Minca

Find out our best travel tips to explore Minca and add it to your Colombia itinerary.

Hotel or Hostel in Minca: Decide Where To stay (2020)

Hotel and Hostels in Minca are many and scattered all over the place. You will need the best information to find your soulmate-accommodation.

Within a few years, Minca has gained a lot in popularity. Nowadays, many travelers include this little town – nestled in the Sierra Nevada – in their Colombia itinerary.

Therefore, Minca became a gold opportunity for landlords. Hostels and hotels have popped out every year since.

And, I have to admit that many of them did a great job.

Although the general vibe stays relatively the same among the different establishments – Eco-hippy-yoga-chill-peace, there are a few things you need to know before making the right decision.

Short answers: Where to stay in Minca

Must read: Our top-notch Minca travel guide

Tips to decide where to stay in Minca

1. Check how far is your hotel (+)

Minca is a small town, but hostels and hotels are scattered everywhere in the Sierra Nevada. It means you could have to walk 2-3 hours to reach the city center.

Most of these accommodations offer a transport solution. However, it won’t be included in the price of your stay.

In case there is only a moto-taxi going up there, you shouldn’t travel with your suitcase. Take your backpack instead.

Also, there is no moto-taxi after 6pm.

2. Are you scared of bugs? (+)

Yes, there are bugs in Minca – you’re in the jungle for god sake. You will meet them when the night is coming, on your way to the bathroom or half-dying near the lamps.

They bother but are harmless.

It’s not the case of the sandflies. I hate these little diabolic creatures. They are tiny flies that bite and let a little red dot on your skin. 100% itchy for days!

Farther you go in the mountains, more sandflies and bugs you will meet.

Take your long sleeves, socks, and repellent. Be ready to fight.

3. Different types of hotels (+)

Minca offers a lot of different kind of accommodations.

The majority of the travelers are going to Minca to relax. Hence, you won’t find any party hostels.

Depending on your choice, you will live a different experience during your stay.

Ps: Stop looking for a good wifi in Minca.

  • Boutique hotel and luxury accommodations
  • Family hostels
  • Ecolodge to observe birds
  • Eco-farm to rest and eat healthily
  • Coffee and chocolate farm

According to these different criteria, let’s have a look at the hotels and hostels in Minca. Plus, I will tell you how to get there.

Also, we wrote a kick-ass travel guide about Minca. Read it before coming.

Hotel and Hostel in Minca

Where to stay in Minca

By staying in the center, you will save a bunch of money on moto-taxi, beverage, and foods. Meals are cheaper in Minca than in the various eco-lodge around the city.

However, the view and the experiences won’t be the same.

1# $$ – CASA LOMA – Best hostel in Minca

Come to Casa Loma and learn how to socialize with people instead of using your phone. Surrounded by nature, the hostel Casa Loma is perfect for reading a book in a hammock before eating a delicious vegetarian dinner. Moreover, the staff is lovely! Casa Loma is one of my favorite hostels in Colombia.

How to get to Casa Loma Hostel in Minca: From the church, look for the 150 steps leading to Casa Loma.

Pros and Cons (+)

The + + + | Casa Loma Hostel in Minca

  • Drink a cocktail while watching the sunset
  • Delicious food
  • Family vibe
  • Barbecue
  • Friendly and helping staff
  • Nature – beautiful spot

The – – – | Casa Loma Hostel in Minca

  • No Internet
  • No Kitchen
  • Breakfast not included
Casa Loma hostel in Minca

2# $$ – Coco Bomgo – Best value

Hostel in Minca

It seems that everyone falls in love with the friendly staff of Coco Bomgo Hostel. From your arrival, they pamper you with a welcome juice, popcorn, and tips to explore Minca. Coco Bomgo Hostel is spacious, clean and perfectly located in the center of Minca.

How to get the Coco Bomgo Hostel in Minca: Walk back 50 meters from where the shuttle coming from Santa Marta dropped you – You have to cross a wood bridge – then turn right. 5 min walk.

Pros and Cons (+)

The + + + | Coco Bomgo Hostel in Minca

  • Excellent welcoming
  • Home feeling
  • Breakfast Included
  • Super Clean
  • Great Value

The – – – | Coco Bomgo Hostel in Minca

  • A bit noisy because of its localization in the center
  • No great view
Coco Bomgo - Great value hostel in Minca

Hotel and Hostel in the outskirts of Minca

Where to stay in Minca

3# $$$ – Sweet Harmony – Luxury cabins

Hotel in Minca

If you pick Sweet Harmony hotel in Minca, be ready to be lulled by river sounds and waking up by hummingbirds. Sweet Harmony offers different types of accommodation, from the suite with Balcony to a Luxury tent (glamping). Besides, the view is gorgeous and the staff faultless.

How to get to Sweet Harmony Hotel in Minca: Walk 15 min from the church, on the other side of the river.

Pros and Cons (+)

The + + + | Sweet harmony hotel in Minca

  • Delicious Breakfast – Included
  • Great View
  • River sounds and hummingbirds
  • Great staff
  • Hot water
  • Comfy bed

The – – – | Sweet harmony hotel in Minca

  • Not all the beds have a mosquito net
  • A bit warm at night
Sweet Harmony - Luxury cabins in Minca

4# $$ – Casa Relax Minca – Peaceful

Hostel in Minca

Casa Relax is a low-cost option for travelers who would like to enjoy a peaceful stay while being near Minca. Located near a river and surrounded by nature, guests listen to every minute birds and water sounds.

