Gone are the days when drug bosses called the shots in Medellín. Before the word gets out and crowds spill in, don’t miss these quiet villages that have rediscovered their serenity.

By Catherine Gary

Santa Fe de Antioquia, a colonial gem

Large cobblestones, immaculate facades and carved wooden balconies overflowing with bougainvillea invite you to stroll through this town’s hidden charm. Santa Fe de Antioquia is proud of its classic, baroque churches in serene, palm-shaded squares, and its museum that retains much of its local colonial history. The tapered Occidente bridge – a national heritage site built in 1895 – crosses the Cauca, a tributary of the Magdalena River.

Jardín, the colorful village

Tucked in the mountains down the Cauca River and surrounded by pastures, coffee plantations and banana trees, you’ll find this slice of paradise where everything is kindness and friendliness; an oasis of multi-colored houses.Take a stroll through Jardín’s morning market in front of the basilica’s tall, basalt facade. In the evening, it all kicks off in the main square with cowboys clopping through the streets on horseback. The locals are loyal to their strong agricultural traditions: cassava, banana and coffee.

Jericó, rich in culture and natural wonders

Nestled on the Andean slopes, Jericó’s steep, undulating streets reveal stunning views from above. Think Montmartre, Paris, without the crowds. Deemed the “Athens of Southwest Antioquia”, the town is known for its spirited culture, with streets named after poets, painters and local artists. Like a village frozen in time, Jerico preserves its ancient customs. Climb up the lush, green hill above the clusters of colorful houses for a wander through the forest for a view of village from above.

Catherine Gary is a journalist; her work is mostly dedicated to the rich history and contemporary dimension of her travel, mainly committed to Latin America. Catherine is the deputy editor-in-chief of the Lindigo-mag webzine, she also cooperates with other media organizations. Catherine can be reached at

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