Minca is a little town of 500 inhabitants located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta. Thanks to its location between the city and the mountians, Minca has many perks and appeals, both in the form of ease of access to the town, as well as an abundance of activities to participate in during your time there. It is because of these reasons that people say that Santa Marta has ?la mágia de tenerlo todo? (the magic of having it all).
Minca is the figurative cherry on the cake of Northern Colombia; a hidden treasure at first sight. First of all, Minca is known for having a very comfortable climate, not as hot as Santa Marta. It is the transition from the scorching heat of the city to the cold of the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta which allows you to calmly walk through the town without getting sweaty or feeling the need to hydrate yourself every 5 minutes.
Second of all, thanks to its location, Minca offers one the most spectacular views of the city below as well as the best sunrises and sunsets. You literally feel out of this world beholding something so sublime. To us, Minca's location has many advantages. Because of it, you can get there fast and enjoy the entire evening if you prefer not to stay for the night; although believe us, if you do this, you don?t know what you?re missing.
How to get to Minca?
Minca is placed at 650 meters above sea level,14 kilometers away from Santa Marta. It has easy access from Santa Marta, so will arrive in the down after just a 30 minute bus ride. If you are prone to motion sickness, we recommend you take a pill before your taking your ride, and for those who know we are talking about them, maybe bring a plastic bag as well, you know, just in case.
To get to Minca you will need to start at the Santa Marta Public Market Place. Just next to where you take the buses to go to Tayrona Park, you will find offices labeled ?Cootrasminca?. Cootrasminca is a small transportation cooperative that organizes all the journeys to Minca, usually taking place in jeep-type cars. Their office is easy, as you will see a large group of jeeps parked jeeps outside their office, as well as the other green buses heading towards La Guajira.
If you prefer to go by taxi, tell the driver to drop you off where the cars depart to Minca. If you are going by bus (public transport), tell the driver or the assistant to let you know when you get to the Public Marketplace (Mercado público). Once there, you can ask locals or police officers for directions. They will gladly show you the way. The ticket to Minca will cost approximately 8.000-10.000 COP.
If you are an exercise junkie, you can choose to go to Minca by bicycle. All you need is your biking equipment and a GPS.
What to do in Minca
Minca is specifically known as a sanctuary for Birdwatching. Due to its location and abundance of nature, you will be able to witness the most exotic and iconic birds of the region in Minca in their true nature. One of the best routes you can take if you are looking to birdwatch is the San Lorenzo trail, which already holds a bird watching record. If you keep going up this way, 9km into your hike, you will find the Reserva Natural de Aves El Dorado (Bird Natural Reserve ?El Dorado?).
If you are a fan of this delicious and healthy drink, you should know that Coffee from the Sierra Nevada is characterized by its low acidity, medium body, as well as its chocolate and wood notes, making it some of the most desired coffees by experts.
It is because of this that you simply cannot miss the opportunity of doing one of Minca?s coffee tours, giving you the opportunity to taste an excellent cup of coffee in this delightful place. Before you do that, we recommend you to first check out the main farms in the town, which also happen to be some of the first. At farms such as La Victoria you will have the opportunity to closely watch the whole coffee making process.
Take a dip in the Cascadas de Marinka and Pozo Azul
This plan is perfect if you are looking to take some time to relax. It is at the waterfalls that you can let the water carry away all your concerns, allowing yourself to disconnect from the rest of the world.
Both waterfalls are located on the opposite sides of town. Getting to them requires a bit of walking, however Minca?s scenery, blue, crystal-clear waters and abundant fauna surrounding your path make all the effort worth it.
Not only do you have the opportunity to relax during your time in Minca, but if you choose to do so, you can also do the complete opposite. If you are looking for an adrenaline rush, you can practice one of Minca?s several extreme sports, such as trekking, rappelling, canyoning, and diving. Just remember to book with trained and certified instructors to perform these kind of activities for safety reasons.
Relax and enjoy the food
As if all of the above was not enough, you can find an abundance of excellent and delicious cuisine during your time in Minca as well; everything from French baked goods to local and typical food cooked by the hands some of Minca?s expert chefs.
It is no doubt that Minca is a must-see destination. It fills all three of the criteria for a good backpacking town? beautiful, nice and cheap. We definitely would recommend you to visit Minca with no hesitation.