The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is an impressive mountain range that joins the Caribbean Sea. The “Pico Colon” rises up to 5700 m above sea level. It is the highest peak in Colombia!

If you are planning to add a Sierra Nevada getaway to your Colombian itinerary, you will be able to, among other things:

  • Hike through lush vegetation and still see the sea.
  • Visit coffee or cocoa fincas
  • Discover the Aboriginal communities that live there
  • Bird-watching! This is one of the best areas for birdwatchers.

Minca is the easiest village to get to and the most touristy to come and spend some time in these enchanting mountains on the Caribbean Coast. The atmosphere is pleasant, and the accommodation possibilities are numerous. The options outside the village will allow you to enjoy the rich natural environment of the Sierra Nevada fully.

Due to its success, some of Minca’s points of interest (Pozo Azul & Marinka) are invaded by tourists. Chances are that you will not be alone in such places.

Luckily, we know at least 2 or 3 lesser-known places and have some tips to help you avoid the crowds.

Articles about Minca you must read before coming:


Getting to Minca? (+)

You must first arrive in Santa Marta.

From Santa Marta to Minca:

Where's the terminal?

In Minca, there is no bus terminal as such.  Minibuses/shuttle buses/jeeps next to the “Super Mercado Minca Express” on the main road when you arrive from Santa Marta.

Table of Contents

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Where to stay in Minca

As I said earlier, visitors love Minca because of the hotels scattered in the Sierra Nevada. Depending on your plans & tastes, you must decide if you wish to stay near the town or not. Be aware that some of them are based 1-2 hours away on foot and you will need a moto-taxi or a private car to get there. Don't worry, all our selection of accommodations serve excellent meals, with vegetarian options.

  • Coco Bomgo

    In the center - $$

    Coco Bomgo

    Clean and affordable hostel in the center of Minca. Lovely staff and spacious rooms
    Get the best price
  • Casa Loma

    10 min walk - $$

    Casa Loma

    Lovely hostel with a great view. They serve delicious food. 200 steep stairs to get there.
    Get the best price
  • Minca EcoHabs

    15 min walk - $$

    Minca EcoHabs

    Fantastic wood cabins with a lovely view of the Sierra Nevada. Delicious breakfast.
    Get the best price
  • Minca Glamping

    25 min walk - $$

    Minca Glamping

    A romantic place surrounded by nature. Lovely owners and great food.
    Get the best price
  • Mundo Nuevo

    30 Min moto-taxi - $$

    Mundo Nuevo

    A beautiful place, isolated from everyone. Delicious food. Eco-farm. Permaculture experience.
    Get the best price
  • Casas Viejas

    30 Min moto-taxi - $$

    Casas Viejas

    Fantastic place, surrounded by birds. On the way to Cerro Kennedy. Delicious meals.
    Get the best price

Luxury stay in Minca

Minca is becoming a famous destination in Colombia. As I said, the town isn't appealing, and you should not hesitate to travel more profoundly in the Sierra Nevada to get a better experience. Pick one of the following upscale hotels and enjoy!

  • Tierra Adentro

    20 min moto-taxi - $$$

    Tierra Adentro

    A mind-blowing hotel surrounded by lush vegetation. Delicious food and top-notch hospitality. Perfect for embracing nature.
    Get the best price
  • Sierra Alta

    1-h by jeep - $$$

    Sierra Alta

    A luxury option for travelers who want to escape the real world. The food is fantastic, and the owners are super friendly.
    Get the best price

Things to do in Minca

There are many trails that tourists don't think to take when exploring Minca. Don't hesitate to download and follow the different trails. You won't need a guide for most of the activities. Also, don't hesitate to use the moto-taxis if you decide to stick on the main road. Because of the weather, I advise you to plan your activities early in the morning. By doing so, you will avoid rains or hot-hell afternoons.

  • Guided tour

    6 - 7 hours | $$

    Guided tour

    Book a tour to learn about Minca and its surroundings. Visit a coffee and cacao farm! Tour in English.
    Learn more
  • Pozo Azul

    4 hours | Free

    Pozo Azul

    Well-known natural pools. Arrive early in the morning and avoid the weekends. 1h30 walk to get there.
    Learn more
  • Marinka

    4 hours | $$


    Well-known place, easy of access. 2 waterfalls where you can swim. Avoid weekends. Rappelling experience.
    Get the best price
  • Oido del Mundo

    2 hours | Free

    Oido del Mundo

    Secret and little waterfall located on the way to Marinka. Use to get there.
    Google map
  • Cacao & Coffee

    3 hours | $

    Cacao & Coffee

    Get quick insights about Cacao & Coffee in La Candelaria. Tours every day. 1 H. Head to Pozo Azul after that.
  • Birdwatching

    3 hours | $


    Wake up early and follow Joe and his team to observe beautiful birds. Excellent equipment.
    Learn more
  • Minca Museum

    2 hours | $

    Minca Museum

    Learn about Minca and its bloody past. Free entrance but you can pay for a guide to get English explanations.
    Get the best price
  • La Victoria

    3 hours | $

    La Victoria

    A coffee farm using 127 years old machines. You won't learn a lot about coffee but it's interesting.
    Learn more
  • Casa Elemento

    2 - 3 hours | $

    Casa Elemento

    The hostel has a bad reputation but the view from the hammocks is perfect for a cool pic.
    Learn more
  • Los Pinos

    7 - 9 hours | $

    Los Pinos

    Loop to explore the different highlights of Minca. Start early and take a moto-taxi to Pozo Azul.
    Learn more
  • Paso del Mango

    2 - 3 days

    Paso del Mango

    There is an unknown path to reach Paso del Mango. Use and leave early. 6 hours hike. Read our travel guide!
  • Cerro Kennedy

    2 days | $$$

    Cerro Kennedy

    2-day hike to admire the sunrise on the snow peaks from a military base. You can do it alone or with a guide.
    Get the best price
  • E-biking

    7- 8 hours | $$$


    Grab an electronic bike in Santa Marta and follow your guide to waterfalls and a coffee farm.
    Get the best price
  • Lost city tour

    4 days | $$$

    Lost city tour

    The departure is from Santa Marta. 4-day hike through the jungle to reach an abandoned city.
    Learn more

Our articles about Minca

We spent 2 weeks in Minca and wrote about our travel experiences.

Where to eat & drink?

For us, good restaurants and exciting nightlife are important when traveling. We gathered our favorite picks on an interactive Map. Download the APP "Mapstr" and look for "Colombia Insider"!

More places on the East Coast

Find out all our other favorite places on the Eastern Caribbean Coast

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