Minca Colombia is one of the coolest places in the north, literally! With coastal heat in the north hot enough to kill you, Minca’s breeze is just what the doctor ordered! This is one of the reasons Minca Colombia has become so popular. Backpackers flock to the small mountain town to escape the heat and enjoy the mountain breeze. If you’re short on time you can day trip to Minca from Santa Marta however, I recommend a 2-3 day visit at minimum!
Minca Colombia: How to Arrive
If you’re traveling by public bus then the only route to Minca Colombia is via Santa Marta. Colectivos leave from the local market area. Costing $8,000COP. (<$3USD).
There are no public transit options at Santa Marta’s bus terminal.
*Need a place to stay in Santa Marta? Check out this post.
Best of Minca
Pozo Azul –
This is a beautiful series of small waterfalls. The mountain water is freezing yet refreshing. Do yourself a favor and just leap in! You’ll enjoy it after the initial shock. Make sure to take the path on the left up and past the first waterfall to see the main one. Watch out for snakes! To arrive make a right at the bridge in Minca and follow the road. Make a left at the marked road sign. Enjoy!
Los Pinos –
This is a BEAUTIFUL look out point. To one side you can see as far as Rodadero beach and the coast of Santa Marta. To the other side you see a series of Sierra Nevada’s mountain peaks. The hike is up the main road past the town. Opposite to the way you arrived from Santa Marta. Take the road all the way up until Casa Elemento. Shortly after Casa Elemento follow the markers along the walking trail until you reach Los Pinos.
Cascada de Marinka –
Marinka is another very popular waterfall local to Minca. I didn’t have the chance to visit this one myself but if time permits then this one should be on your list. Plenty of other backpackers have told me missing out on this gem was a mistake. To arrive follow the main road past the town heading towards the futbol field. Continue straight ahead until you make a left at the entrance sign.
Casa Elemento –
This is one of the most popular hostels in Minca Colombia. Their claim to fame? The world’s largest hammock. That’s right for $10,000COP (~$3USD) you can lounge around all day as a guest. Entrance fee comes with a drink. I would avoid booking your accommodations with the place though. Many travelers warn against their current management. I didn’t actually get to hang out on the hammocks. The Los Pinos hike will bring you right past the hostel but I was running out of daylight so opted out of hammock life.
Minca’s Circuit –
When I arrived at Minca Colombia I didn’t really know much about the town. I planned the days with the advice of the hostel staff. If I could do it all over again I would have taken a few days and done a loop visiting all the local attractions along the way instead of day trips. Start in either direction you’d like but I’d say the easier route would be heading for Pozo Azul first.
- Pozo Azul – series of small waterfalls
- Finca La Victoria – coffee farm. $10,000COP (~$3USD) tours.
- Los Pinos – lookout point
- Casa Elemento – world’s largest hammock
- Cascada de Marinka
Lastly return to Minca. This can be done in 2d/1n. But I highly recommend 3d/2n so that you can relax and enjoy your time at all of the stops. There are plenty of accommodations all along this route. Food is available at many of these same places.
Where to Stay –
With Minca’s ever growing popularity there is no shortage of accomodations.
- Casa Loma Minca – This is one of the best places to stay in Colombia. Accomodations range from tent space and hammocks all the way up to private cabanas. Keep in mind Loma Minca is located atop the mountain and accessible via fairly intense sets of stairs. Leave your wifi addiction at the bottom of the hill.
- There are no ATMS in Minca. Bring all the cash you’ll need from Santa Marta. A few of the restaurants and accommodations are set up for debit/credit payments.
- Wifi is scarce but a slow connection is available at The Lazy Cat restaurant.
Afterthoughts – The Good/The Bad
I really loved Minca! It’s slow paced and full of relaxed vibes. It’s the perfect place for anyone looking to cool off and take a few days to reconnect with nature. Minca will really teach you how to breathe again!
With that said I have to mention that Minca seems to be another South American gem hijacked by the foreigners. From the outside looking in next to nothing in Minca is locally owned. If you do decide to visit Minca (and you should!!!) I strongly urge you to be vigilant of how and where you spend your money. Put your currency into the local economy whenever possible.