So your planning your Colombia trip. You’ve heard of Bogota, Medellin, Cartagena and maybe even Cali, but have you heard of Jerico? Yes, Jerico, Colombia. Jerico is one of the hidden gems found in the lush, green Colombian countryside. The perfect addition to the itinerary of a traveler who wants to get off the beaten path and do some exploring. Our Jerico, Colombia guide will give you all the information you need to decide if this town is right for your trip!
Jerico, Colombia in a Nutshell
Jerico is small town Colombia. It’s a town with just a handful of streets up in the foothills of the Colombian Andes mountains. Do not show up expecting to party the night away, but do expect to be surrounded by gorgeous nature and views! There are enough activities for an outdoor lover to be entertained for a day or two, which the makes the perfect overnight stop on your way to must-visit Colombian cafe town of Jardin.
Things To Do
Cerra de Las Nubes Hike
If the weather is nice, you must hike Cerra de Las Nubes close to sunset. It is not the best marked hike in the world, but the views from the park at the top and well worth it. It’s worth stopping by Las Cometas Hostel (the only hostel in town) before the hike to make sure you get going in the right direction. The trick is that when you get to the first bridge you must take the path to the left instead of crossing the bridge.
Factor in about a 3 hour roundtrip and bring a headlamp or be prepared to use to phone flashlight app on your way down. 3 hours will given you enough time to rest at the top and do some exploring of the various ridge-lines that stretch out in all directions. Although it looks like there are plenty of other paths down, we recommend you take the same path down as you went up to avoid getting lost.
Christo Rey Statue
Colombian towns love their Christ the Redeemer (Cristo Rey) statues and, although we don’t recommend hiking to all of them, the one in Jerico is worth the short trek. The about 20 minute hike up through a botanical garden will reward you with a birds-eye view of the entire town!
Jerico also has a annual kite festival in August and seemingly the entire town gathers at the statue and tries to fly wood and tissue paper kites. The view of the town with all the kites in the air is truly spectacular!
What to Eat
La Gruta is the menu de dia spot in Jerico. No, there are not very many restaurants to choose from but this one stands out. Good food and good prices.
Breakfast and Coffee in the Plaza
Although we usually try to avoid eating in restaurants around town plazas as they are usually overpriced and mediocre, Jerico is an exception to the rule. Since the town is so small, all the cafes are around the plaza! You really can’t go wrong. We went to Don Rafa but there are multiple other choices!
No buñuelos are not specific to Jardin. We just had really good ones there. Buñuelos are basicially fried donut balls. Seems like something that would have be invented in America, right? Anyways, they’re delicious when hot and fresh!
No matter where you are, if you see someone scoops hot and fresh buñuelos out of the fryer, you must try one. It doesn’t have to be in Jerico, but you must try at least one while you’re in Colombia.
How to Get There
Jerico is about 3 hours away from Colombia’s culinary and culture capital of Medellin by bus (~27000 pesos per person). The bus ride is one of the coolest in Colombia as for the last hour or so you are climbing a mountain! If possible, sit on the left side of the bus for the best views.
We recommend taking an early bus that you can walk up to Christo Rey in the morning and then hike Cerro de Las Nubes closer to sunset!
Where to Stay
There is only one hostel in Jerico and it’s called Las Cometas. In our research we only heard great things about Las Cometas so we had gotten our expectations up.
However, the owners were not there during our trip and the hostel was run entirely by volunteers. Unfortunately, it is often the case in volunteer run hostels that the workers do the bare minimum – as was the case with our experience here. The place was not as clean as it could have been, the volunteers monopolized the common areas and all questions had to be texted to the owners. At the end of the day, there were no major issues with the hostel, it just wasn’t the great stay we had expected it to be.
Note: If you plan go to Jerico during the August kite festival, you need to book your accommodations in advance. Many people from Medellin go to Jerico at this time and it is very hard to find a place to stay at the last minute.
Where to Go Next
From Jerico, there is only once place you must go next – the paradise that is Jardin. You can check out our Jardin travel guide for more information!
Getting to Jardin is an 4-5 hour experience involving two Chivas. Chivas are basically colored chicken buses used to traverse bumpy roads. This means less traveled, off the tourist track routes surrounded by incredible scenery. We definitely recommend taking a Chiva bus at least once during your time in Colombia and the Chivas from Jerico to Jardin your perfect opportunity.
The Chiva to Jardin picks up around 1PM close to Las Cometas hostel however it is worth confirming this time with your hostel. The total cost of our Chiva trip was 19000 pesos per person.
There you have it, our guide to Jerico, Colombia! From us to you, happy adventuring!
All prices are current as of August 2019.