Minca is a lovely green village in the moisture and on the height of 600 meters and 1500 meter she has a perfect climate and peaceful atmosphere and is just a half-hour away from Santa Marta. The villages are tropical, but because of their altitude, the rivers, and the Forrest, it cools down at night. The town of Minca has become hugely popular with travelers.
There are fantastic 360 grades of views possible over the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and incredible sunsets with Santa Marta in the distance. Try to take a picture of one of the more than 600 species of birds from which 25 are endemic; they can only found in the Sierra Nevada. The biodiversity is impressive, and we discover ancient indigenous ruins, roads, paths, and beautiful waterfalls and pools. These are ideal places for relaxation, meditation, and outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking, canyoning, or mule riding through these lush paradises, cacao farms, and lovely hostels and people; it’s a dream backpacker town.
Drink a tasty coffee or chocolate at a Finca nearby and live in the moment.
Best things to do in Minca
Minca has become very popular – 1000 habitants versus 500 beds for guests, especially for alternative backpackers. If you like, you can work as a volunteer at an organic coffee and cocoa farms. There are so many lovely stays around; you can sleep in a treehouse or relax the day in a hammock.
Minca is a haunt for the modern nomad where sustainability and connection to nature are leading. Minca puts forth a renewed emphasis on sustainability and eco-tourism. This adventure and exploration spirit encapsulates the Minca retreat’s essence for modern travelers who act, travel, and discover consciously.
Paso del Mango is still a traditional, quiet village in the middle of the forest without and cars and less tourism. It fully merits its name because of the abundant mango trees.
While I was briefing this blog with my friendly and always helpful guide, Luis, he says he knew some situations whereby mistake tourists thought they were going to Minca and then ended up in a hostel in Paso del Mango. But this is totally on the other side of the mountain (!)
In the past, yes, there was a road-going straight from Paso del Mango to Minca, but now this road is closed unless you want to use a machete.
In some tourist guides, they write Minca ánd Paso del Mango in one sentence, and then people take a hostel in Paso del Mango thinking they are close to Minca, but that is a huge difference. So if they aspect to be staying in Minca, but first have to go back and then take a one-hour-long trip back to Santa Marta and then going back up to the mountain again to their hostel, I can imagine you will not be happy if you only have the perspective and few days planned to chill and undertake in Minca.
Some hostels are not bothered that clients end up in ‘Bonda’ or ‘Paso del Mango,’ but you have to pay more money for the bus or the motorbike to visit Minca.
And another aspect that travelers can surprise is that the advertisements and leaflets’ prices are not always correct. They can change, always ask before going to the hostels what are the exact fees for which stay in which accommodation. Because sometimes, the prices can vary ‘dynamically’ depending on the month and the peak of the month and available. So ask upfront for a confirmation by email about the price. This is not my experience, but my guide gave me this information, and I thought I share his knowledge to make your travel more convenient.
How to get in Minca?
In Santa Marta at Calle twelve # era nine on the opposite of the Marketplace you can take a shared transport, that takes 45 minutes for 8 – 12 persons, go private, and take a taxi for 70.000 pesos from Santa Marta. From the airport, it will be around 40.000. With the regular bus from the market, it will be 8.000 pesos. If you are backpacking, it is better to buy things like repellent and food and snacks in Santa Marta because it will be cheaper in the supermarket.
Highlights of Minca and best things to do in Minca
Waterfalls Marinca, splash and shower is one hour hike, a great melting pot of water channels streaming down from the Sierra Nevada mountains. The second pool is 10 minutes further up. These are the touristic points, later on, I will give you some nontouristic points. Still, then for the real experience, you will have to provide your energy to make and to explore these locations, you have to hike and climb and be fit, but in the end, It will give you the highest reward.
Minca Los Pinos trek: is a hike for 5-7hours, passing Marinca waterfalls and a cloud forest: have a spectacular mountain view as a reward. With motor, it is 30 minutes,
Trek to Cerro Kennedy; scenic overlooks Los Nevados ( Can you see the snow peaks on the foto ? ). Tours are possible; send me an email to connect you with the best guide. From Minca, it is a two-hour drive with the motor and a two days hike.
Mundo Neuvo: high above Minca at the top of Paso del Mango’s path, Finca Mundo Neuvo shows another way of living based on self-sustainability. You can recharge your energy, witness their commitment to preserving nature and water, enjoy vegetarian food and the charm of this Finca. The sunset is fantastic, the location excellent. It is a bit tempting to see the sunset in the evening because you have to walk for 1 hour or more back to Minca. If you are not staying there to sleep and want to see the sunset, take a motor and enjoy the lovely view.
