Since discovering Medellín, Colombia in June 2016, it has become my favorite remote work destination. There are many reasons for this, including the perfect weather (the city’s nickname is the “Land of Eternal Spring”), the low prices for food and housing, the convenient time zones for those working U.S. hours, and the beautiful scenery.
On my latest trip to Medellín, I decided to pair it with a weekend trip to Jardin – a picturesque, coffee-producing town in the Andes located about a 4-hour drive away. I was really glad that I did and would recommend it as an excursion for anyone spending more than 4/5 days in the region.
The drive down is beautiful, although takes you through some winding, bumpy roads (so, if you get carsick easily, it may not be the best trip for you). Note that they are currently building a massive highway between Medellín and Jardín that will cut commute time and make the drive much smoother, which will make getting to Jardín even easier in the next few years.
Although you won’t find 4-star hotels in Jardín, I stayed at a gorgeous Airbnb on a coffee farm with an incredible view. The host, Fanny, owns the coffee farm next door and can cook you breakfast, lunch, and dinner, which you can eat on her balcony. You can also take a tour of her coffee farm.
While the view was stunning and the hospitality was amazing, being out in the Colombian countryside means that you need to give up some luxuries you have in the city. For one, the Airbnb didn’t have hot water (although it was warm enough for a quick shower). Also, there are bugs all around and you need to sleep with a mosquito net and, even with the net, you’re still likely to get bitten (my feet are currently itching like crazy!).
At the center of Jardín is a beautiful town square with a church as the focal point and plenty of restaurants, cafes, and shops all around. The town is definitely affordable, and dinner at a nice restaurant without alcohol will cost you around $5-$6.
In terms of things to do, there are numerous hikes that you can take (many involve seeing waterfalls but all involve amazing views). It’s also a perfect base for paragliding, and you’ll paragliders taking advantage of the views and wind currents throughout your stay.
Overall, if you’re going to visit Medellín for more than a few days, you should definitely look into a trip to Jardín. Although the drive means that a day trip would be pushing it, I felt 2 nights was perfect and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys amazing views and coffee.