Hostel info you need to know
The small town of Jardin is one of the most beautiful pueblos in all of Colombia and has remained virtually unchanged for more than a century.
Approximately 3 hours from Medellin by car or bus, it sits in the southernmost stretches of the department of Antioquia. The pueblo is famous in Colombia for its preserved and colonial appearance as well as its striking mountain views and lush green, garden filled landscapes. In fact, the main square of Jardin was declared as a national monument by the Colombia Minister of Tourism in 1985 and is lined with restaurants, cafes and hotels. The neo gothic styled Basilica Menor de la Inmaculada Conception presides over the square and is a dominant presence with its dark brick facade.
Whitewashed buildings are the theme in this pueblo and contrast dramatically with the brightly painted doors, balconies and hanging baskets of native flowers that adorn their exterior.
History of Jardin, Colombia
Archaeological evidence taken from graves in Jardin, Colombia tell us that the area was inhabited by the indigenous including the Catíos de la etnia de los Chamíes well before the Spanish conquest. From there, available records take us to 1860 and the colonization of Antioquia (Colonización Antioqueña) in which vast areas of this department were founded and developed by early settlers striking out to make their claim on the territory and land. Indalecio Peláez was the official founder of the township and area in 1863. The story behind the naming of this pueblo is a little fuzzy, but indicate that early settlers who reached the area and founded the pueblo were awestruck by the beauty of the valley and its river systems proclaiming it to be a garden. In the early days, Jardin depended heavily upon its wealthy neighboring town of Andes for political and municipal support. It wasn’t until around 1871 that the pueblo was established as an independent parish. A decade later in 1882 the town was officially built by Dr. Luciano Restrepo, then president of the Sovereign State of Antioquia.
Jardin, Colombia is located between the Rio San Juan, which is called Docató (river of stones) by the natives, and a branch of the Cordillera Occidental, making it very mountainous and rugged territory. Because of its topography, the area has three climatic zones including paramo, temperate and warm temperate with the latter being the predominant climate in the region. This combined climate of the municipality is determined by the confluence of cold water streams including the Farallones Citará and warmer water streams of the lower and middle course of the San Juan River. Among others, Jardin is bathed by the San Juan, Claro and Dojurgo Rivers.
Jardin Plaza / Town Architecture
As is the case in most Colombian small towns (pueblos), the central plaza in Jardin is where locals and tourists alike gather to talk about the days events, admire the scenery and congregate socially. Every day merchants and restaurant owners bring out dozens of tables that are placed throughout the plaza in anticipation of the daily crowd. An interesting note is the hand painted chairs that one can find intermixed throughout the plaza. These unique representations and depictions of Jardin, its culture and daily life painted onto the chairs are a nice touch that give a rich down-home feel to the town, unlike the big city atmosphere of Bogota or Medellin.
The architecture of Jardin is reminiscent of days past when Colonización Antioqueña swept through the region during a period of expansion and growth. This style of whitewashed buildings and brightly painted doors, balconies and window dressings can be seen throughout the pueblo providing a picturesque beauty and antique character to the charming pueblo. This visual charm is matched by the warm and friendly citizens of Jardin who are always happy provide you with help or assistance.
Teleferico (Cable car ride)
Recently completed in 2007, this 5 minute gondola ride to a neighboring mountain peak provides the best views of Jardin, Colombia and the encompassing central valley. The price of the round trip ticket at the time of our visit was $5000 pesos or approximately $2.50 USD. There is an accompanying restaurant at the top of the lookout. This is a great place to have lunch or dinner and take in the spectacular views of the pueblo below.
Dulces de Jardin
If you have a sweet tooth, the Dulces de Jardin is a confectionery shop and store that is not to be missed while visiting Jardin, Colombia. Dulces de Jardin was started in 1995 by proprietor and owner Mariela Arango Jaramillo. A native to this pueblo, it was her passion and hobby to create jellies, jams and sweets of all kinds for her family and friends. Now a thriving micro enterprise, this sweet shop is a great place to load up on goodies before you leave town.