How to get Casa Relax hostel in Minca: 15 min walk from town – Near Sweet Harmony

Pros and Cons (+)

The + + + | Casa Relax hostel in Minca

  • Outdoor swimming pool – According to the season
  • Friendly staff
  • Nice surroundings
  • Peaceful
  • Birds and river sounds
  • Breakfast included

The – – – | Casa Relax hostel in Minca

  • Few options at the restaurant
  • The beds could be better
Casa Relax Minca Guest House - A peaceful place near the city center

5# $$ – Minca EcoHabs – Private Bungalows

Hotel in Minca

Minca Ecohabs belongs to the famous group Tayrona National Park hotel. Their private cabins always blend into the scenery. There is a great view of the Sierra Nevada. The Ecohab standard is economic but the cabin is a lot less magical.

How to get to Minca EcoHabs: They are located on the road to your right before the entrance of the village. It’s a 10 min walk from the center. Or you can book a taxi with the Ecohabs | 35 000 from Santa Marta & 55 000 from the Airport.

Pros and Cons (+)

The + + + | Minca EcoHabs:

  • Upscale cabins – if you book one of the two Ecohab
  • Good Breakfast – Included
  • Great view
  • Birds
  • Mosquito nets

The – – – | Minca EcoHabs:

  • You can hear the cars from the road
  • No fan or A/C
Minca Ecohabs in Minca

6# $$ – Minca Glamping – Upscale Camping

Hotel in Minca

Camping is so much fun! But, in case your soulmate hates it, you can offer her/him a glamping experience. Minca Glamping is a cute little hotel with romantic bungalows. The owners are friendly and perfectly aware of the best spot to visit in the area. It’s a great pick for people wishing to escape the city without being too far from it.

How to get to Minca Glamping: Walk 20 min from the city center – In the direction of the Marinka waterfalls. You can call Max if you have got lots of luggage. Don’t forget your torch for when it’s dark!

Pros and Cons (+)

The + + + | Minca Glamping:

  • Helpful owners
  • Beautiful bungalows
  • Big beds
  • No town noise
  • Good breakfast included

The – – – | Minca Glamping:

  • None
Glamping in Minca

Best hostels and hotels outside Minca

Where to stay in Minca

The following accommodation are quite far from the center and you will have to use a moto-taxi or a jeep to get there.

7# $ – Finca San Rafael – Cacao and Coffee lovers

Hotel in Minca

Within the Finca San Rafael, you learn about cacao and coffee without moving from your bed. This small farm – only 4 rooms – is a perfect option for people who want to live a Finca experience without breaking the budget. Basic but clean bedrooms and a swimming pool with view on the Sierra Nevada! | 15 000 COP / meal

How to get to the Finca San Rafael in Minca: Walk 45 min from town or take a moto-taxi (15 000 COP) or a private vehicle (60 000 COP).

Pros and Cons (+)

The + + + | Finca San Rafael in Minca:

  • Coffee and cacao experience
  • Small
  • Cheap
  • Swimming pool
  • Breakfast included

The – – – | Finca San Rafael in Minca:

  • Average vegetarian option
  • Far away from Minca
 Finca San Rafael in Minca

8# $ – El Paraiso de Tuki B&B – Coffee and Chocolate

Hotel in Minca

Paraiso de Tuki B&B is another option for coffee and chocolate lovers as the place belongs to La Candelaria. Rooms are basics but the view is astonishing. Moreover, guests can sympathize with Tuki, a free Tucan pet. Meals for 15 000 COP

How to get to El Paraiso de Tuki in Minca: Be ready to walk 1h on a steep path or take a moto taxi for 15 000 COP or a private jeep for 80 000 COP. Then, you still have to walk 15 min on a dirt road.

Pros and Cons (+)

The + + + | El Paraiso de Tuki in Minca:

  • La Candelaria – Coffee and cacao farm
  • Great view
  • Tuki the Tucan
  • Breakfast included
  • Cheap
  • Wildlife

The – – – | El Paraiso de Tuki in Minca:

  • Small and basic bedrooms
  • Far away from Minca
  • No Wifi
El Paraiso de Tuki

9# $$ – Mundo Nuevo – A Permaculture world

Hostel in Minca

Stay in Mundo Nuevo to learn a bit about permaculture. Built on an old coffee farm, all the vegetables come from their garden. And, with all the activities around, you won’t need to go back to Minca. Meals are delicious, and the view from the toilette is memorable. It’s a quiet place. 15 000 COP for Lunch and 20 000 COP for dinner

How to get to Mundo Nuevo hostel in Minca: Hike 1 hour from Minca. Turn left at the police station – when you are coming from Minca – then walk the 4kms. Steep path! | Take a moto-taxi: 25 min – 20 000 COP |Not after 6 pm

Pros and Cons (+)

The + + + | Mundo Nuevo hostel in Minca:

  • Delicious vegetarian meals
  • Breakfast included
  • Comfy beds
  • Lots of activities
  • Permaculture
  • Great views and sunset
  • Social atmosphere

The – – – | Mundo Nuevo hostel in Minca:

  • No kitchen for the guests
  • More insects than in Minca

10# $$ – Casas Viejas – Upscale

Hostel in Minca

Everyone falls in love with the lodge hostel Casas Viejas in Minca. And, it’s easy to understand why. There is everything you need to be happy. During their stay, guests sleep on excellent mattresses, eat delicious food and enjoy the astonishing view from their hammocks.

How to get to Casas Viejas Lodge hostel in Minca: Hike 2 hours from Minca, on the trail going to Pozo Azul | 20 000 COP / 25 min moto-taxi | 100 000 COP private jeep | You can ask the hostel to organize the transport

Pros and Cons (+)

The + + + | Casas Viejas Lodge hostel in Minca:

  • Social atmosphere – No Wifi
  • Good mattress
  • Memorable view
  • Fantastic private rooms
  • Delicious food
  • Hot water

The – – – | Casas Viejas Lodge hostel in Minca:

  • No Kitchen for the guests
  • No Breakfast included
Meal in Casas Viejas

11# $$$ – Sierra Alta Finca Boutique – Hidden gem

Hotel in Minca

You should consider going to Sierra Alta Finca Boutique if you want to disappear in the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta. The hotel is located 12 km away from Minca and will take care of everything for you. Food, activities, and transport.

