Breathtaking views, beautiful sunsets and a lovely laid-back vibe. If this sounds like music to your ears, then the village of Minca in the mountains of Colombia is definitely the place for you!
Minca is located in the north of Colombia, in the district of Santa Marta. The tiny village has only about 800 inhabitants. The climate is tropical with high daily temperatures and high humidity.
Watch the travelvideo for an impression of Minca and check out my absolute favorite lodge in Minca.
What to do in Minca
The best thing you can do in Minca is to enjoy nature. Hiking through the jungle, swimming in the river or taking a refreshing shower under the waterfall.
1. Pozo Azul
One of the most popular attractions in Minca is the Pozo azul. This river runs straight through the jungle and is easily reached by foot or motorcycle from the center. You can imagine that it is therefore often quite busy.
Most people recommend to go there as early as possible to avoid the crowds. But my experience is that most organized tours plan their trip in the morning. At 11:00 it still was very crowded, but around 12:00 most people had left.
I can recommend you anyway to walk a little further along the river, which brings you to a much quieter place. There’s no real hiking trail leading up to it, so it’s a bit of scrambling between the trees.
2. Cascada de Marinka
The most impressive waterfall in Minca is the Cascada de Marinka. It is about fifteen minutes on the back of a motorcycle from the center and after the sweaty ride you can take a refreshing dip.
3. Coffee farm
Curious about the process of making coffee? At the coffee plantation Finca Victoria you can get a tour to learn how your delicious cup of Colombian coffee is actually made.
4. Bird watching
Some accommodations offer different tours. Bird watching is one of them. You get up early, around 5:00 am, and leave around 6:00 am with a guide into the jungle. Around that time the birds wake up and it is not too hot yet, which makes it a perfect time to spot wildlife hiding in the jungle of Minca.
For 50,000 COP per person, you’ll hike 3 hours through the jungle with Jungle Joe Birding Tours. There’s a chance you’ll spot hummingbirds, toucans, macaws and maybe even a condor!
5. A moment of peace and quiet…
It’s also great to do nothing at all, read a good book, or socialize with other travelers.
My experience is that your choice of hotel can be quite crucial for your stay in Minca. This is mainly because most accommodations are in remote locations and you will probably spend most of your time there. Therefore, below you will find some hotel tips!
Best accommodations in Minca
Most accommodations in Minca are in beautiful locations with amazing views.
Close to the center and in the middle of the jungle lies Rio Elemento. The hostel is located next to the river and has a pool where you can relax after your hike. There are both double rooms and dorms available.
Sierra Minca is a fairly well-known and popular accommodation in Minca. This is mainly due to the giant hammock with an amazing view. You can stay there, but also visit it for a change to enjoy the location. Previously, the popular Casa Elemento was located here.
But my favorite is Mundo Nuevo Eco Lodge Minca (pictured below). This lodge with both dorms and double rooms has one of the most beautiful views in Minca. You can only reach the location by foot (about 45 minutes uphill) or by motorcycle from the center of town. It is an exciting ride up, but you will be rewarded with a great location, delicious (vegetarian) lunch, dinner and breakfast and friendly staff.
How to get to Minca?
If you travel to Minca, you actually always travel via Santa Marta. Buses depart from Estacion Minca.
Of course, you can also take a cab directly from your previous destination. From the Santa Marta airport, a ride costs about 70,000 COP, without too much bargaining. A cheaper deal could also be possible if you are a good negotiator!