Perched in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, 40 minutes drive to the west at an altitude of 600 metres, the jungle town of Minca is a world away from the hot shores of Santa Marta. A mystical land the native Indians call the heart of the world, filled with hidden waterfalls, fresh mountain-water rivers, giant-bamboo shaded jungle walks, a million different species of birds (and other strange and wonderful animals and flora), plus a plethora of great things to do.
Originally the gateway for the many coco and cacao farms that fill the surrounding area (many of which now offer great chocolate and coffee tours such as La Candelaria) Minca is now a booming tourist town that thankfully hasn’t lost it’s roughness yet. Arriving into the small dusty pueblo of around 800 people you’ll immediately encounter a lively community of motorbike taxi drivers (moto’s), open-air restaurants and cafes, kids and dogs playing in the streets and an assortment of cute little boutique shops selling the fruits born from living in the Sierra Nevada. And I don’t just mean fruits (of which there are many) I mean mochillas, freshly made french bread and local organic coffee, natural mosquito repellent, organic honey, maracuya whiskies & guanabana rums, homemade cakes, jams, natural chocolate and coffee face-scrubs, shampoos and moisturizers, and super tasty hot sauces made from every type of local fruit you can imagine.
The people of Minca are utiliising the full bounty of the Sierra Nevada’s natural resources in any way possible, and there’s a strong movement in natural farming and permaculture here. (FYI: if your interested in learning more about permaculture visit Mundo Nuevo).
Top Tip: Visit the secret waterfall in Hotel Colonial and stop at El Arca cafe on the way up to try their delicious selection of organic fruit jams, liquors and natural cosmetics.
How long should you stay in Minca?
Whilst many people just go for the day (and if that’s what your looking for check out our guide to 24 hours in minca), we highly recommend spending at least 2 or 3 days here as there is so much to see and do, especially if you really want to discover Minca’s hidden treasures.
Things to do:
From Cascada Marinka and Pozo Azul to adventuring in jungle town and sitting on the giant hammock at Casa Elemento, chilling at Casa Loma, horse riding and drinking artisanal draft Nevada beers at Casa Viejas (La Finca Victoria), mountain biking, bird watching and eating a warming spicy wok on the balcony of the Lazy Cat cafe as the monsoon rains wash away the world outside, there’s plenty to fill your time whilst visiting Minca.
Below you will find a useful map to help guide you around Minca. Remember to take enough cash and some warm clothes with you as it gets cold at night and there are no cash machines in the jungle!. Click the link for more Minca Travel Tips.