How to get to Sierra Alta Finca Boutique: Ask them to book a private vehicle from Minca. 1-hour drive.

Pros and Cons (+)

The + + + | Sierra Alta Finca Boutique in Minca:

  • Delicious Food
  • Helpful staff
  • Great view
  • They can take care of everything for you – Extra cost

The – – – | Sierra Alta Finca Boutiquein Minca:

  • Far away from Minca
Sierra Alta Finca boutique

12# $$ – Finca Carpe Diem – Not in Minca!

Hostel in Minca

The Finca Carpe Diem is in Paso del Mango – like a tiny Minca – in the Sierra Nevada. Hostel located in the middle of nowhere, the staff organizes excursions to waterfalls, hikes, and other activities. There are a pool and friendly staff with some crazy cats. You can bring your food and cook or eat at the restaurant. There is a mosquito net for the beds but bring your repellent 🙂 | 20 000 COP each meal

Read our Paso del Mango travel guide

How to get to Finca Carpe Diem in Bonda: Take a bus from Santa Marta to Bonda 1 600 COP, then take a moto taxi to Carpe Diem 12 000 COP / 20 min | 120 000 COP private transport from Santa Marta

Pros and Cons (+)

The + + + | Finca Carpe Diem in Bonda:

  • Nature
  • Family vibe
  • Excellent Activities – Extra cost
  • Great view and sunsets
  • 3 Pools
  • Kitchen

The – – – | Finca Carpe Diem in Bonda:

  • It’s a bit complicated to get there
  • No breakfast included

So, would like to stay in Minca when traveling to Colombia?

Decide where and how to travel to Colombia

Where to travel after Minca

Where to stay? What to do? How to get there? Find easily the answers HERE

Get our FREE guidebook to decide where to travel to Colombia

Ebook to plan your trip

Why bother if we do it better?

Have fun while we do the hard job

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. It’s a nice gesture to thanks us for the many hours we put in Tomplanmytrip 🙂 

Minca – Santa Marta (2020): Buses, tips, and private tours

After several days doing nothing on the beach, I’m sure that you will love to spend some time up in the mountains. Let’s find out how can you organize the trip Minca – Santa Marta.

Santa Marta to Minca: What you must know

Where is Minca: Minca is on the Eastern Caribbean Coast, next to Santa Marta and Paso del Mango.

Why visit Minca: Add Minca to your Colombia itinerary if you want to enjoy some hiking between 2 beach towns.

How to get to Minca: Taxi from Santa Marta (35 min) or a bus at Calle 11 con Carrera 9′ in Santa Marta (45 min). Look for the sign Cootrasminca.

Where to stay in Minca: Beautiful hostels and ecolodges are scattered all around Minca. You will need a moto-taxi or a jeep to get there.

Best tour to visit Minca if you’re running after time: I recommend this one.

Best of Minca’s tips: There is no ATM and avoid going on the weekend and on a public holiday.

Discover our guide on Minca to access, in a few clicks, all the practical information to visit the Sierra Nevada.

Read our Minca Travel guide

Table of contents: Santa Marta to Minca

  1. How to get from Santa Marta to Minca
  2. How to get from Minca to Santa Marta
  3. Tours to Minca from Santa Marta
  4. Things to do in Santa Marta
  5. How to create a kick-ass itinerary?
  6. Lay back while we do the hard job

Minca – Santa Marta: What are your options?

Most of the nice accommodations are outside Minca. You will have to take a moto-taxi from Minca to get there – or walk. In both cases, it will be easier if you travel light.

Otherwise, you can deal with your ecolodge to be picked up at the airport or the bus terminal with a private jeep.

#1 Leaving from Santa Marta to Minca

Geographically speaking, Minca is situated in the mountains above Santa Marta. By the way, the combos sunset + green forest + the Caribbean Sea +  little buildings are just astonishing.

It’s a little town so don’t expect an airport or helicopter aircraft. The only way is to take the road, Jack.

Read our Santa Marta travel guide

During the day: From the main bus station in Santa Marta

You’re arriving in Santa Marta, and you think that you have to sleep there. WRONG! First, Santa Marta sucks. I’m sorry to say that, but it’s true. You can’t swim, there are many petty thieves at night, and there is not much to do.

However, the buses from the main station are not doing the trip Minca – Santa Marta.

You have to:

  • Take a taxi and get to Calle 12 / Calle 11 con Carrera 9 – It should cost around 5-6000 COP. Look for the sign Cootrasminca.
  • Then there are shared jeep leaving once they are full. The last vehicles go around 6-7 pm. It costs 8 000 COP and last 45 min

If you arrive late in Santa Marta

If you arrive in Santa Marta after 7 pm, you can find a moto-taxi at the main bus station. They will drive you to Minca for 15 – 20 000 COP with all your stuff | 30 min.

We did it once, without any problems. They gave us a helmet and drove slowly. I wouldn’t recommend it if you don’t have a backpack.

In Santa Marta, you can also find a taxi. It should be around 40 000 – 50 000 COP.

If you want a pleasant Santa Marta – Minca trip

As mentioned earlier, you can take a taxi from Santa Marta. There are tons of them in the city. It costs around 50 000 COP and takes 35 min.

Upscale accommodations offer a private shuttle service. They can pick you up in Santa Marta. It costs usually around 150 000 COP.

Minca Santa Marta Map
Santa Marta

Premium travel service: Lay back while we do the hard job

#2 Leaving from Minca to Santa Marta

You have to walk back at Minca’s entrance, just before the bridge. There is a little office where you can buy your jeep ticket. They leave when the jeep is full, but you shouldn’t wait too much – Maybe 30 min.

