Minca is the last place I visited in northern Colombia. The marathon around Santa Marta ended in this village located at altitude.
We met there with a couple of friends to discover this little corner that seems different from other spots visited on the Caribbean coast.
Good choice! This small village located 30 minutes from Santa Marta has nothing to do with Barú, Taganga, Tayrona or Palomino! The sun is still hot when the sky is clear; but we are far from the infernal heat or the beaches of sands! We are here at 700m altitude, the hikes are in the mountains, the temperatures are cooler (even cold at night), and the spots we visited are in fresh water, quiet different from the hot water of the Caribbean Sea.
Minca is perfect to spend one or two nights if you want to rest and take your time.
What to do in Minca?
Put on your hiking boots and walk in the mountains!
The two main spots are Pozo Azul and Marinca Waterfall.
Pozo Azul is a small area where you can swim in the Rio Minca, 45-minute walk from the center. The path is sloping (we reach the 1,000m altitude) and quite muddy on some sections, the rise in flip flops is not super comfortable.
The water is very cool, ideal to eliminate the heat accumulated under the sun!
The Marinca waterfall
This small waterfall is the second major attraction, also located at more than 1,000 m of altitude. It is possible to go there walking (1h30) or by motorbike. And to further appreciate the view at altitude, it is possible to climb to the hostel Casa Elemento and have a panoramic view of Santa Marta.
The hostel is located at a 10km climb, feasible on foot (about 3 hours in total) or by motorcycle (25 minutes).
We opted for the climb to the hostel by motorcycle then the descent on foot.
In addition to overnight accommodation, the Casa Elemento offers the opportunity to buy a day pass for 10,000 pesos including a drink, to stay at the hostel and enjoy the view from giant hammocks.
Otherwise it is possible to stay 10-15 minutes and then start going down.
The Marinca waterfall is halfway downhill, ideal for cooling off after a few kilometers of walking.
During the day, the sun hits hard, don’t forget to bring a cap, sunscreen, and a lot of water.
There are a lot of mosquitoes in the village and in the mountains; a mosquito repellent will be very useful!
In the evening, the temperatures drop considerably, think about bringing warm clothes (pants, long-sleeved sweater) , they could come in handy.
It often rains in Minca, sometimes very hard, also think about bringing an impermeable poncho.
It is possible to climb to Pozo Azul on foot or by motorbike. But the walk is relatively short and pleasant.
It is better to go early in the morning, no later than 9am on the spot, to be able to enjoy a few minutes of swimming before mass tourism starts and the busetas begin to drop dozens and dozens of tourists!
It is possible to climb to the waterfall by motorcycle (10,000 pesos = 3 €) or until the Casa Elemento (25 minutes, 20,000 pesos or 6 €). Whatever the mode of transport chosen, the day will be long, think about eating while waiting for lunch.