What to do in Jardin, Colombia – A Complete Guide
If you are looking for what to do in Jardin, Colombia then you have come to the right place. We spent 2 weeks in Jardin and will tell you all our discoveries!
Jardin was one of our favorite places that we visited in the whole of Colombia. The colorful colonial streets are full of local farmers riding horses with cowboy hats on. Jardin just has such a magical relaxed feeling when you walk around town 🐴
The hills surrounding the town are full of some of the prettiest farmland you will ever see that produces some of the world’s best coffee. That alone would be reason enough to come here! ☕️
What to do in Jardin, Colombia
Despite its small size, Jardin has plenty of things to do that will make your visit unforgettable. Let’s dive straight in and find out what to do in beautiful Jardin, Colombia!
Read also: Don’t miss these things in Salento! ✨
1. Hang out at Jardin’s main square
We have visited countless beautiful squares throughout Latin America. But Jardin’s main square called El Libertador Parque Principal may be the prettiest one. Spending time at the main square has to be at the top of any list of what to do in Jardin, Colombia.
During the day the colorful chairs of the square are filled with locals sipping on coffee and watching the world go by. Many of them are old farmers wearing cowboy hats 🤠
The square has a retained local feel despite tourism starting to increase in recent years. From the square, you can also see the green hills surrounding Jardin and gaze at the beautiful church.
Tip: Visit the square during the day and night to soak up the atmosphere, especially in the evening when many locals come to the square to relax.
2. Go on a Coffee Tour
Jardin is in the middle of Colombia’s coffee region so it is heaven for coffee lovers. Great coffee grows all over Colombia but we really liked the coffee that was grown in Jardin.
Once you go on a coffee tour in Jardin you will have an entirely different perspective on coffee. It is crazy how disconnected most of the world is from this drink that many people consume daily.
While we were in Medellin our favorite coffee was from Cafe Azul in Laureles and they got their beans from Jardin. During our time in Jardin, we tried coffees from many farms and it was all delicious!
We chose to do a tour with Cafe Historias and can highly recommend it. The farm is run by a local family who have a real passion for growing coffee and operating their farm. The tour will tell you all you need to know about the coffee-growing process 🪴☕️
The tour costs 60,000 COP (15 USD) p.p. and includes a coffee tasting. We also got lots of fruit from the property and a glass of freshly squeezed sugar cane juice. We had already done an amazing coffee tour in Medellin but the coffee tour in Jardin was still unique and well worth it. Enjoy!
PS.: The coffee farm is also a great place for shopping in Jardin, Colombia. We bought a pack of freshly ground coffee and they have some useful beautiful Colombia souvenirs.
3. What to do in Jardin, Colombia for Nature Lovers? Go on a Hike!
When you are asking what to do in Jardin, Colombia hiking should be at the top of your list. Jardin is surrounded by beautiful green hills that are covered in peaceful coffee farms.
The area around Jardin also gets a lot of rainfall which is why it is so great for growing coffee. This also means there are many waterfalls to see while hiking.
Hiking was our favorite activity in Jardin. The nature is so lush and the range of hikes located close to town is awesome.
You can go for nice strolls on country roads or on an adventurous hike to Cueva de los Guacharos where you will have to use ropes to scramble down steep muddy cliffs.
4. Sample local Coffee at some Cafes
Jardin grows some of the best coffee in the world so has no shortage of nice cafes to enjoy great coffee. What may surprise you is that until very recently Colombians never got to try the best coffee from their region 🤯
The highest quality beans were sold overseas at higher prices. This meant that the Colombians only got to drink poor-quality beans. As a result, many of the older generations still prefer coffee with a bitter taste.
So if you go to a very local-looking cafe with old guys sitting around it may have terrible coffee! But thankfully much of the good quality beans stay in the country now. So Colombians and foreigners can enjoy the excellent coffee that they produce.
Our favorite cafes we visited in Jardin:
☕️ Cafe Jardin – located in the hills above Jardin with an amazing view of town
☕️ Cafe Macanas – colorful cafe next to the main square with popular brunch
☕️ De los Andes Cafe – on the second floor on the main square. It probably has the best views in town but unfortunately, the service is not very friendly
☕️ Del Alto Cafe – cozy little cafe that makes great coffee. They also have good matcha and hot chocolate if you do not feel like coffee
5. Ride the world’s smallest Cable Car
I don’t know if Jardin’s cable car is the world’s smallest but I have never seen a cable car smaller. A ride in the La Garrucha costs 5,000 pesos (1 USD) each way and will take you onto the hill above Jardin 🚡
It is a good way to get back into town if you are hiking on this side of town. It is hard to see out the windows because they are covered with metal bars, but it is still a fun and unique thing to do in Jardin.
