What to do in Minca in the Sierra Nevada, Colombia?

Why go to Minca?

o Up in the Sierra Nevada mountains 15km behind Santa Marta is Minca, a little village with rivers, waterfalls and jungle.

o A cooler climate makes this a fresher place to be than Santa Marta City. It’s a relaxing place loved by backpackers, with a language school, massages, yoga and meditation.

What do do in Minca?

o Relax, watch the sunset from your hostel (see recommendations below)

o Visit Pozo Azul, a couple of swimming holes with little waterfalls a 45 minute walk from Minca pueblo

o Las Cascadas Marinka – a waterfall and swimming pool

o Swim in the river at Las Piedras (best to be there mid-week to avoid the busiest times)

o Yoga, meditate and lots of other activities at Casa Yoga

o Go on a bird watching tour with Jungle Joe – amongst other cool birds, you’ll hopefully see toucans

o Head to Hacienda La Victoria for a nice coffee tour given by the workers there

o Hike from town up to Los Pinos – a narrow and steep path uphill through the jungle should take around 2.5 hours one way so take food and water. You can get a mototaxi back from Casa Elemento for COP 20k on the way back if desired.

Sunset from Casa Loma

o Watch the sunset over Santa Marta from Casa Loma Hostel


Where to stay in Minca?

These three have great views and fun atmosphere.

Casa Loma hammocks

  • Casa Loma (stayed here and loved it – hammock or cabin options, up behind the church up some steps),
  • Mar y Monte (also stayed here and happy with it)
  • Oscar’s Place (comes highly recommended)
  • Casa Elemento’s giant hammock

    Casa Elemento (Remote, party vibe, big net hammock thing, swimming pool, 1h30 walk/ COP 20k mototaxi out of town)


How to get to/from Minca:

Santa Marta is the base for transport up to Minca.

The best way to travel up there is in one of the Cootransminca collective jeeps that leave from the central market area. The meeting place moves around but most recently (as of January 2017) it was on Carrera 9 #11. The price is COP 8k one-way, and the jeeps leave regularly, as soon as they are full. A taxi costs COP 40-60k so if you to fill it, could makes sense time wise.



For the full collection of notes I collected while exploring Colombia, head to Over to you: Tips for Travel in Colombia 

(Includes Santa Marta, Tayrona National Park, Ciudad Perdida (Lost City) Trek, Cartagena, Bogotá, Medellín, Cali, Isla Providencia, The Coffee Region, La Guajira and great Colombian music, books and festivals to aim for)

Hope you enjoy!! Please do share with anyone you think might find them useful.


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