🧭 Tip: At Dragon Falls there is a path that goes up the hill on the right-hand side when you are facing the falls. It looks like this is the path to continue but it will take you up a cliff that will need some pretty serious climbing. The best way is to go up the left-hand side of the falls and you will find a path that will take you up the hill and cross the river above the falls.

Dragon Falls to Cueva de los Guacharos

The path from Dragon Falls to Cueva de los Guacharos is where the hike starts to get a lot more challenging. If you just want an easy hike then you can turn around at Dragon Falls.

But you shouldn’t! Because Cueva de los Guacharos is the best part of the hike. Like Cueva del Esplendor it is a super unique waterfall and unlike any I have seen anywhere else in the world.

The path first goes up the left-hand side of Dragon Falls and then passes it at the top. There is also another waterfall at the top which is quite pretty.

The path is quite clear and not too hard for about 20 minutes after this point. But then it will get tricky quite quickly. Expect to get muddy!

Arriving at Cueva de los Guacharos

You will eventually find multiple steep sections with ropes to help you down the hill. The climbing is not too difficult (and there are no big cliffs) but you will need to be in decent good shape.

Eventually, you will come to a fork in the path and you need to take a right to it that will take you downhill to Cueva de los Guacharos. You will see it on Maps.me.

But make sure to look out for a path on your left while hiking down the hill which will take you to an amazing lookout point. There, you can see two waterfalls on either side of you plunging into the valley!

After the lookout point, it is about 10 minutes downhill with a few sections that require ropes until you reach Cueva de los Guacharos. This waterfall is awesome to explore and one of the most beautiful places we visited while in Jardin.

🤫 Tip: When you are at the falls you can climb underneath the falls and go behind them. It is a pretty tight space but good fun!

Cueva de los Guacharos to Salto del Angel

After Cueva de los Guacharos there is one more major waterfall to visit. That is the Salto del Angel waterfall and is about another 30-40 minutes hiking away.

You will need to hike back up the hill from Cueva de los Guacharos and take a right when there is a fork in the path. For this next section, there are multiple river crossings. Your feet will get wet! But the path is easy to follow and you should have no problem finding Salto del Angel.

🥪 Tip: Salto del Angel is a good spot to have your packed lunch as there are some rocks where you can sit in the sun and admire the fall.

Returning to Jardin

At the Salto del Angel waterfall, you will have to decide how you want to return to Jardin. You can either go back the way you came or you can keep on going.

If you decide to keep on going you will have to pay landowners to pass over their property. We read that they charge about 16,000 COP (4 USD) per person.

We decided to return the way we had come and we were happy with our choice. It is slightly shorter and we found the hike just as beautiful as we were seeing it from a different perspective.

We were muddy and quite tired after our hike which took us about 5 hours. But we loved Cueva de los Guacharos and for us, it was the best of all the Jardin hikes!

Read also: Things to do in Jardin not to miss

2. Cueva del Esplendor (Jardin Waterfall Hike)

🥾 6 km (3.7mi)
⏱️ 5-7 hours
💪 Moderate to difficult
🗺️ Use Maps.me

Cueva del Esplendor is one of the most popular things to do in Jardin. It is a truly unique waterfall that plunges through a hole in the roof of a cave.

Some people dislike Cueva del Esplendor because it is quite touristy. But I loved it and thought it was one of the coolest waterfalls I had ever seen.

You can either go on a tour or hike to Cueva del Esplendor. The hike there is beautiful and goes through pretty coffee farms and the mountains above Jardin.

Read here: How to hike to Cueva del Esplendor 🤠

A man standing on a rock at Cueva Del Esplendor one of the best Jardin hikes for travelers
This is Cueva del Esplendor!

3. Cerro de Cristo Rey Loop (Best Jardin Hike for Foodies)

🥾 3.5 km (2.1 mi)
⏱️ 1 hour
💪 Easy
🗺️ Use Alltrails

The Cerro de Cristo Loop is one of the easiest Jardin hikes and a great one to do when you first arrive in town. It is really beautiful with lots of places to stop for a drink or food along the way.

The starting point is listed on Google Maps as Sendero Cristo Rey. It is right on the edge of town so you can start from anywhere in Jardin. The path takes you over a bridge across a pretty river then up a steep hill.

Once you get to the top of this hill you will see a restaurant on your left and the Cristo Rey statue to the right. The place has amazing views over Jardin and the food is great. We ordered a fruit platter for only 8000 COP (2 USD) and it was huge and delicious! 🤤

After Cristo Rey, you will need to follow the driveway up a very steep hill. At the top of the hill on the left is Cafe Jardin which is definitely worth stopping in for a coffee.

The coffee at Cafe Jardin is excellent as is most of the coffee in Jardin. Plus it also has awesome views. Just be prepared that if you are in Jardin on the weekend Cafe Jardin can be very busy as big tourist groups can come through.

After Cafe Jardin, you will need to follow the road and you can take a right back to town. This road will take you all the way back down the hill to town.

Optional Detour to Cascada La Escalera

But if you want a longer walk you can take a 10 minutes detour to Cascada La Escalera. You will see a sign to the falls you are on. Just follow this road and return to the loop after it.

If you are on this Jardin hike in the morning or on the weekend there are plenty of locals walking, exercising or horse-back-riding so there is a nice atmosphere.