If your next destination is Tayrona or Palomino, you can ask the driver to stop you at La Bomba – It’s a gas station where buses are stopping by.

Price and cost: 8 000 COP / 45 Min

Minca Santa Marta Map
Minca

Why traveling to Minca from Santa Marta

To be fair, Minca is not a lovely colonial town. And I wouldn’t recommend you to get there if you’re in a rush. But if you’re looking for some days to rest, Minca will be a perfect option.

There are great hostels all around – I fall in love with Casa Loma – and you will quickly feel at home. Birds wake you up every morning. Then you can savor a strong coffee with delicious scrambled eggs mixed with small onions and tomatoes. And In front of you, there is a spectacular view of the valley and the outskirts of Santa Marta.

Meal Casa Loma hostel MInca
Breakfast in Casa Loma

Once your belly filled, you go downtown to check if the bakery is open and buy a french bread for lunch <3. After that, you’re ready to start thinking about the schedule for the day – Waterfalls, birdwatching, an organic coffee farm, hikes.

Things to do in Minca

Travelers fall in love with Minca because they’re happy to take a day off from the beach, or because they stay in a stunning hotel surrounded by nature.

#1 Activity with a departure from Santa Marta

Avoid going to Minca on the weekend. There are tons of tourists.

Explore Minca in 1 day: If you’re in a hurry and want to get a please glimpse of Minca (waterfalls, cacao tour and coffee tour), then I recommend this tour.

Visit the famous La Victoria Coffee farm: La Victoria produces coffee since 1892. They use a bunch of old English engineering and gravity to semi-automize the process. These guys pick you up from the airport!

Explore Minca on an E-bike! : Let the electric bike do the hard job and enjoy a stunning tour to waterfalls and coffee farms. You still need to be in good shape. You will love this tour.

#2 Activities once you’re in Minca

Depending on where you are, you will be far from some of Minca’s highlights. If it’s the case, just take a moto-taxi.

  • Swim in cold rivers: The most famous waterfalls are Marinka, Pozo Azul, and Oido del Mundo. These guys offer a cool rappelling experience.
  • Visit a coffee farm: La Victoria is an old coffee farm that produces coffee since 1892. They offer tours for 3-4 $, but you need to get there on your own.
  • Visit the Minca Museum: Learn about the Sierra Nevada’s bloody past. More information here.
  • Plan a hike around Minca: Hike to Los Pinos, Paso del Mango, or plan a 2-day trek to Cerro Kennedy. It can be done without a local guide.
  • Become a cacao expert: Head to la Candelaria. It’s a bed and breakfast too!
  • We wrote a practical Minca travel guide with tons of information.
  • Find out how to visit Paso Del Mango

Decide where and how to travel to Colombia

Where to travel after Minca

Where to stay? What to do? How to get there? Find easily the answers HERE

Get our FREE guidebook to decide where to travel to Colombia

Ebook to plan your trip

Why bother if we do it better?

Have fun while we do the hard job

Affiliation and Pinterest (+)

Keep me for Later

A lush Valley and signs above Minca and Santa Marta

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. It’s a nice gesture to thanks us for the many hours we put in Tomplanmytrip 🙂 
Santa MARTA Minca

Pozo Azul in Minca: A Step by Step guide

I love Minca in Colombia. It’s a good break after many beach sessions, red faces burnt from the sun, and sweet cocktails. Trees and birds are dancing around you – I guess they dance even better if you’re high or drunk – and you can explore Pozo Azul in Minca!

Yes, you will swim in freshwater again! Say goodbye to your old salty cracked skin.

I’ve been there three times. And every time, I don’t remember how to get there. Fortunately, Jay from Casa Loma – I love this hostel – is always here to help me.

And today, I’m your “Jay”!

Let’s find out step by step how to get to Pozo Azul in Minca 

Must read: Our travel guide to visit Minca

Pozo Azul Minca
Pozo Azul Minca 1rst Basin

Credit: @revive.travel

How To Get To Pozo Azul in Minca

Ok, let’s say the church is the center. Ok?

With the church in your back, go down the street 20m. You should have a bar in front of you, some moto-taxi on your right and a bridge on your left.

Map Minca in the Direction of Pozo Azul Minca
Map center of Minca

Now, there are two solutions to get to Pozo Azul.

Option 1 – A Moto taxi to get to Pozo Azul in Minca

You can ask one of the many boys on your right. Some of them seem to have 15 years old, but they probably drive since they are 11 years old. Don’t worry, the journey will be smooth, and those little guys know what they do.

Time: 10 min

Price: Around 10 000 COP

Option 2: Use your legs to get to Pozo Azul in Minca

Awesome, you’re motivated to climb mountains and kill bears with your bare hands to walk a little. The path is not hard, a little steep and easy to follow.

Ok, it’s not a very exciting trail either, I don’t want to lie to you. But on both sides, leafy trees offer partial shade, and you will breathe some fresh air.

During 30 min, follow the path until you notice the sign Pozo Azul Minca and turn left. You should pass in front of a restaurant. Walk 10 min more and turn right once you arrive at the hotel Pozo Azul Minca.

Time: 40 – 45 min

What To Do In Pozo Azul Near Minca

There are two pools in Pozo Azul in Minca, and you will just have to “climb” a little to get access to the next one. Around the two basins, there are not many spaces to lay down and take a sunbath.

But, the 2nd pool is deep enough so you can jump from the rocks above (3-4m). 

Pozo Azul minca
Pozo Azul minca – 2nd Basin

Credit: @Globetrottergirls

I don’t know you, but I love to walk up the rivers and look for secret spots with nobody around. Fortunately, it’s the case with the Pozo Azul. After the 2nd pool, continue to explore. It takes 10 min to arrive at the end of this “secret” path. You will discover one last basin.