Hike Minca to Paso del Mango: beautiful nontouristic hike high in the Sierra Nevada, 6 hours hike, the advice is to go with a guide,
There is a botanical garden with numerous medicinal plants and a butterfly farm.
Pozo de Amor – Pool of love, jump from 5 meters into this pool,
Nice to Know the Best things to do in Minca
Minca got an ATM, but the same as in Palomino, it does not always work, and it asks for a fee of 6%! It is better to take your fortune up into the mountains of Minca instead of being stuck in front of a non-working ATM or pay a 6% commission.
- Believe me, bring insect repellent with you and long light wearing pants. I had to take a five-day medicine course on Naproxen and Newtarpan because mosquitoes heavily bit my legs. I went for 8 hours a nontouristic hike in the jungle, and that was a small price for a beautiful experience; in the evening, the bed did not have a mosquito net. The mosquitos here can be active. It is also right to take local anesthetic Lidocaine 5% against the itching if you have insect bites, Mosquito net, sunglasses, sun creams and drink adequate water, and stay hydrated hiking.
Costeño River Minca
This hostel is located in Minca, and I stayed here most of the time because booking.com gave excellent advice and good reviews. It offers a restaurant, a tasty shared kitchen, bar, garden, and terrace, and there is free WiFi available. You can enjoy an American breakfast and relax in the communal lounge area. Couples like the location, and
I had a lovely time to socialize and meet new people. I can recommend this beautiful, friendly hostel. It is just meters from the river and 15 minutes pleasant walk from the center of Minca.
The other day I stayed next door Costeño River in Harmony hotels, and this cabana was also terrific. It is nice to visit and stay in different places and to experience all the new things. Later in the evening, I went for a drink and a bite back to Costeño River to socialize and have a talk.
Santa Marta is 18 miles from Costeño River Minca, while Taganga is 25 kilometers from the property. The nearest airport is Simón Bolívar International Airport, 30 kilometers from the accommodations, and the property offers a paid airport shuttle service.
Best things to undertake in Minca
Mountain bike tour
I really enjoyed the first day in Minca because of the extensive mountain bike tour with Maximilian from the company Gorilla Riders. Luis, the tour guide, went mountain biking with us, and we started early 0630 am in the morning for the long tour. After a climb, we stopped, cause they heard toucans family and we made this foto.
Then we went to Hay and then back and a steep climb to the Los Pinas. There is a magnificent view over Santa Marta. Then we went downhill and then came out of the waterfalls of Marinca. We had a look at the waterfalls and then biked down back to Minca.
Later that evening, we went into the river, and the guide knew a place in a tree where the Toucans lived. We spotted and photographed a lovely family of toucans, again.
The next day we went on a jungle trip to the waterfalls we call the: Cascade de la rendiccion.
It is called the ‘Waterfall of giving up’ because it is a special walk, it is steep hiking for an hour depending on the season. The season? Yes, the season; in the dry season, it is hot, and in the rainy season, everything is muddy and slippery with a Berghaus on your back. It was a lovely hike, and in the morning, there are so many active birds. I also made a squirrel photo, they love cocoa too, and we hiked on to the waterfalls.
Coming to the waterfalls, it was a lovely and pleasant place to be. The river comes down true the rocks, and it is beautiful to be in the river water. It is a serious hike with a climb, and you have to be fresh when the edges are close. Still, the reward is fantastic; enjoy the waterfall on your body and live and enjoy the moment is genuinely spiritual to feel the river’s energy. Somethings you can not explain; you have to have to do it.
“You can only experience the taste of water by tasting it.”
To have a nice massage you can go to Hotel on the Rock in Minca and make your reservation there; the costs are 120.000 pesos. This hotel is new, and it did not have a website on its card, but you can call them for your reservation on 3004289918
El Paraiso de tuki BNB
The other day we went to El Paraiso, which is an ECO-Finca and producing coffee since 1925.
It is lovely to visit, and my advice is to go by motor and not walk the whole hill op with a Berghaus, cause it can be strenuous. It is a place where you can relax, read, listen to the sound of birds and enjoy a good cup of organic coffee or cocoa. Here you can learn from Eugene the whole coffee and cocoa process since the seed is put into the ground and then as rich cocoa into your mouth.
There are three bedrooms, two private rooms, and one shared room with double and single beds, shared and private spaces, external and shared bathrooms.
The construction and architecture are in old peasant style, and you can buy cheap food in the place. The cocoa and coffee tour was charming, and Eugene explained the lovely process of making chocolate. It is nice to visit, and you should experience it.
On the way back, we ate lovely pasta at Restaurant Santisabella.
Close to there is also a place where you can do 4-wheal trike tours in Minca.
