Wondering what the best things to do in Minca Colombia are? You are in the right place If you are traveling the coast of Colombia be sure to spend at least 1 night in Minca. I went for 1 night and stayed for 3. Up in the mountains, the fresh mountain air made it a welcome relief from the heat of the coast. It is also surrounded by coffee farms and so far Minca wins my best coffee in Colombia prize! To help you plan your trip here is my guide to 24 hours in Minca Colombia.
Did You Get Travel Insurance Yet?
The Insurance companies I recommend are Hey Mondo, Safety Wing, and Travel Insurance Master
Hey Mondo is great if you are looking for a great value flexible policy. They offer single-trip cover, annual multi-trip cover, and long-term travel cover. Safety Wing is great value, with monthly coverage starting at $39. It’s super easy to use, and it just renews each month. I currently use them as they offer me free cover for my son as part of my policy. I also use Travel Insurance Master for short trips.
Read my full travel insurance post here, where I go into detail about all companies.
How to get to Minca from Santa Marta
To get from Santa Marta to Minca you will need to get up early and the Santa Marta Minca bus… Which is actually not a bus but a 4-wheel drive. If you take the bus early from Santa Marta so you arrive with a full day to explore.
When you arrive in Minca you can either walk or get a moto-taxi to your accommodation (I would book accommodation online during peak season as everywhere gets booked up fast). Dump your bags and head to Tienda Cafe Minca for a coffee.
If you want to travel from Cartagena to Minca then you will still need to take the bus to Santa Marta and then change there.
Quick Tip: Book accommodation, tours, and transport ahead of time online to save money and stress.
Best Minca Tours: Click here to check out the top Minca tours
Best Minca Accommodation: Click here to check out the best accommodation in Minca
Best Minca Transport: Click here to book a bus, ferry, or train in Minca
Things to do in Minca
There are lots of things to do in Minca Colombia, here are a few of my personal favorites:
Visiting a coffee farm in Minca
From here take a moto-taxi (or hike uphill for an hour and a half to Candelaria coffee and cacao farm. The tour takes 2 hours and cost 20mil. I decided on the cacao tour as I wanted to save the coffee tour until I visit the coffee region.
After the tour take a different path down the mountain towards the Pozo Azul Minca Cascades (waterfall). It’s a stunning walk with so many incredible views.
It also had this really cool bridge!
You will probably be hungry so if you haven’t brought any lunch there is a small farm shop close to the waterfall where you can get a great veggie sandwich, some cold water, and a beer! If you want something a little more filling there is a restaurant next to the river you can get lunch.
Be warned the water is COLD even after the hot and sweaty jungle track to get there it was too cold for me to get in. So I just paddled for a while and cooled off before continuing back down to Minca.
Once back in town take a stroll around and grab a smoothie or juice before making your way back to your accommodation for a shower and to check in. I always try to shower just before the sun goes down, that was I’m hot enough to not mind the cold water, and the water is still warm from the sun! It gets cold in the mountains so showering at night and early in the morning can be a little chilly!
Another option is to walk to the less popular swimming spot: the Marinka Waterfall (Cascadas de Marinka). From the centre of Minca it is about an hour walk to reach the waterfalls or you can get a moto taxi to take you most of the way there. On the way you will follow the river and see another smaller waterfall, so I would say it’s worth taking the picturesque walk there if you have time.
On arrival you have to pay 10K COP for entry and then can spend as long as you want there. Down the steps there is the first waterfall which has deep water to swim and refresh yourself with after the walk there. I say refresh yourself before the water is very cold, but nice once you get in.
You can then walk up to the second waterfall with has shallower water to paddle in, but is equally as pretty to look at. Before your walk or moto-taxi ride back into town you can grab some food or drink at one of the cafes there or relax on one of the net hammocks with a beautiful view.
Where to eat in Minca
After you have washed up and spent some time chilling in a hammock go for dinner at The Lazy Cat. It is the most highly rated place to eat in Minca and for good reason. They also have a great selection of veggie options (rare in Colombia!).
Breakfast (and maybe some yoga?)
After morning yoga have breakfast at the French bakery or Duni for some fresh artisan bread. It’s some of the best bread I have eaten in Colombia!
The chocolate bread in … is to die for!
Spend the rest of the morning enjoying the quiet and cool weather before heading to your next destination.
Where to stay in Minca
I stayed at Hostal Casas Colibri, however, I would not recommend staying here.
The place is great but the owner is not. I stayed there because it was one of the few places that had WiFi. Sadly the WiFi didn’t work anyway. Without going into too much detail a lot of guests were very unhappy about the behavior of the owner who decided to stay up partying loudly. I cut my stay short after one of the owners ‘friends’, who he has been up all night partying with, came over while I was skyping my dad (it was Christmas morning) and started shouting abuse at my dad and showing him the drugs he was smoking. The owner did nothing to stop this he just sat and watched. As you can imagine I was very upset.
Rio Elemento Hostel is a 5 minute walk out of the centre of Minca and is right on the river (as the name suggests). It has so much space and is a great place to relax. They have huge pool, a great bar area, and lots of swings and net hammocks right over the river.
Casa Loma has unbelievable views and, even if you don’t stay there, it is a great place to go watch the sunset and enjoy a refreshing drink.
Minca Travel Guide Planning
🧳 Any recommendations on what I should pack in Colombia?
🚗 Where can I book bus or private transportation while I’m in Colombia?
I strongly recommend using GottoGo. They do have a couple of options such as Buses, Shuttles, Ferries, and Private Transport.
👩⚕️ What is the best insurance to have while traveling?
I recommend using Heymondo for a great value policy. The app also offers you 24/7 Dr Chat. For Digital Nomads check out SafetyWing digital nomad insurance. I have also written a blog post covering all my recommended travel insurance here
✈️ Any flight recommendations?
📱What do you use for internet connection while traveling?
I’m a big fan of personal WiFi devices and they have saved my ass so many times when traveling. I wrote a full review of the top travel WiFi devices you can read here. I personally use GlocalMe as I can either pop in a physical sim card or use their local carrier.
With regards to my phone connection, I use e-sims while traveling, so rather than having to swap out my regular sim card I can download the app and buy a virtual sim card. I recommend using either Airhub or Alosim. Both have great coverage of multiple countries and are very easy to use.
🛏️ What is the best platform to use for booking accommodation?
🛅 Do you have any luggage recommendations for traveling?
Pin For Later
Here are some other recommendations for hostels in Minca:
Are you planning a backpacking trip around Colombia? Take a read of my other guides here.