Pozo Azul Minca
Behind the 2nd basin

Credit: @hastaluego.travel

Things To Know About Pozo Azul in Minca

You imagine arriving in fantastic natural swimming pools only for yourself but *BIM*, There are already 20 Colombians. Why? It’s a Sunday or a Public Holiday.

Tip 1: If you can, avoid the weekends and public holidays. Also, none of them is going further than the 2nd pool. So walk a little if you want to be alone

At home, you live in a big city. And last week, you saw your first cow. Therefore, you’re not tempted to walk barefoot in nature with potential weird insects.

Tip 2: Walk to Pozo Azul with your trainers instead of your flip-flop. Slippery rocks are not your friends. 

On your way back, your belly is grumbling to you *Grrrr EaggrT*.

Tip 3: You can stop at la Camarita – 20 min away from Minca. It’s a rotisserie, and they used to give some weeds to the clients for dessert.

Pozo Azul in Minca
My best profile – Behind the 2nd pool

My 2 cents about Pozo Azul in Minca

Pozo Azul in Minca is a fun half-day activity, and you should definitively wander after the 2nd pool. The path is simple to follow, and there are some restaurants on the way. However, don’t except a crystalline blue and warm water 😉

Where to travel after Minca

Where to stay? What to do? How to get there? Find easily the answers HERE

Get our FREE guidebook to decide where to travel to Colombia

Ebook to plan your trip

Why bother if we do it better?

Have fun while we do the hard job

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. It’s a nice gesture to thanks us for the many hours we put in Tomplanmytrip 🙂 
Pozo Azul Activity Minca

Minca Colombia’s best secrets: A travel guide to the Sierra Nevada (2020)


At first sight, Minca is not appealing. A couple of dirt roads lead to a church on the main square and moto-taxis are everywhere. It’s loud and hot. You don’t know where to go or what to do.

Fortunately, you will be ready to find the Minca’s hidden gems thanks to this travel guide.

Minca, Colombia: What you must know

Where is Minca: Minca is on the Eastern Caribbean Coast, next to Santa Marta and Paso del Mango.

Why visit Minca: Add Minca to your Colombia itinerary if you want to enjoy some hiking between 2 beach towns.

How to get to Minca: Taxi from Santa Marta (35 min) or a bus at Calle 11 con Carrera 9′ in Santa Marta (45 min).

Things to do in Minca: Minca is in the Sierra Nevada. The city is famous for birdwatching and beautiful ecolodges. There are various half-day trips to waterfalls you can do on your own.

Where to stay in Minca: Beautiful hostels and ecolodges are scattered all around Minca. You will need a moto-taxi or a jeep to get there.

  • Casa Loma: if you are looking for an affordable and very nice hostel close to the center | See prices
  • Casas Viejas: for a charming top-of-the-range hostel surrounded by nature| See prices
  • Reserva Natural Tierra Adentro: for a top-of-the-range hotel in the middle of the Sierra Nevada | See prices
  • Sierra Alta Finca Boutique: if you’re on your honeymoon trip you’ll love it | See prices

Safety in Minca: Minca is 100% safe.

Weather in Minca: The rainiest months are from September to Mid-November.

My favorite restaurant in Minca: Lazy Cat to eat delicious burgers.

My favorite bar in Minca: Donde Raul (Next to Lazy Cat).

Best tour to visit Minca if you’re running after time: I recommend this one.

Best tour in the Sierra Nevada: If you want an amazing in-depth jungle experience, then I recommend this tour.

Best of Minca’s tips: There is no ATM and avoid going on the weekend and on a public holiday.

Discover our guide on Minca to access, in a few clicks, all the practical information to explore the Sierra Nevada.

Read our Minca Travel guide

Where to travel after Minca, Colombia

Where to stay? What to do? How to get there? Find easily the answers HERE

Get our FREE guidebook to decide where to travel to Colombia

Table of contents: Minca, Colombia

  1. How to get to Minca
  2. Where to stay in Minca 
  3. Things to do in Minca
  4. Bird watching in Minca
  5. Where to eat in Minca
  6. Best time to visit Minca
  7. How long you stay in Minca
  8. What about coffee
  9. Where can you go after Minca
  10. Conclusion 
  11. Let’s create your Colombia Itinerary
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How To Get To Minca, Colombia

There are 3 options to get to Minca from Santa Marta.  

Coming from Cartagena, the bus will drop you at the main terminal outside of Santa Marta.

Then, you will have to take a cab to Minca or to Calle 11 con Carrera 9 to get a shared taxi.

Take a cab #Fastest (+)

It’s not too far from Santa Marta.

Price: 40 000 COP / 35 min

Take a shared jeep #Cheapest (+)

From Santa Marta, you can take a jeep in La Estacion de Minca’ at ‘Calle 11 con Carrera 9’ near Supermercado Olimpica. They leave when the vehicle is full.

The bus company is called Cootransminca.

Price: 8000 COP / 45 min

Take a Moto-taxi (+)

If you arrive in Santa Marta by bus after 7-8 pm, you will have to take a moto-taxi or a cab to avoid sleeping in Santa Marta.

Price: 15 – 20 000 COP/ 25 min

Casa loma Minca
Casa Loma

Where to stay in Minca, Colombia

Are you looking for something specific? An activity or a place to rest? How far are the hostels? How to get to the different hotels in Minca?

The choice of your accommodation will be very important in Minca, as many of them are far from town.

Sierra Alta Finca Boutique
Sierra Alta Finca Boutique

#1 Our list of favorite hostels and hotels in Minca, Colombia

Please note that most of these hotels are not in Minca.

