Minca is a tiny little village nestled in the depths of the Sierra Nevada mountains in Northern Colombia. A short trip away from the city of Santa Marta, this little gem is truly a wonder and a must visit if you find yourself in the area. Historically, Minca was guerilla coup territory with only locals allowed access, However, once a ceasefire was obtained between paramilitary and guerrilla groups; Minca was re-discovered by the public with the opening of many restaurants and hotels. As it’s based almost 600m above Santa Marta this lends to a slightly cooler climate than sea level. This and the fact that it is nestled amongst mountain streams and rivers, coffee and cacao farms; it really is a little slice of untouched paradise!
Approximately a 30-45 minute drive from Santa Marta it is relatively accessible. While there are public buses available we opted for a taxi. A taxi from Santa Marta costs $10,000 COP (€3). The taxi drops you at the police station at the entrance to the village. As we were staying outside the village, we got a mototaxi to our accommodation which cost $15,000 COP (€4). The mototaxi is not for the faint-hearted. Hanging onto the back of a motorbike while being whisked up a mountain by a local is definitely something you’ll never forget! However, thrill-seeking aside it is a safe and quick way to get through the mountainside while taking in the breathtaking scenery. Make sure to agree your price with the driver before you start the journey though.
Where to stay:
We stayed at Finca Carpe Diem, an eco-resort located near Minca in the middle of the jungle. The farm was bought in 2011 by Belgian couple Kobe and Nele. Fun fact: the rooms at Finca Carpe Diem are named after protected areas of Colombia as this was the thesis theme for doctoral research by Kobe.
This is truly the most wonderful way to spend a few days relaxing. Everything about this resort screams nature and relaxing. Whether it’s the copious hikes around the area, relaxing by the pool while taking in the breathtaking views; this place really does make you appreciate what Colombia and Minca have to offer. There is an onsite restaurant which serves delicious meals as well as many vegetarian options. Vegan options are also available on request. There is also a kitchen for guest use.
We stayed in a 6 bed dorm for 3 nights. This dorm was called Mirador as it was right on top of a hill overlooking the jungle. We had our own swimming pool and hammocks overlooking the jungle. The perfect way to relax!
All our time in Minca was spent in Finca Carpe Diem which isn’t actually in the village of Minca. However, we did some activities based around the farm. There is also an option to hike to the village which takes approx 6 hours. However, there are plenty of options in and around the farm.
Visit a coffee/chocolate farm:
We visited a chocolate farm 9 minutes from Finca Carpe Diem in Pasa Del Mango. This farm is run by local cacao growers who grow, produce and sell chocolate products. The cost of the tour is 10,000 COP (€3) for 90mins. This involves a walk through the whole process of the chocolate production. You sample uncooked cacao beans while finally getting a chance to grind the ripened beans into chocolate. There is also a complimentary chocolate facemask and hot chocolate included! The tour is in Spanish so a good level of Spanish is an advantage for getting the most out of your trip. You can also buy chocolate there which make cute gifts.
World famous hammock:
Casa Elemento is home to the worlds largest hammock. It is a two-hour hike from the town of Minca or a twenty-minute mototaxi journey. Casa Elemento is also a popular hostel. We didn’t stay there as reviews at the time were poor. However, you can apparently visit for the day and use the hammocks and facilities for 10,000 COP (€3).
Minca truly is a nature lovers and hiking paradise with many hikes and trails on offer. Finca Carpe Diem recommended walks around their farm and in close proximity. These were of varying length and difficulty. We opted for the Santa Marta viewpoint hike which led us upwards behind the farm for 50 minutes. We were rewarded with panoramic views of the Sierra Nevada mountains, the Carribean ocean and Santa Marta. For more recommendations on what to do around the area check out the website
Another afternoon activity is to head to Pozo del Amor, a swimming and diving spot a short thirty minute walk from Finca Carpe Diem. Pozo Del Amor (pictured above) is a renowned swimming spot. Due to the 3 metre deep water you can also dive off the rocks into the water. However, stay within your ability as this area is unsupervised. The walk there is very scenic and of easy terrain so ideal for a leisurely stroll.
The few days spent in the area of Minca and Finca Carpe Diem were an amazing way to soak up the Colombian nature. This is a place I would love to return to and hopefully one day!
Hope you enjoyed this post!