If you’re in Santa Marta chances are you will be drowning in your own sweat and in need of a reprieve. Minca is a charming, mountain town which enjoys temperatures a few degrees cooler than Santa Marta. It is a perfect place to unwind and relax.
Minca is famous for organic coffee, making coffee tours a big thing here. If you’re willing to walk to the farm, coffee tours are quite affordable and a nice way to spend half a day. Alternatively catch a bike. We checked out La Victoria Coffee Farm (COP10,000 per person). Overall this coffee tour was enjoyable but not overly recommended. If you are wanting a more swept up version of a coffee tour we have heard La Candaleria coffee farm offers an interesting, yet pricier tour (COP20,000 per person).
Minca is set within the Sierra Nevada mountain range giving you a good opportunity to take a scenic walk with some impressive bird life. Los Pinos is a long climb but provides an amazing panoramic view from the top – make sure you bring plenty of water! Its best to start the walk as soon as possible in the morning to avoid the heat of the day. You’ll also see more birdlife at this time too. What’s more, it’s free!
After working up a sweat, enjoy a cold dip in Pozo Azul waterfalls (30 min walk from town).
In need of something a little crazy to do in Colombia? We stumbled across La Fuente Bushcraft and Survival just out of Minca on the Los Pinos road. Although we didn’t have the time or balls to do this, it sure caught our attention. An expat Englishman provides bush skills over a 1 day or 1-3 month period. Depending on what you want, expect some hard core shit. Seriously.
Needing a place to stay? Check out our accommodation options below…
We stayed at Casa Lomo (COP15,000 hammock – hammock and net included). After seeing so much about Casa Elemento on other sites we were worried we would be missing out. However, Casa Lomo provided just what we needed. The great thing about this hostel is its out of town but close enough to pop down for lunch or dinner. While you do have to walk up a big hill it isn’t as strenuous as getting to Casa Elemento. Casa Lomo is half dormitories/ private rooms and half campground area meaning you can have a bit of luxury or enjoy the outdoors. It has a beautiful sunset views overlooking Santa Marta, communal dinners, no wifi, happy hour drinks and a large fire pit. A perfect place to relax! Dinner – COP 15,000, breakfast COP8000. Alternatively come prepared and cook on campfire.
Casa Elemento is another popular backpackers hostel. It is situated at the top of Los Pinos (a very large hill) which is accessible by motorbike taxis or a long, hot walk.
Getting there from Santa Marta:
• Catch a collectivo (COP7,000 per person, 50 mins) from the corner of Calle 11 and Carrera 12 (Estacion Minca. Cra. 12 #11-06, Santa Marta, Magdalena, Colombia).
• Collectivos leave when they are full. There should only be a 20 minute wait.
• To get here follow calle 11 in the opposite direction to the ocean and head through the markets. Once you’ve reached the end of the markets keep going for 2 blocks and it should be on your right. Like us, you’ll likely miss it as it’s not obvious so just ask someone for help if need be.
Getting away to Santa Marta:
• Collectivos leave fairly regularly from the same place they dropped you (the town isn’t very big).
• There are no ATMs in Minca so be sure to get out cash before leaving Santa Marta.
• Casa Lomo had free drinking water from the ground to save you $.
• If you’re short on time but still want to see Minca, many hostels offer day tours from Santa Marta.