For such a well-placed location, Jericó remains a small city less-traveled. It is located a mere 113 km southwest of Medellin, so be sure to visit soon before everyone gets in on the secret! Known in Colombia as the Athens of the Southwest, its colonial heritage is alive and well in the city’s architecture. Colorful façades line the streets at every turn, no matter whether is a shop or a private residence.
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While there are a few in the hospitality business here that know English, it is a good idea to brush up on basic Spanish before your visit. You will have a more satisfying experience, and be able to converse a bit with the friendly locals, who are eager to tell you about their home town.
Things to Do in Jericó
Nature lovers have no shortage of things to do in and around Jericó. At 6,400 feet above sea level, it sits in the foothills of the Western Mountain Range, overlooking the canyon of the Rio Cauca river. The incredible viewpoints are ripe for hiking and paragliding. It is indeed one of the best pueblos in the whole of Colombia.
Hike to Cerro Las Nubes. It is a medium-difficulty hike about 3.4 miles long. There is some uphill climbing (about 2,350 meters, or 7,730 feet), so you do have to be reasonably fit, but the views are amazing. This is an environmentally-protected site, so be mindful to leave no trace.
Enjoy the sunset at Morro El Solador. Tourists and locals alike flock to this most popular monument, a statue of Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) with open arms, for its glorious views of the city. It is a popular gathering place to just hang out with friends.
Jericó is a religious pueblo and as such, has a total of 19 churches. Quite a lot for a smaller community of just over 12,000 people. The Cathedral Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes can be found in the main square, and is built in exquisite modern Romanesque style. Another one to visit is the gothic-styled Santuario de Santa Laura church.
Visit the Street of 100 stairs, also known as the Calle de las Cien Escalas. It is one of the more iconic streets in Jericó and definitely Instagram-worthy. On the weekends the market at the main square is the lifeblood of the city. Here you can sample local fruits, converse (in Spanish) with the locals, and do a bit of shopping.
Jericó is in the coffee region, so be sure to explore the many different coffee options all over the city. The café El Saturia is arguably the most popular coffee spot in town.
Café El Saturia even runs a coffee tour. This hour-and-a-half excursion takes visitors through a working coffee farm and explains the entire coffee-bean producing process from start to finish. Jericó offers several different coffee tours.
Since paragliding is big here, for just a few dollars you can have your guide pick you up at the hotel and take you to the best place for your paragliding adventure. They will help guide you safely through your first paragliding experience.
Where to Stay in Jericó
If you prefer hostels, the only one in the city, Las Cometas Hostel, is clean, comfortable and located near the main square. The staff are friendly and can connect you with local tours such as coffee and paragliding tours. Budget-friendly, they offer both private and communal rooms.
Hotel Porton Plaza is also near the main square. They have LCD televisions and internet and serve breakfast. This is a very affordable option, at around 30,000COP or USD10.
For a more intimate cabin experience, stay at Cabanas El Rincon Paisa. A small property with just 12 cabins, it’s the perfect place to unwind at the end of a long day. There is a communal open-air kitchen for making meals. The average price per night is 80,000COP or USD25
How to Get to Jericó
From Medellin: Buses from Medellin to Jericó run about every hour, and a ticket starts at 25,000COP, or about USD8. Currently the only bus company making this trip is Transportes Jericó. Pro tip: try to get a seat on the left side of the bus to Jericó and on the right side going back to Medellin. That way you can see gorgeous views of Cerro Tusa, a natural pyramid. The trip each way is 2.5 to 3 hours.
From Bogota: The cheapest way is to simply drive, which will take about 8 hours. Otherwise, it is best to fly from Bogota to Medellin, then take the bus from Medellin to Jericó. Busses are also available from Bogota to Jericó, and about an 9-hour trip
Jericó is truly the authentic side of Colombia. It’s small-town friendliness, wide range of attractions and rich heritage will charm you and entice you to return.
