HOW TO GET FROM SANTA MARTA TO MINCA/COLOMBIA?
From Santa Marta to Minca – Take a colectivo
Minca is located in the mountains of the Sierra Nevada above Santa Marta. It’s a little village so don’t expect a train station or an airport: the road is the way to go.
So you’ll be going most probably from Santa Marta to Minca. The most common option is to take a colectivo: a shared minivan which is cheap and affordable.
You can find one at the corner of Carrera 9 and Cl 12 which is located directly at the public market of Santa Marta. There’s plenty of space for all your bags in the trunk and on the roof of the colectivo .
The colectivos leave when they are fully loaded which is approximately every 30-45 minutes. The driving time from Santa Marta to Minca is around 40 minutes. Most of the collectivos even have a functioning A/C! 🙂
From Santa Marta to Minca – Take a taxi
From the central area of Santa Marta your driving time to Minca is around 30 minutes. Tell the taxi driver you need to get to Casa Colibri in Minca which is close to the church.
From the airport of Santa Marta to Minca
You can take a taxi from the airport directly to Minca. Simply be patient and ask all cab drivers at the airport to go with the one for the best price. You might also use the app inDriver.
In case you like to travel the ‘colombian way’ take the bus to Santa Marta Mercado Central and go on from there to Minca.
WHAT TO DO IN MINCA/COLOMBIA?
What to do in Minca/Colombia
Minca is a small remote paradise inhabited by 800 people at an elevation of 650m. You will certainly enjoy fantastic 360°-views over the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Relax on a giant hammock for the colorful sunsets and hike to secret waterfalls.
Make a birdwatching-tour and photograph some of more than 260 bird species.
Practice some extreme sports like mountain biking, canyoning or even tubing.
Go later dipping in fascinating natural pools of Pozo Azul, jump into the waterfalls of Marinca or have a fresh organic coffee at one of the many fincas around Minca.
Highlights of Minca/Colombia
Cerro Kennedy Trek
Make an intense trek from Minca, Colombia (650m) over Pozo Azul to Cerro Kennedy (3.100m) which takes you around 7-8h uphill or 6-7h downhill. The summit of this mountain is about 25 km from Minca. However, after reaching 2.700 meters altitude you will appreciate fantastic views of Pico Bolívar and Pico Colón, Colombia’s highest snow-crowned peaks. It’s a 2-day-trip. In effect you might like to spend one night at Hostal donde Moncho.
Pozo Azul is famous for its landscapes, clear waters and its great variety of flora and fauna. It’s a wonderful clutter of water channels running down the Sierra Nevada mountains. Hike up 50 minutes from Hostel Colibri Minca or be lazy and take a mototaxi. Don’t forget to take some water, a swimsuit and insect repellent 😉
Los Pinos Trek
This trek is called Los Pinos because you’ll reach some pine trees on a mountain. But that’s not all!! During the path you can furthermore visit the 3 waterfalls of Marinka and the ‘Ear of the world’.
If you’re lucky you can spot some howling monkeys or a peacock. All this comes with a muddy cloud forest road and spectacular mountain views.
Dining in Minca/Colombia
In Minca you can eat all kind of food with fresh and local ingredients. Here is just a small selection of it:
- 1st class vegetarian food at Café Duni
- Drink local craft beer & stuff your stomach with delicious Hamburgers or Woks at the Lazy Cat
- Have amazing arab food like Shawarma, Falafel or Hummus at Arabesca Minca
- Or maybe a nice, italian-style pizza at Restaurante Santisabella?
Shopping in Minca/Colombia
Minca is full of natural treasure products which wait to be bought, and their local producers wait to get paid for their great job.
At the Museum of Cacao you can find many informations about the plants Coffee, Cacao, Marijuana, Coca and Tabacco. Find the best chocolates you ever tasted! Get yourself an organic soap of cacao or heal yourself with diverse oils or cremes. Besides that you can get natural repellent against the nasty mosquitos.
In Minca you have the chance to try two delicious bakeries:
- French-style with chocolate-bread and baguettes at La Miga or
- Swiss-style with freshly-baked bread and chocolate cakes at La Tarteria.
Minca has a few small supermarkets and shops selling veggies and fruits. So don’t worry: You will find your personal goodies 🙂
Further information on Minca/Colombia
Sadly there is no ATM in Minca, so better save some bucks and bring all your gold here. Our hostel has lockers, and the town is VERY safe. In great need, you can still get your bucks at the ‘Embassy’.