Casa Loma in Minca
House on the hill is a steep walk on a mountain of 15 minutes. Loma means in Spanish steep, excellent to know if you have full Berghaus. You can sleep under the stars. Watch orange, pink, purple, or red sunsets. Enjoy the full moon and breathe the fresh mountain air. Delight your ears with the sound of the forest. Satisfy your stomach with fantastic vegetarian food. Relax with a massage among the trees. The hostel is made from wood and has hammocks overlooking the city of Santa Martha, the Caribbean Sea, plus the mountains and Forrest off the Sierra Nevada at the same time; this is truly unique. Be surrounded by tropical gardens and indigenous artifacts. Wake up with the sound of exotic birds, like toucans. This hostel offers impressive views, nature, complete tranquility, and personal service—the perfect place to meet new friends and swap stories about the nice things and experiences in life.
Casa Loma is like a small village and offers different accommodations like the breathtaking Casa Luna and other cabañas with private balconies and incredible views. Bathrooms are shared, so this is a point that you have to know. You can take yoga classes on the forest platform that stretches out to the trees. Sip a cocktail at the sunset- happy hour. Or relax with a massage.
La Fuente is located just before the Marinca waterfall, at 60 minutes walk, depending on your walking experience and season. From Minca with the motor, this is 10 minutes.
By choosing hostel La Fuente, you will sleep next to the jungle on the banks of the Marinca river with a beautiful beach, waterfalls, birds and hummingbirds, flowers, and many more to see. Just imagine the sounds and the colors that you can imagine in this beautiful place of Colombia. There are three comfortable rooms, and you can stay in a teepee, an indigenous tent. There are shared bathrooms, cool river pools to relax, and a bonfire at the bar. The restaurant serves vegetarian food.
Casa Colibri Hostal
The Church Park is a 5 minutes walk in the center of Minca; they offer clean and low prices rooms in different styles and materials, with ecological techniques. The original huts are grouped in a green environment with a beautiful view over Santa Marta, the forest ánd the Caribbean sea. Enjoy the freshness of nature in a hammock on the large terrace and living space in the mountain house. Hot water, sunset view, cocktails, and a happy hour, relax and: coger la suave.
This beautiful hostel is a walk uphill and away from the police, the station near to where the busses’ collectives are to go the Santa Marta.
Featuring garden views, Hostal Sierra Minca in Minca offers accommodation, a restaurant, an outdoor swimming pool, a bar, a garden, and a terrace.
For added convenience, towels and bed linen are available at an additional cost.
The hammocks are magnificent. This is really a beautiful hostel; I wanted it to book as first, but it was fully booked on Booking.com, so I went to Costeño River Hostal because it looked really nice and it was an excellent decision.
It is a new hostel in the village of Minca. The team of Casa Elemento runs it. It is a beautiful old villa in 5 hectares of tropical gardens. It has a giant hammock, swinging riverside over its own beach of Minca river, the vibe and style of the hostel are relaxed.
A large bar at the 28-meter long swimming pool makes it easy to meet new people and socialize into the night. Other offers, restaurant, pool terrace, fast WiFi, Netflix, DirectTV, yoga deck, en-suite dormitories, on-site horse stables, hiking and river canyoning tours, mountain biking and bird watching,
Hostal Finca San Rafael
It is 2 kilometers from Minca, 30 minutes walk.
Awake with the twittering of toucans, hummingbirds, parrots, and other of the 600 species of birds in this area. Enjoy the view from the swimming pool over the mountains and experience the rural part of Minca.
The 45 hectares big Finca San Rafael produces certified caturro Arabica beans, which gives a mild Tinto with very few acids and intense color. Walk over the more than 300-year-old Tyrona Indian path or get a guided tour about these coffee beans’ organic growth. Here you can discover the huge cocoa fruits and their ways to chocolate; this Finca also has other tropical fruits, vegetables, flowers and giant caracol trees, and miel angelicas, the purest honey made by angels.
The farmhouse dated back to 1961 and was completely renovated in 2015.
The four spacious guest rooms have private bathrooms, box spring mattresses, and a hammock in front of the rooms.
You can recommend many different hostels; it depends on the price and time you want to std what the dance is from your next destination, what you love to see or do. Because like explain the ‘Paso el Mango” if you end up there, while thinking you are Minca, you will spend more transport costs, which you could use for a better hostel in Minca. So it is like diving, plan your dive, dive your plan. But somethings you can not plan because it is Colombia, and that makes things more superior.
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If you like to get in contact with the best guide of Minca who showed me all these beautiful places in a short time, fill in the form and send me an email.
It is a pleasure to bring you in contact with Luis, the happy tour guide of Minca.