Minca was once an off the path destination, but it is quickly becoming one of Colombia’s most popular spots for nature lovers. After my adventure here, it is easy to see why. I only spent a couple of days in the small town, but I wish I stayed longer to hit all the top 10 things to do in Minca, Colombia. It is just a such a relaxed place where you can spend some time in nature, removed from the hustle and busy of modern-day life.
Not long ago, the town was only accessible by moto, but a new road means taxis can now make the drive. So, its time to start planning your adventure; and we are here to help with 10 things to do in Minca, Colombia.
Getting to Minca
This small, mountain, town located in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, is a 30 – 45-minute drive from the coastal city of Santa Marta. Santa Marta makes a solid jumping off point for many adventures like visiting Minca and Tayrona National Park. Stay the night, stock up on supplies like water, snacks, and bug repellant at Éxito or Carulla (popular, Colombian supermarkets), walk around and visit Parque de Los Novios in the evening for dinner, and plan out your next steps.
10 Things to do in Minca, Colombia
1) Grab yourself a moto-taxi
…or one will grab you! Our moto-boys caught our attention with an, “Ey, chicas!” quickly explaining that they could help us with whatever we needed and get us anywhere much faster than walking. If you have a few people in your group, no worries, they’ll grab some friends.
These guys know the area well and can make sure you’re able to see all of the 10 things to do in Minca. Sure, you could walk, but if you’re like us, and you don’t have a lot of, the moto-taxi was worth it.
They’ll take you to your destination and even wait to bring you back to where you started or, take you to the next stop. So, hop on and be sure to ask for un casco!
2) Practice your Spanish
Minca is the perfect place to practice you Spanish. In Colombia, not many people speak English, but even more so in remote Minca. The relaxed environment of Minca allows you to take your time instead of trying to rush through a conversation and everyone here will be patient and kind.
For more tips on traveling to Colombia, read An intro to traveling around Colombia – the highlights.
3) Take a dip at Pozo Azul
We arrived in Minca in the afternoon and headed straight to Pozo Azul for a cool dip in this natural swimming hole. Relaxing by this series of little waterfalls surrounded by lush forest was the perfect way to start our journey in Minca. Be sure to climb up to the pools higher up which are a little bit deeper.
4) Go swimming at Marinka Waterfall (Cascada de Marinka)
The Marinka Falls are beautiful. Here you can swim in the lower pool or take a short hike to the upper falls. There is a small entrance fee, but it isn’t much and definitely worth the price.
5) Relax at Cafe Duni
Cafe Duni is the perfect place to stop and grab a snack. This little spot offers fresh baked bread and a quiet place to grab a little table outdoors, sit back and relax.
6) Hang out in a giant hammock at Casa Elemento
If you’ve heard anything about Minca, its probably about the giant hammocks and amazing views at Casa Elemento. We went back and forth on going to Casa Elemento because it’s a bit of a journey and we were short on time, but I’m so glad we decided to go. It turns out, the journey is just as amazing as the destination.
Our journey started with the thrill of a mototaxi ride – 45 minutes of weaving and bobbing through the mountains of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta on rocky, unpaved roads, criss-crossed with streams while holding on to the equivalent of a dirt bike with the forest, rivers, and wildlife rushing by.
Once at the top we headed straight to the giant hammocks to relax and take in the incredible views. It really feels like you’re on top of the world! If you’re headed to Minca, definitely make time for Casa Elemento!
7) Visit a cacao plantation
The chocolate in Colombia is good and Minca is the perfect place to see where it comes from by visiting a cacao plantation. Be sure to taste the fleshly fruit fresh out of one of the giant pods!
8) Take a coffee tour at La Victoria
If you have been looking at the top things to do in Minca, Colombia, you’ve probably come across the name of this coffee farm many times. With Colombia producing so much amazing coffee, this is the place to see how its done. Check out this Vice article to get all the details on Victoria Coffee.
9) Wake up early and go bird watching
While we didn’t make it bird watching ourselves, we had a wonderful conversation over breakfast at our hotel, Sweet Harmony (which I highly recommend), with a man just returning from leading a birdwatching excursion. He was so knowledgeable about the region, and I’ve heard some many incredible things about the bird watching, I really wish we had had time to do this.
10) Cerro Kennedy
While we didn’t have time to make the journey to Cerro Kennedy, our moto-boys showed us video and it was stunning. From here you can see Santa Marta, the snow-capped peaks of Bolívar and Colón, and the Caribbean Sea below.
Are you planning yet?
Now that you are ready to start planning an incredible adventure in Minca, with all the top 10 things to do, you’ll want to think about the rest of your adventure in Colombia. Check out our highlights to traveling around Colombia to get all the details you need to put together an incredible Colombian itinerary.
And of course, if you have any questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you. Don’t hesitate to reach out to the TravelHive team and Contact us.