By the time we arrived in Jardin it was dark, and according to the map our hostel was about a 20 minute walk outside of the city centre. What we didn’t realise was the fact that the trail there was a dirt road entirely unlit by street lamps – combined with a large part of it being uphill and the fact that we had our big bags with us, we all felt pretty relieved when we finally saw the lights of the hostel in the distance!
We stayed at Canto de Agua hostel, a beautiful, quaint little place right out in the countryside surrounding Jardin. At night we could hear the river rushing by outside the window, and there were plenty of hammocks and chairs dotted around the communal areas where we could relax and enjoy being out in nature. The hostel also offers yoga classes in the mornings for the price of $15,000 pesos, and while it was perhaps the most unorthodox yoga class Michelle and I have ever taken – our instructor referred to downward facing dog pose as “downward cat”, and made up totally different names for all of the other poses because she didn’t know the real ones – it was nevertheless extremely peaceful and relaxing, especially at the end when the instructor wrapped us in blankets for the meditation!
The vast majority of our time in Jardin was spent wandering the colourful streets, eating amazing food and drinking beers out in the main square. In one of the little cafes on the square we discovered the most incredible ice cream that came at the bargain price of $2,000 pesos for a double scoop. We also indulged in a lot more Italian food, with delicious pasta one night and an amazing pizza the next – Colombia, we have discovered, not only loves Italian food, but it does it really well!
It turned out that we were there over a holiday weekend, so the whole town was buzzing and full of locals out having a good time. One of the most interesting parts of the festivities that we saw was the local horse riders, who would parade their horses up and down the streets around the main square while getting them to perform a whole host of complicated looking dressage moves. This went on every day and well into every evening, and we discovered that they were even renting out horses so that people could give the moves a try – something that none of us were brave enough to go for!
Michelle managed to go out one morning on the free hike up to the mirador that is run every day by Canto de Agua hostel, which she said was thoroughly enjoyable, but other than that the three of us spent a very pleasant few days just enjoying the town, eating lots of food and people watching in the square. We were sad when it came to leave, but comforted by the fact that we had another beautiful little Colombian town ahead of us: Guatapé.