Best places to eat & drink on the Cristo Rey Loop

We tried several places along the way and these are our favorites:

  • Cafe Jardin – excellent coffee! ☕️
  • Mirador Cristo Rey – try the fruit platter, but everything looked delicious 🍉
  • Revolucion Bananera – you need to make a reservation but amazing vegan & vegetarian food. Try the peanut butter smoothie and hashbrowns sandwich! 🥑
  • La Terraza – great view, decently priced, tasty Colombian food and friendly service. We had the Bandeja Paisa and Trout, yum! 🐠

Read also: 12 Best Cafes in Laureles, Medellin

A woma sitting at a restaurant overlooking a town in the coffee region of Colombia

4. Charco Corazon and Cascada del Amor Loop (Quirky Attractions)

🥾 4.3 km (2.7 mi)
⏱️ 1,5 hours
💪 Easy
🗺️ Use Alltrails

The Charco Corazon loop is on the opposite side of Jardin to the Cerro Cristo de Rey loop. It is a nice walk through the farms on the edge of town with a couple of quirky attractions to visit. It is also one of the best Jardin hikes for those who want an easy relaxing walk.

This trail starts from the north of town here, where you will walk through some fields before heading down a dirt road and passing by Cascada del Amor.

The entrance to the Charca Corazon one of the best Jardin hikes
The start of the hike

Despite the trail being named after Cascada del Amor, it is one of the least impressive waterfalls around Jardin. But it is still nice to stop and take a photo next to it.

After Cascada del Amor you will cross a bridge over a pretty river. If it is nice weather this is a good spot to swim. But the water will most likely be very chilly!

The next attraction to visit on this loop is the bat cave which is a tunnel that was handmade by a couple of locals and deserves its dedicated description below 🦇

Visit the Bat Cave

The bat cave is a fairly unusual attraction that only costs 5,000 COP (1 USD) to enter. It is a tunnel that starts on the road and takes you through the mountain to a ‘hidden waterfall’ on the other side. The bat cave is marked on Google Maps as Cueva de los Murcielagos which means bat cave in Spanish.

In the tunnel, there are quite a few bats and a few windows to look out onto the river outside. But the most amazing thing about the tunnel is that it was handmade by just two locals!

The sheer amount of rock that they had to move is mind-boggling. It took them 5 years but I would have guessed it would have taken over 20 years.

To go on a tour of the tunnels just look for the gate pictured above. There should be an old man who will come up to you and ask if you want a tour. If he is not around he might be giving other people a tour and will show up soon.

The tour will only take 10-15 minutes but is good fun and the money goes to a sweet old local guy who treated us like his grandchildren.

After the bat cave, the road winds its way through pretty farms. There are also a couple of nice places to grab something to drink or eat along the way. We can recommend:

A woman walking down a dirt road in Colombia with flowers around
Nice walk full of plants and flowers

Ride the Jardin Cable Car

At the end of this hike, you will have the decision to either hike down the hill or take the cable car. The cable car is hilarious as it is a tiny metal box pulled along ropes, so we recommend this option.

A ride in the La Garrucha costs 5,000 COP (1 USD) per person and is a fun way to get back to town. If you decide to walk instead, just follow the route indicated on Maps.me.

5. Mirador El Bosque (Awesome View Restaurant)

🥾 4 km (2.5 mi)
⏱️ 45 minutes
💪 Easy
🗺️ Use Google Maps

Mirador El Bosque is a small restaurant located on a family farm in the hills above town. We just walked here to visit the restaurant but it ended up being quite a hike so I decided to add it to the list!

If you look for Mirador El Bosque on Google Maps it looks like a main road will take you directly there. But this is definitely not the case!

You will first walk across a bridge out of town and will start walking along roads. Keep your eyes open for signposts that will point you to El Mirador.

The signs are easy to follow but will lead you to a muddy path that makes its way up the hill. It is quite a steep climb but only lasts for about 20 minutes and you will arrive directly at the restaurant with an amazing view.

After the restaurant, you can either return to town by going back down the hill or you can make it a loop by walking on the road which is a bit longer but less challenging.

Read also: Top things to do in Salento (coming soon!) ✨

A view of Jardin in the hills of the coffee region of Colombia with green palm trees in the foreground
Jardin from Mirador El Bosque

6. Chorro Blanco Waterfall (Hidden Jardin Hike)

🥾 12.4 km (7.7 mi)
⏱️ 6 hours
💪 Moderate
🗺️ Use Maps.me and Alltrails

If you want to get off the beaten path then Chorro Blanco is a great hike to go on. Of all the Jardin hikes it is the least well known and will have the least people on it.

Unfortunately, we did not have enough time in Jardin to go on this hike. But it was on our list and will take you through lots of beautiful farmland as most Jardin hikes do.

For more details make sure to check the hike description on Alltrails and download Maps.me for offline navigation. If you went on this hike, please let us know in the comments how it went!

Read also: How to get to Salento from Jardin 🚍

Now you know all the best Jardin Hikes!

If you visit Jardin and don’t go on a hike you are really missing out. All Jardin hikes have something different to offer and the farms and hills surrounding the town are beautiful.

Have fun exploring Jardin and let us know in the comments if you have any questions or which hikes you are keen on doing 💪

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Travel, health and fitness fanatic from New Zealand. Co-founder of Happy Healthy Nomads and always on a hunt for good food.

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