Guide to Jardin, the most beautiful mountain village in Colombia

Jardin in Colombia, my favorite little village in the coffee region. You’ll find Salento and Guatape in everyone’s travel route through Colombia, but Jardin is often skipped. It’s by no means off the beaten track as it does get a fair bit of tourism and lively outside terraces, but it has a nice serenity about it. Jardin is surrounded by nature. You’ll see green mountains, coffee plantations, banana trees and waterfalls. It was one of my favorite stops in the country and I think it would be a shame to skip it. In this blog, I’ll share my tips for Jardin, Colombia’s cutest town, with what to do in Jardin, how to get there and where to stay!

What to do in Jardin, Colombia?

Cueva del Esplendor (Cave of Splendor)

There are many waterfalls to visit in the area and we had limited time, so we had to make some tough choices. We decided on visiting Cueva del Splendor and its an impressive one. The water cascades down from an overhead hole in the cave. The waterfall is located on private property so you either have to walk or take a tuktuk to the entrance and get a guide there or get a guide from that will take you there.

If you go by yourself it’s a 3 hour walk from town. If you take a tuktuk, it can get you halfway there and it’s a 1 to 2 hour hike to the owners house. At the house you can book a guide for 20,000 COP/€4,60 to take you down to the cave. If you book a tour, they’ll take you up the road in a jeep and it’s only 15 min to owners house. Whichever option you choose, make sure to wear proper shoes, cause it gets slippery! When you get down to the cave you can swim, but be aware that the water is freezing cold!

Go horseriding around the country side

The green mountains around Jardin and the countryside make an incredible backdrop for a horseback ride. We made a stop at a bat cave, a cute little cafe and a waterfall. Overall it was a very leisurely easygoing ride.

Have a drink at Cafe Jardin with breathtaking mountain views (and visit Cristo Rey)

All the way up on a hill you can find Cafe Jardin, which is a perfect sunset spot. It takes around 30 minutes to walk up from town. Alternatively you can take the cable car, make small top at the Christo Rey statue, before grabbing a beer at the cafe. The cable car stops running in the evening and it get’s really dark, so either leave before dark or have the cafe call a tuktuk for you.

Spot the cock of the rock bird

There’s two main spots to see the cock-of-the-rock bird. You could try and see the cock-of-the-rock in the wild or in a nature reserve. The first option is to visit Parque Natural Jardín de Rocas. The other option is going to the bridge where you can see them for free. Just look for cock-of-the-rock on I personally really loved visiting the reserve, because it was easy to see them close up and they have a perfect viewing area set up. Also, the entrance fee is only 10,000 COP, which is around €3. Just make sure to visit between 4pm – 5:30pm. They have very limited opening hours, because that’s when the cock-of-the-rock birds pay the garden a visit.

7 waterfalls hike 

This waterfall hike is a full day adventure. Prepare to do 7-8 hours of hiking. The Cueva Los Guacharos hike advertised all over town as the Los Siete Cascadas hike, because it should take you past 7 waterfalls. If you are not an experienced hiker you may consider taking the tour. It’s easy to get lost and it’s a difficult trail at times. I did read you can also do a shorter loop and only do the Dragon Falls, Cueva Los Guacharos and Salto del Angel. This loop should take you around 5 hours.

To do this trek by yourself, download (for offline maps and walking routes) and download the Jardin area map. From Jardin, you need to head to the cock-of-the-rock bridge, and just after you cross it turn right up the road behind the little juice cafe. Within 15 minutes, you’ll get to your first waterfall, Cascada la Escalera. Follow the road past the waterfall until you reach a house.You can find a path on the right side of the house. Now just take out and head to the dragon falls first. This part of the hike will be pretty easy. After the first waterfall, is where it gets tricky. The path leads into the jungle and there are a few sections where you’ll have to use ropes. When you head down the hill you’ll encounter more ropes to make your way down. At the bottom you’ll see the Cascada cueva de los Guacharos. When you continue to Salto del Angel waterfall you will be crossing a river and the path is slightly unclear. When you get there you’ll be treated to the sight of the beautiful 50 meter high waterfall.

Coffee tour

My friend and I already did a coffee tour in Salento, so we skipped the one here, but this would also be a beautiful place to do a tour. Salento is more touristy, so it’s very convenient to do the tour there, but Jardin is more authentic. I’ve heard good things about Marcus coffee farm.

Read more about Salento here

How to get to Jardin, Colombia?

Salento to Jardin:

It’s very likely you’ll be coming from Salento. It’s not a difficult route, just long. This is mainly due to the mountainous landscape and bumpy roads. It took us 8 hours (including changing buses) to make the trip.

Salento to Riosucio: One bus per day that departs at 9:45 AM. The price is $38,000 COP/€8,75

Riosucio to Jardin: You’ll have to change buses in Riosucio. In Riosucio you’ll get on the chiva, a colourful open bus which will take you to Jardín in about 4 hours.  Be prepared for a very bumpy ride. At times the road definitely felt a little dangerous. The road is narrow and slippery and I’m pretty sure at one point one of the wheels of the bus slipped off the road a bit.  The price is $20,000 COP/€4,60

Medellin to Jardin:

From Medellin you’ll be in Jardín within 3,5 – 4 hours by bus. You can buy your ticket at the Terminal de Transporte Sur or buy your ticket in advance trough Redbus or Busbud. The bus will drop you off at the bus station in Jardín, only one block from the main square.

Where to stay in Jardin, Colombia?

Hotel Kantarrana Urbana Jardin: We just loved our stay in this charming hotel! The rooms are good, the hosts incredibly friendly and breakfast in their lovely garden is great. There’s also a nice view of the church and the mountains.

Creo Lodge Jardin If you’re looking for a remote getaway, have a look at this lovely spot! The lodge has a variety of wellness options, including a public bath, an open-air bath and yoga classes. They offer a shuttle service, since it’s located a bit out of town.