I wrote below a short description of each place and how far they are from the center. More details here.

Our list of the best accommodations in Minca (+)

Coco Bomgo Hostel is a cheap option and perfect option for backpackers traveling on a shoestring budget | In the center of Minca | Best Prices

Casa Loma is a family hostel that serves great vegetarian meals and cocktails for sunset | 5 min walk from Minca | Best Prices

Sweet harmony is an upscale hotel surrounded by nature but still close from Minca | 15 min walk from Minca | Best Prices

Minca Relax is another economical option for backpackers who want to wake up with birds and river sounds | 15 min walk from minca | Best Prices

Minca Ecohabs are luxury cabins located before the entrance of the town | 15 min walk from Minca | Best Prices

Minca Glamping is a romantic hotel with private bungalows | 20 min walk from Minca | Best Prices

Finca San Rafael is a coffee and cacao farm that offers tours and sleeping options | 45 min walk from Minca | Best Prices

El Paraiso de Tuki belong to the famous Candelaria, a coffee and cacao farm | 1-hour walk from Minca | Best Prices

Mundo Nuevo is a permaculture eco-lodge with a fantastic view of the Sierra Nevada | 1-hour walk from Minca | Best Prices

Casas Viejas is a piece of paradise surrounded by beautiful vegetation and wildlife | 2 hours walk from Minca | Best Prices

Sierra Alta Finca Boutique is a luxury option for travelers who want to escape the real world | 1 hour by car from Minca | Best Prices

Carpe Diem is not even in Minca but this Finca is a fantastic place for travelers who think that Minca is touristic already | Near Bonda | Best Prices

# 2 Tips to decide where to stay in Minca, Colombia

For the hotels and hostels which are not in Minca, you can organize with them private transport. There are also moto-taxi who can take you up to different places. This service stops after 6 pm.

Also, the wifi is bad in Minca. Don’t hope to work on the internet if you’re a digital nomad.

Regarding the bug haters, they will have to take on themselves. Minca is surrounded by nature and bugs love lights. However, don’t forget your repellent for the sandflies – I hate hate hate them.

If you decide to pick a place up into the mountains, take a jumper. Nights are fresh.

Things To Do in Minca, Colombia

The Sierra Nevada is an excellent opportunity to plan short or long hikes and do birdwatching.

#1 Las Cascadas de Marinka, Minca

Las Cascadas de Marinka is composed of two waterfalls and one natural pool where you can swim. Lush vegetation surrounds the place and a restaurant overlooks the spot. They serve a basic but good Menu del Dia and cold beers 😉

Chances are that it will be crowded during the weekends. Try to get there early.

More info about Marinka (+)

Price: Approx 2$ for the entrance

Time: 1-hour walk from town or 15 min by Moto Taxi | 10 – 15 000 COP

How to get to the Marinka Waterfalls: The Moto-taxis wait at the intersection between the road Santa Marta – Minca and the road leading to the church. However, walking is a better option as it’s not that far. Follow the Cerro Kenedy road – the one leading to the church from the main road – until you see the signs.

Don’t forget to buy your bread at La Minga before!

Cascadas In Minca Activity
Las Cascadas

Get some fun: Book this rappelling experience in Minca

#2 Pozo Azul, natural pools in Minca

Pozo Azul is the main activity to do in Minca, Colombia.

Every weekend, many Colombians rush from Santa Marta to swim is these 2 cold natural pools. The surroundings are lovely but I consider it’s a bit over ranked as the experience will be spoiled if it’s crowded.

However, there are 2 things you could do to avoid swimming into a sea of armpits and legs.

  • Arrive early if you’re on a weekend or on a public holiday.
  • Most of the people stop at the 2nd pool. But it’s not the end of the adventure. Climb the rock on your left to continue toward another pool located 15 min away. Nobody goes there!

More info about Pozo Azul (+)

Price: Free

Time: 40 min walk from Minca

How to get to Pozo Azul: Moto-taxi from the center or walk in the direction of La Victoria – The same road coming from Santa Marta. The Pozos Azules will be on your left (there is a sign).

Pozo Azul in Minca
Pozo Azul in Minca

#3 Las Piedras, a river next to Minca

It’s the closest river spot from the city. Take your swimming shorts and relax on the rocks.

Price: Free

Time: 5-10 min walking from the center

#4 Hiking to Los Pinos and enjoy the view 

Hike to Los Pinos to get an astonishing view of the Sierra Nevada, Santa Marta, and the Caribbean Sea. Besides, if you are lucky, you will see the snowy peaks of the highest mountains in Colombia.

View-Los-Pinos
View from Los Pinos

Hiking options to Los Pinos (+)

Option 1 Hike to Los Pinos: On foot, from Minca. It’s a loop so you won’t pass twice by the same path. But, it’s not very interesting as you follow a dirt road.

Option 2 Hike to Los Pinos: Take a moto-taxi from Minca to El Campano then continue in the direction of Los Pinos. In doing so, you save 3-4 hours.

With Option 1, you can stop at Pozo Azul and la Victoria coffee farm.

During this expedition, stop at the following places:

  • Casa Elemento
  • Las Cascadas de Marinka.

Prices:

  • Motorbike to El Campano: 20 000 COP
  • Casa Elemento: 10 000 COP for the entrance
  • Cascadas: 4 000 COP

Time:

  • 5-7 hours if you walk to Los Pinos from Casa Loma and come back
  • 6-8 hours if you take the motorbike till El Campano then stop at El Pino, Casa Elemento, and Las Cascadas
  • More than 10 hours if you decide to walk and stop at all the activities on the way

Tip: Take water, hat, rain jacket, etc…

#5 The giant hammocks in Casa Elemento, Minca

Legend says the biggest hammock is in Casa Elemento hostel. It’s above the edge, with an astounding view of the valley, particularly for the sunset.

