I thought my search for Colombia’s most beautiful town ended with Jardín. The equally if not more beautiful town of Jericó gives it stiff competition. Jardín wins the plaza competition, but Jericó hands down has better preserved and better constructed traditional homes and buildings.
Jericó is located just over a couple hours from Medellín in the Antioquia department, and is one of Colombia’s prestigious Pueblos de Patrimonio. It was founded in 1850 and is nicknamed “the Athens of the Southwest”.
The main plaza in Jericó is not quite as elaborate as that of Jardín, but it’s still very colorful and lively. It’s surrounded by restaurants and hotels with nicely constructed balconies.
The focal point of the plaza is the brick cathedral. It looks attractive from the outside but otherwise drab on the inside.
Among the cultural attractions in town are a couple museums, the most interesting being an archaeological museum. The tourist offices on the block on the lower side of the church and a half block up from the church provide maps of the town and attractions for a small fee. A couple of the attractions had moved after publication of our map, so check to make sure the maps are up to date.
For those interested in religious history, Jericó is the birthplace of the Colombian Saint Laura Montoya Upegui in 1874. The home is open to visitors.
A steep trail from town leads to La Gruta, a religious shrine cut into the mountainside.
The rest of town is pleasant to wander through, and as I mentioned earlier has many more preserved homes than Jardín.
Jericó is surrounded by pristine natural beauty. A well-maintained botanical garden just a few blocks from the plaza leads to a large statue of Christ overlooking the town. From here, there are excellent views of the entire town and countryside.
Next to the statue is a cable car that takes visitors high above the town to a nature park, Las Nieves. There are trails and lookout towers, and at the cable car station is a café. A round-trip ticket costs COP$8,000 per person.