The cable car does seem a little sketchy because it is just a tiny little metal box. But all the ropes and wires looked in good condition and we had a fun and save ride!
Read also: How to get from Salento to Jardin 🚌
6. Watch Birds at Jardin de Rocas
We are not the type of travelers to go bird-watching. But we are glad we visited Jardin de Rocas just at the edge of town to see the beautiful red birds that live there.
Jardin de Rocas is a bird sanctuary that is located in the garden of a friendly local woman’s house. Many different birds visit the property but the star attraction is the bright red Cock of the Rock.
It has a strange name but is a very beautiful and unique bird. They like to gather on the property in the early evening so it is best to visit between 3.30 pm to 5.30 pm.
Entrance to Jardin de Rocas is 12,000 COP (3 USD). There is also a cafe on the property where you can get a coffee or delicious hot chocolate. The property is beautiful and is located above a river. We thought it was a really peaceful place to enjoy a hot drink and watch some beautiful birds.
PS.: This is also a good place to do some unique shopping in Jardin, Colombia. In the cafe, they have lots of high-quality, nature-related souvenirs and books.
Tip: Grab a drink and sit down and wait for the birds to appear. The longer we sat the more and more birds we saw. Many people came and left very quickly and missed out on seeing many different types of birds.
7. Go Horseback Riding
If you love horses then you will love Jardin. Locals are always riding their horses through the streets and you will see them almost every time you walk through town.
If you like riding horses there are plenty of tours in town that will take you horseback riding in Jardin, Colombia to various locations and waterfalls.
There are also usually horses at the main square in the evenings. You can jump on them for a quick ride around the square if you do not want to go on a long trip into the hills.
Tip: When you are walking around town make sure to check out the unique way the horses walk around. It’s something we have not seen anywhere else.
🐴 You can book horse riding tours here or in town.
8. Eat Trout at a local Restaurant
If you like eating fish, you will love the trout in Jardin. Jardin is surrounded by many trout farms that you can visit and even fish your fish! 🎣
Surprisingly we found the best trout (trucha in Spanish) in Jardin’s restaurants and not at the farms. At the farms, they came prepared very oily and it felt like mass-tourism.
But at the restaurants (which get the fish from the farms anyway) it felt local, came with friendly service and was much healthier and tasty prepared!
Local restaurants in Jardin we highly recommend:
🍴Restaurante Dona Hilda – colorful, friendly staff and big portions
🍴Donde Andres – loved by locals (and us) for their cheap & filling Menu del dia
🍴Otra Cocina – Menu del dia comes with healthy fresh salads and juices
🍴La Terraza – traditional cuisine with an amazing view and friendly staff
9. Try some Vegan food in Jardin
Fish is not your thing? Then check out our favorite vegan restaurants in Jardin. We were surprised to find such delicious gems in Colombia’s Coffee region. There are plenty of delicious and healthy options for where to eat in Jardin, Colombia. We loved it!
Try their vegan food:
🥑 Revolucion Bananera – reservation needed via WhatsApp but worth it! Try their hashbrown sandwich and chocolate banana smoothie
🥑 Consulado Vegetal – 100% vegan restaurant located at Hotel Plantacion
🥑 Mirador Cristo Rey – vegan options, the fruit platter and view is amazing!
10. Do an Adventurous Activity
To balance the amount of yummy food you might want to get active. Despite its small size, Jardin has lots of outdoor activities to offer, even two gyms!
11. Relax with a Massage or Temazcal
After a big Jardin Hike or an outdoor activity, it’s a good idea to treat yourself with some relaxation. There are a few qualified massage therapists and Temazcal in town.
Check out these places:
💆♀️ Cloto Masajes Orientales – healing hands!
💆♀️ Eka Masajes – very relaxing and cute cat
💆♀️ Eva´s Massages & Holistic Therapies – also offers yoga
🧖♀️ Temazcal Jardin – have not been but heard good things
12. Brush up your Spanish with a View
If you stay for longer you could improve your Spanish at Hablea. This Spanish School is located a 30-minute walk from Jardin’s main square and surrounded by green hills and a garden. Good coffee included.
How to get from Medellin to Jardin
To get from Medellin to Jardin or visa versa the best option is to rent a car or take a bus. Two reliable and frequent companies operating between Medellin and Jardin are:
🚌 Rapido Ochoa
🚌 Transportes Suroeste
🚙 Rent a car here
Rapido Ochoa is the easiest bus to take as you can book it online. Below is the schedule from Medellin to Jardin and from Jardin to Medellin.