Interesting Places and Activities near Jericó
Here are some places of interest and activities you can enjoy nearby:
- Jardín, Antioquia: Just a couple of hours away, Jardín is another picturesque town known for its colorful architecture, beautiful plazas, and the surrounding coffee landscapes. Visitors can enjoy cable car rides, visit coffee farms, and explore the Cave of Splendor.
- Támesis: This town offers archaeological sites, petroglyphs, and natural beauty. Hiking to the top of Cerro de Cristo Rey for panoramic views or visiting the Piedras de Támesis for its ancient rock art are popular activities.
- Andes, Antioquia: Close to Jericó, Andes is another town in the coffee region where visitors can learn about coffee production, enjoy rural landscapes, and explore local biodiversity, including bird watching.
- Cauca River Canyon: For those interested in nature and adventure, the Cauca River Canyon offers opportunities for rafting, hiking, and enjoying spectacular views of the river and its surroundings.
- La Pintada: A small town located down the Cauca River valley, known for its warm climate, riverside beaches, and leisure facilities. It’s a great spot for relaxation and water activities.
- Coffee Farm Tours: Being in Colombia’s coffee region, visiting coffee farms near Jericó is a must-do activity. Many farms offer tours that include the coffee production process, from planting to brewing, and of course, coffee tasting.
- Hiking and Nature Walks: The area around Jericó is rich in natural beauty, offering numerous trails for hiking and exploring. The Cerro Tusa, known as the world’s largest natural pyramid, is within reach for a challenging hike.
- Paragliding: For adventure seekers, the region’s mountainous terrain and favorable winds make it an excellent spot for paragliding, offering breathtaking views of the coffee landscape from above.
- Rio Verde de los Montes: A beautiful natural area where visitors can enjoy the lush greenery, waterfalls, and natural pools. It’s perfect for picnics, swimming, and enjoying a day in nature.
- Visit Traditional Antioquian Villages: The region around Jericó is dotted with traditional villages where you can experience the local culture, traditional architecture, and regional cuisine. Each town has its own charm and festivals.
Exploring these nearby places and engaging in the various activities they offer can provide a well-rounded experience of the cultural richness and natural beauty of Antioquia, Colombia. Whether you’re interested in adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion, the area around Jericó has something to offer.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is Jericó known for?
- The village is renowned for its beautiful landscapes, coffee plantations, and as the birthplace of Colombia’s only saint, Mother Laura Montoya. It’s also famous for its well-preserved colonial architecture and vibrant cultural traditions.
- How do I get to Jericó from Medellín?
- Jericó is accessible by bus from Medellín. Buses depart from the South Terminal (Terminal del Sur) in Medellín and the journey takes approximately 3 to 4 hours.
- What are the top attractions to visit in Jericó?
- Key attractions include the Jardín Botánico de Jericó, the Casa de la Cultura, the Cathedral of Jericó, and the viewpoint of Las Nubes. Visitors also enjoy exploring the local coffee farms.
- What activities can I do in Jericó?
- Activities in include hiking, bird watching, visiting coffee farms to learn about coffee production, paragliding, and exploring the town’s museums and historical sites.
- Where can I stay in Jericó?
- The village offers a range of accommodations, from hostels and guesthouses to more upscale hotels. Many places offer beautiful views of the surrounding mountains.
- What is the best time of year to visit Jericó?
- The best time to visit Jericó is between December and February or during July and August when the weather is drier. However, its climate is pleasant year-round.
- Can I find good coffee in Jericó?
- Yes, Jericó is in the heart of Colombia’s coffee region, and visitors can enjoy high-quality, locally produced coffee at various cafes and coffee farms around the town.
- Are there any cultural events in Jericó?
- Various festivals and cultural events are hosted throughout the year, including religious celebrations, music festivals, and traditional festivities that showcase the town’s rich heritage.
- Is Jericó safe for tourists?
- The place generally considered safe for tourists. However, visitors are advised to take standard safety precautions, such as avoiding isolated areas at night and keeping valuables secure.
- What local food should I try in Jericó?
- Visitors should try local Antioquian dishes such as bandeja paisa, arepas, and fresh trout, which is particularly popular in the region.
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