OUR FIRST IMPRESSION OF EL JARDIN
“This-Is-AMAZING!” I kept repeating to Corinne over and over. It was by far our favorite accommodation of the trip. Within minutes of arriving into the small coffee town, we stumbled upon Finca Hostal Condor de los Andes guesthouse resting on the mountain slope with five shades of vibrant green surrounding us in the distance. We asked the receptionist if there was any space available, and he said that all of the rooms were taken. Moments later, he came up with the brilliant plan to remove all of his belongings from his tiny room on the side of the B&B and offered us his place to spend the night. The room was just slightly bigger than our bed with a bathroom the size of a tiny storage closet. After opening the red window and gazing out into the mountains, we both looked at each other and said, “We’ll take it!”
Our favorite part of this entire experience was sitting on our private balcony sipping fresh coffee from the region while reading, journaling, and taking in the crisp mountain air. After watching the sunset that first night, we walked five minutes to the central plaza and discovered a live acapello group from Cuba performing. Every seat was taken with interested locals sipping coffee and drinking local cerveza.
2. THE CHARACTER + BEAUTIFUL COLORS OF BUILDINGS
What’s really enticing about this plaza is that all of the restaurants have their designated seating in the cobble stone center with cute hand-made furniture decorated with images of the surrounding landscapes. When the group had finished performing, we walked across the plaza and sat in another restaurant’s section surrounded by old men with their cowboy hats, horses galloping nearby, and families humming to the loud Colombian tunes blasting from the nearby restaurants.
3. THE AMAZING HIKES + VISTAS
The next morning we decided to pack our day-packs and head for the surrounding mountains. We started our adventure following a windy dirt road along the valley’s edge until we spotted a cute guesthouse next to the river. After a quick tour, the guy told us about a nearby waterfall that we could walk to within an hour. The walk was stunning! Flowers of every shade lined the road and vibrant colored homes beamed with beauty. We crossed the bridge and took a smaller dirt road along the river and eventually came across a refreshing waterfall pouring out beside the road.
We then continued on the road passing by small family farms and eventually dead-ended at a large plantation home. I looked on the side of the house and saw a path continuing up through the backyard and jetting out into the back of the valley. After hiking higher and higher passing several streams and various farm plots, we reached the back of the valley with a large, staircase waterfall pouring off the cliff into the river down below. For both of us, it’s not about reaching the end destination, but more about the entire journey that it takes to discover these hidden gems. We rarely take tours because most of the fun is exploring the surrounding sights without any knowledge or exceptions of what maybe unfold.
WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT EL JARDIN
Jardin was one of those towns you want to tell everyone about and at the same time keep it a total secret so it never changes. It was truly magical in every way for us. From exploring the vast surrounding landscapes to sipping coffee among the locals to watching the old men trotting on horses in large cowboy hats. We will never forget waking up each morning and sitting on our balcony wrapped in warm blankets viewing the stunning mountains while being able to completely turn off + slow down from the hustle and bustle of traveling. Try their local coffee, explore the surrounding landscape, kick back and live like the locals, and you'll find yourself mesmerized by the simplicity of this lifestyle and wanted to stay forever.