Tip: It will say on the websites that the bus will take 3 hours but it will most likely take 4 hours. For some reason in Colombia, they always say the bus will arrive much sooner than it does 🤷♀️
If you search for buses from Medellin to Jardin many websites will only show Rapido Ochoa. But Transportes Suroeste is another option, you will just have to book your tickets in person.
To book tickets you must visit the Terminal del Sur in Medellin or Transportes Suroeste office in Jardin. The advantage of this company is that they have more departures in the morning than Rapido Ochoa if you want to leave at a specific time.
Rent a car
The fastest way to get from Medellin to Jardin is by car. The ride should take 3 hours on a straightforward route. Just be aware that some highways around Medellin charge tolls, so keep that in mind when you calculate your budget.
We like to use the search engine Rentalcars.com to find cheap and reliable car options in Colombia. You can search and book directly here 👇
Best places to stay in Jardin, Colombia
If you ask yourself where to stay in Jardin, Colombia you will find that you have plenty of budget-friendly, luxurious, or off-the-grid options. You can even stay at a coffee farm!
Read also: How to get free accommodation in Colombia 🏠
Best Hostels, Jardin, Colombia
We noticed while hiking around Jardin that many of the hostels are located in the hills around town. The benefit of this is that it will be nice and quiet.
We stayed in an Airbnb in town and had a noisy street in front of our window because of all the loud tuk-tuks and motorbikes in town.
Our handpicked recommendations:
🛌 La Tangara Hostel is a beautiful hostel on the outskirts of town that is great if you are looking for a peaceful place to stay. Quite special, the dorms do not have bunk beds!
🛌 Sgt Peppers Hostel is a great choice if you want to be in town close to the action. It has great reviews and is just two blocks from the main square which is great for hanging out.
Best Hotels, Jardin, Colombia
Our Airbnb was actually located in a hotel. But because of the noise on the street and also inside the building, we recommend those two places instead:
😴 Hotel Plantacion – if you are looking to splash out on a hotel then look no further. We ate at the vegan restaurant here and the hotel looked amazing. It is on the edge of town so it will be quiet but close enough that it is a short walk to town. All of the rooms look beautiful and start at 90 USD.
😴 Hotel Kantarran is a good option if you want a more budget option. Rooms start at 40 USD and many have great views of the surrounding countryside.
How long to stay in Jardin, Colombia? How to get around?
Jardin is easy to walk and small enough to see everything in one day. We only took tuk-tuks to reach starting points for hikes. So you will most likely be on your feet the whole day.
Most travelers only come for the weekend to Jardin, but we think you can easily spend a whole week here, especially if you like hiking and nature. But if your time is limited, 2 nights is a good amount to soak up Jardin’s charme and do some activities.
Read also: Top Things to do in Salento ✨
Is Jardin safe? When is the best time to visit?
Jardin is a cute colorful town in the heart of Colombia’s Coffee Region and we felt absolutely safe there at any time of the day. The locals are super friendly and even gave us a ride when we got stuck in the rain.
The best time to visit Jardin is December to February when there is the lowest rainfall. But we visited in October and while we had regular showers we still had plenty of sun too! Jardin gets rainfall every month, which results in lush green hills and amazing coffee all year round.
On the weekend many Colombians come to Jardin, so if you want to avoid crowds and save some money on accommodation visit during the week. But if you enjoy the town lively, the weekend is still a great option too.
Read also: If you love Jardin, you will love Filandia 💛
Can you drink water in Jardin, Colombia?
Yes, you can! After traveling through Mexico for 2 years we were surprised about the good drinking water quality in Colombia. We drank it for months in Medellin, Bogota and Jardin and never encountered any issues.
Read also: 25 Free Things to do in Medellin✌️
Is Jardin, Colombia worth visiting?
Absolutely, yes! We loved our time here and liked Jardin’s extremely local feel even better than Salento. There are so many great things to do in Jardin, from hiking to coffee tasting, that no matter what you want to do, you will find it in Jardin.
Read also: Best way to see the Cocora Valley 🌴
Now you know what to do in Jardin, Colombia!
Jardin is one of our favorite towns in Colombia. The colorful houses, the green hills covered in coffee plants and the relaxed atmosphere transport you into “good old times”. The day we left we were already talking about coming back one day 💛
Let us know in the comments below your thoughts on Jardin or if you have any questions. Also, check out our other Colombia articles listed below!
- 6 Amazing Hikes around Jardin
- How to get to Cueva del Esplendor
- How to get from Salento to Jardin
- What is better: Salento or Jardin?
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