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We’ve been hearing about Jardín, Colombia, practically since the day we moved to Medellin. We had a picture in our minds of a fantastic old colonial square with a huge and striking cathedral and brightly painted, neat-as-a-pin colonial-era homes, all set against a stunning Andes backdrop of near-vertical mountains sporting every hue of green you can imagine. That’s exactly what we found on our recent three-night visit to Jardin, and then some. We’re in love with Jardín, and we can’t wait to go back! Jardín Factoids Jardín is one of 17 Pueblos Patrimonios, historical colonial towns that are the best examples of the country’s cultural heritage. Many publications list Jardín as the most beautiful town in the department of Antioquia. So far, we agree! The dominant feature of Parque Principal – in fact, the whole city of Jardín – is the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, a National Monument…

Whoever would have thought that staying fit in Medellín – a city of  2.6 million people – would be so easy? There are three operational words here: dogs, Laureles, and Medellín. First, our fur babies, Rosie and Tango, need and expect long walks every day. Second, our chosen neighborhood of Laureles is flat, picturesque, and relatively free of crazy traffic – perfect for those walks and also for cycling. Laureles has everything we need just a few blocks from our apartment, so we’re able to walk everywhere and manage without a car. Third and foremost, the city of Medellín has a huge fitness culture. On any given morning, you’ll see folks out running, walking, and toting yoga mats, and there are dozens of gyms and yoga studios in Laureles alone. The Medellín mayor’s office is so dedicated to fitness “para la gente” (for the people) that it operates a huge…

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