While I don’t recommend sleeping there – It’s not what it used to be (new owner) -, it’s still a cool spot to hang out on your way back from Los Pinos.

More info Casa Elemento (+)

Prices:

  • Entrance for the visitors: 10 000 COP – 1 beverage included
  • Moto-taxi one way: 30 000 COP

Time:

  • 3 hours walk from Minca Or 30 min by moto-taxi
  • 1 hour from Los Pinos

#7 Coffee tour in Minca – La Victoria

Coffee farm in Minca
The coffee farm in Minca

If you want to visit a coffee farm still working with original machines, then you have to stop at La Victoria!

You don’t need to book a tour. Go by yourself, and they will find someone to show you the propriety.

Besides, don’t forget to taste their tasty local beers and the food!

It’s 60 min after Pozo Azul, uphill. It’s on the left side of the road.

More infor about La victoria (+)

Prices: 

  • Tour in the coffee farm: 10 000 COP
  • Moto-taxi: 8000 COP – 1 way

Time:

  • 1.5 hours walking up or 50 min walking down
  • 20 min in Moto Taxi
  • Duration of the tour: 1.5 h

Get some fun: Include la Victoria in an E-biking experience

#8 A 2-day hike in the Sierra Nevada

Cerro Kenedy is the best 2-day hike you can do from Minca without a guide.  The trail starts from the town, and you have to walk 8-10 hours to arrive at the top.

The excursion through the rainforest is impressive and you will be able to admire many birds and waterfalls along the way.

But there is an even better reward. 

The view of the Sierra Nevada from Cerro Kennedy is astounding, and I advise you to wake up early to admire an unforgettable sunrise.

We recommend: Go on a trip with these guys

Sunrise Cerro Kennedy Minca, Colombia
Sunrise from Cerro Kennedy

More info about Cerro Kennedy

Price:

  • Night in the hostel El Ramo | 100 000 COP with 3 meals
  • Moto taxi: 30 000 COP to the “Y”

Time:

  • Two days hiking or 2h30 by Moto taxi (1 way)

More information:

Take a moto-taxi till the Y intersection then hike 4 hours till reaching the hostel El Ramo. Wake up the next morning at 4 am and hike the last 2 hours to reach the military base at sunrise. Then, walk down to Minca.

Note that Cerro Kennedy is at an altitude of 2 800m. Take warm clothes for the night.

#9 Chocolate tour at la Candelaria, Minca

One day, I read in an article that you could have an orgasm if you eat a huge quantity of chocolate. While I don’t know the veracity of it, I think it resumes well my love for the chocolate.

Yes, chocolate is great.

La Candelaria is a family-run coffee and cacao farm and they are proud of their heritage. Learn with them how do they make chocolate.

Besides, they own a bed and breakfast (see the accommodation section).

More information La Candelaria (+)

Price and Duration: 1 hour / 10 000 COP

How to get to la Candelaria: Be ready to walk 1h on a steep path or take a moto-taxi for 15 000 COP. Then, you still have to walk 15 min on a dirt road.

#10 The best spots to observe sunsets and sunrises in Minca

Nestled among mountains with a memorable view of the Sierra Nevada and the Caribbean Sea, the town of Minca has got all the conditions for sunset parties.

The best Sunset spots (+)

  • Casa Loma. You don’t have to sleep there as it’s only 10 min away from town.
  • Mundo Nuevo, Casas Viejas, and Casa Elemento also offer a great show for sunset. But they’re far from town. You will have to sleep there.
  • The hike to Los Pinos
  • The Hike to Cerro Kennedy – Sunrise.

#11 Hike From Minca to Paso del Mango

At the present time, Minca is becoming trendy in Colombia, especially among the backpacker community.

Organize a hike to Paso del Mango to spend a couple of nights in Carpe Diem is a great idea to escape the crowd.

Let your backpack in Minca, buy all the food, bread and water you need and walk in the direction of La Candelaria and Mundo Nuevo. There were multiple signs along the road, but the trail worsens year after year. Download the App Wikiloc or Maps.me, just in case.

Duration: 5 hours

More information: Finca Carpe Diem

Read our Paso del Mango travel guide

Birding in the Sierra Nevada: The Lorenzo reserve

There are 1900 species of birds in Colombia. It’s 20% of the total number of species on the planet! Pretty impressive numbers, don’t you think?

The Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta is one of the best places to observe them in Colombia. More than 635 species have been recorded in this small area (only 1.5% of the area of Colombia).

The odds to observe birds are higher early in the morning or late in the afternoons. Don’t forget your binoculars!

There are different options to watch these incredible birds in Minca, Colombia:

  • You can decide to walk a full day around Minca
  • You can sleep directly in the Reserve, in El Dorado
  • You can go to the ridge of San Lorenzo. It’s easier to start from Casa Elemento

Birdwatching in Minca (+)

Jungle Joe is a great option. He knows a lot about nature, and you can be sure to see a lot of animals with him. He also offers other activities in Minca. Binoculars are included.

Price: 40 000 COP / pers

Time: 3 hours

More information

Birdwatching at El Dorado (+)

El Dorado Reserve is an excellent option for bird lovers. The Eco-lodge is well equipped, the staff friendly, and the food delicious. Moreover, the view is astounding and birds offer a continuous show.

Price:

  • From 180$ for a private room (3 person max) with the entrance of the park and the 3 meals included!
  • Transport to get to El Dorado from Minca: 80$ – one way
  • Transport to get to El Dorado from Barranquilla: 280$ – one way
  • Transport to get to El Dorado from Cartagena: 350$ – one way

Time: I advise you to stay for at least two nights

Contact: Booking now

Map Of The Activities in Minca, Colombia

Map of the activities in Minca, Colombia
Map of the activities in Minca, Colombia

Where To Eat In Minca, Colombia

Most of the hostels I recommend in Minca serve delicious meals (Casa Loma, Casa Elemento, etc.). However, you can decide to save money by eating in town. All these restaurants are near the center of Minca.