Traveling around Minca
Minca is a great center to explore the carribean coast of Colombia. Here we list a couple of recommendations for you:
Discover wildlife and explore the most beautiful beaches of Colombia. The magic park is kept by the native tribe of Kogui. (45 km from Minca)
Learn about the indigineous villages and cultures and explore magnificent ancient ruins. Have direct contact with the Kogui who are the Natives still preserving the traditions of the Tayronas: the first inhabitants of the Lost City. Five days of Trek one will never forget! (20km from Minca)
Enjoy the most amazing sunsets on the beach and a lively street-art-scene. (25km from Minca)
For many travelers Palomino is the next destination after Minca. Undoubtedly Palomino impresses with the combination of fantastic beaches and Highland trails to the Sierra Nevada. (90 km from Minca)
Besides the most colorful views of the desert and the sea you can find in the area several saline lagoons and mudflats visited by large populations of American flamingos. (450km from Minca)
Nabusímake is the spiritual capital of the Arhuacos indigenous group. In their language, Nabusímake means: “Land where the sun is born”. Only a few people have had the privilege of accessing this breathtaking place because not everyone is accepted. Therefore it is protected by mamos and indigenous people, who only let people that are willing to respect this village and its community enter. (250km from Minca)
For sure all of you will one day pass through Cartagena, Bogota, Cali or Medellín. All those cities are surely very special on its own and definitely worth a visit. However, our focus is on lesser known natural beauties and ancient cultural sites of Colombia:
As you walk along the trails of Los Estoraques Unique Natural Area you can appreciate an endless number of fantastic-looking figures sculpted by erosion in the reddish stone. The textures and contrasting colors of the rocks and vegetation combine to give rise to visual sensations. In other words: this unique natural scenery with its countless nuances in various ways allows diverse interpretations.
If you go to Guainía/Colombia it will be the perfect possibility to visit the Mavecure Peaks. Share your life with local indigenous people and meanwhile appreciate the most amazing sceneries of jungle and savannah. Enjoy fresh and crystaline-clear waters that originate in the jungle. Cherish the river outlet into the Guaviare, Atabapo or Inirida rivers. Or simply spend an unforgettable night on the Orinoco beaches. They are most certainly unique in Colombia.
We don’t just recommend the waterfall of Fin del mundo but the whole area of Mocoa! An exotic region of Colombia located between the Andes mountains and the Amazon Jungle. Most of the attractions you will see are colorful, natural wonders and furthermore free of charge to visit.
The Nemocón Salt Mine with more than 500 years of history has become a new tourist attraction in Colombia for the world. It’s above all a natural wonder that surprises with its astonishing vernacular architecture, a material testimony of the traditional underground mining. Inside you will also find the 80-years-old salt waterfall and the well of the desires that are some of the scenarios to be discovered.
Undoubtedly El Tuparro is one of the most breathtaking sights in Eastern Colombia. The park was declared as a protected biosphere in 1982 by UNESCO. It’s famous for its flora & fauna such as kayaking and ethno tourism. Close to the colombian border with Venezuela Puerto Carreno is the sanction of rivers Orinoco and Meta. Therefore it is the key point for ecotourism and trade in the region.
The Flora Sanctuary of Isla de la Corota looks from a distance like the shell of a large turtle about to emerge from the water. It is located in the north of Lake Guamués or Laguna de la Cocha: a wetland of international importance. The site is a source of energy and is recognized by indigenous people and traditional doctors in Putumayo/Colombia. In addition it has a chapel which is an important pilgrimage site for Catholics, in particular during the Festival of the Virgin of Lourdes.
Very close to the municipality of La Macarena is a river which is considered by many to be the “most beautiful river in the world”: Caño Cristales!
It is also known as the “River of the five colors”: green, red, yellow, black and blue. For its clean and pure waters you can see aquatic plants, sand and also the beautiful rock formations of its bed. It is a very slim river, that is why the locals call it “Caño”.
The Utría National Natural Park is on the Pacific coast of Colombia in the Chocó Department of Colombia. Enjoy this huge seawater lagoon at the northwest entrance of the park surrounded by grey beaches and mangroves. It is so clean, so even Humpback whales give birth in the lagoon.