Minga, The bakery (+)

There are two amazing bakeries where you can buy bread and hummus. Sometimes, the simple things are the best. Don’t forget to try their chocolate bread!!!

Price: Around 6 500 for the bread + Hummus

Santisebella, italian food (+)

Tasty Italian food: Pizza, Pasta. They sell local beers, cocktails and wonderful fruit juices!

Price: From 10 000 to 23 000 COP

Lazy Cat, burgers (+)

Fantastic homemade hamburgers, quesadillas, and mojitos. Don’t try the Wok; you risk to become a food addict.

Price: From 12 000 COP

Casa Cristy, burgers (+)

Good hamburgers and meat. Higher standing.

Price: From 15 000 COP for the burger and 30 000 COP for the meat.

Burukake, bohemian restaurant (+)

Burukake is a cool bohemian restaurant with a view on the river. Cocktails and tasty meals. The kitchen is open and the meat perfectly cooked. You won’t be disappointed

Prices: From 25 000 to 40 000 COP

Best Time To Visit Minca, Colombia

The raining season in Colombia is not an Omg-I-Need-Gills-To-Breath season. There are however months where it rains more than others, especially in the afternoons.

  • Mid-December to April: Dry season – It’s the perfect time to visit Minca
  • May and June: It’s humid, and it rains frequently in the afternoons
  • July and August: Dry months in the raining season. It alternates between rain and the sun
  • September to November: You are becoming an Octopus. It’s great because you have eight arms, but you’re living in the water. Usually, It’s still sunny in the morning.

 

Also, as Minca is becoming more and more touristic, I advise you to avoid weekends and public holidays.

  • Mid-December to Mid-January: High Touristic season
  • Holly Week “Semana Santa”: Don’t go there
  • July and August: High Touristic Season
  • March to May: Low touristic season

How many days in Minca, Colombia

Do you travel to Colombia faster than Flash Gordon? In that case, You should avoid Minca.

There is no famous highlight there. It would be silly to organize a day trip from Santa Marta – Except if you’re interested in bird watching.

Travelers like to stay in Minca because they love the vibe present in the different accommodations. They rest and eat healthily before exploring slowly the surroundings.

I recommend you to pick your hotel or hostel in Minca carefully, to get the best experience possible.

Example of a Minca itinerary (+)

————————DAY+1————————–

Morning: Arrival from Santa Marta

Afternoon: Rest in Casa Loma, Expedition in Minca, the fantastic combo Hummus/bread, and Las Piedras

————————DAY+2————————–

Morning: Departure for the Big Expedition! Los Pinos, Giant Hammock, Las Cascadas de Marinka

End of the afternoon: You need some rest, mark your territory in a hammock of Casa Loma

Evening: Restaurant in Town

————————DAY+3————————–

Morning: Departure to Pozo Azul

Lunch: On the way back, you eat at the grill restaurant Asedero Camarita

Afternoon: If you’ve stopped at la Camarita, you should be high by now. You fought with a pillow in Casa Loma to recuperate your hammock from a German hippie

————————DAY+4————————–

Last night, you’ve decided to leave the following day. Unfortunately, you became a friend of the German dude. You decide to stay one more day in Casa Loma

————————DAY+5————————–

You’re going to Tayrona Park with Helmut. You know you’re taking a risk because you will have to fight each night for your hammock. Whatever, it’s a cool dude.

Stay at least 2 nights in Minca – And arrive in the morning.

In case you want to hike to Cerro Kennedy or Paso del Mango, you will have to add more days at your itinerary.

  • At least 1 extra night for Cerro Kennedy
  • At least 2 extra nights for Paso del Mango – Stay in Carpe Diem.

What about Coffee

#1 Coffee Plantation in Minca

Minca will be your best chance to drink an organic Coffee made by indigenous tribes of Kogi and Arhuaco. They use traditional machines and try to produce quality coffee in harmony with nature (Natural Energy, sustainable farming network).

Micky and Claudia are the owners of La Victoria Farm. They are doing their best to produce organic coffee, and you can visit their farm for a small fee – 10 000 COP / 1h.

Meal Casa Loma hostel MInca
Breakfast in Casa Loma

#2 Zona Cafetera

After a major coffee crisis, a lot of small coffee producers appeared in the department of Antioquia and around. Although coffee beans are cultivated in many departments of Colombia, there is one area who attracts most of the tourists. It’s called the “Zona Cafetera”, between Pereira, Manizales, and Armenia.

Within the Zona Cafetera, there are many Finca you can visit to learn more about coffee. Salento is the most popular town in this region, and the ambiance is a lot different from Minca. Within the colonial town of Salento, travelers wander between old buildings painted with strong colors – blue, green, yellow – and Colombian farmers with their Cowboy hat.

Colonial House in the Zona Cafetera - Salento
A colonial house in Salento

Cultural note: The Character Juan Valdez “is born” in the advertisements for the National Federation of Coffee Growers.

Where To Travel After Minca

My two cents about visiting Minca, Colombia

It’s a great stop if you want to merge with nature, chill and enjoy a home feeling. You can learn about organic coffee, plan easy 1-day treks or multi-day hikes, and swim in cold waterfalls.

Walk away from beaches and come here to realize you don’t have to be super active to be happy while traveling.

Views from los pinos Minca
Direction Los Pinos!

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Minca Colombia Casa Loma Casa Elemento
Information Minca Casa Loma cOLOMBIA

Did you notice any further information while you were there? PLEASE, let us know in the comment section. Thus, we can update this post for the next fellow travelers!

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