Hiking in Colombia is a very rewarding activity. And the whole region around Minca and Paso del Mango, in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, is truly a hiking paradise. There are dozens of connected trails for hiking Minca and Paso del Mango that are just waiting to be discovered by the more adventurous traveller. There is one trail hiking in particular that is just fabulous: a mule path – used by locals to gather coffee and cacao from the farms in the surrounding hills – connecting Paso del Mango and Minca.
We decided first to stay overnight in Minca. Minca is a beautiful and well-known village in the Sierra Nevada of Colombia. We opted for staying in Casa Loma, a nice hostel overlooking Minca town and the surrounding mountains. In Minca we visited a few waterfalls, including Pozo Azul and the Marinka waterfalls.
One of the views on the way from Minca to Paso del Mango – below in the valley is located Paso del Mango
We opted for staying in Casa Loma, a nice hostel overlooking Minca town and the surrounding mountains.
Leaving from Minca
The next morning we woke up early, had a nice breakfast overlooking the town of Minca, and decided to make our way through the Santa Marta jungle to reach our final destination hiking some 6 hours away: Paso del Mango and Finca Carpe Diem.
We woke up early, had a nice breakfast overlooking the town of Minca
View from Casa Loma hostel in Minca
Map hike from Minca to Paso del Mango
Directions for hiking Minca to Paso del Mango
Church Centre Minca
Finca La Candelaria
Finca De Café
Finca De Sylvestre y Cascada
Finca Carpe Diem – Paso Del Mango
We decided to make our way through the Santa Marta jungle to reach our final destination hiking some 6 hours away
Tree with bird nests on the way from Minca to Paso del Manago, Carpe Diem
Coffee farm in between Minca and Paso del Mango
Waterfall between Minca and Paso del Mango
From Casa Loma, we started the famous downhill staircase looking for the church of Minca a few hundred meters below. In the town of Minca we bought some groceries because the hike is really into the wild, there are no shops along the way, only nature reserves, rivers, waterfalls, coffee, and cacao farms.
We continued, passing the police station of Minca, which is just around the corner. We went straight uphill, there are many deviations on the left and right, but we did not put any attention on these. A few hundred metres up from the Minca police station, we found the first sign indicating Paso del Mango and Carpe Diem. These signs continue all along the hike. So it is easy to find your way.
A few hundred metres up from the Minca police station, we found the first sign indicating Paso del Mango and Carpe Diem. These signs continue all along the hike. So it is easy to find your way.
A break on a nice spot between Minca and Paso del Mango
After 1 hour walking or so, we passed the coffee farm, La Candelaria. We just did the heaviest part of the trail, so time for a small break 🙂 . We continued straight uphill passing the Alicia and Mundo Nuevo hostels….but, as we did not really have the time, we did not enter and just went straight on.
The nice part of hiking Minca – Paso del mango
The sky is still blue and nature is abundant. This part was definitely the nicest section of the hike: a flat road going through the Sierra Nevada mountains overlooking Minca, Paso del mango and all the surrounding villages. Now and then, we had a nice vista of the ocean and Santa Marta. The nature here is overwhelming. After 20 minutes or so, counting from Alicia Hostel, there is a sign indicated to turn left, and to enter a much less travelled road. From hereon, the trail is only suited for mules and hikers. It goes steeply downhill, many turns, and a lot of rewarding vistas. We were lucky to spot a few toucans and eagles circling around.
We also passed large bamboos where we were lucky enough to spot howler monkeys jumping from branch to branch. It was a crazy experience. In this section, in between the forests, you also have many organic coffee plantations. A bit further we made a short visit to a small-scale organic coffee farm. The owner, Ivan, was happy to show us around.
Bamboo on the path between Minca and Paso del mango
Another waterfall in between Minca and Paso del Mango
After the coffee tour we continued further on, passing several streams, rivers, and waterfalls. One that is particularly beautiful is the Cascada Silvestre which is more or less 45 minutes away from Finca Carpe Diem
Eventually, after some 6 hours hiking, breaks included, we finally arrived in Paso del Mango. It is not difficult to find the hostel Carpe Diem. Carpe Diem is located alongside the beautiful Manzanares river, just after crossing the bridge.
Carpe Diem is located alongside the beautiful Manzanares river, just after crossing the bridge.
It was great to arrive in Finca Carpe Diem after hiking Minca to Paso del Mango. We were welcomed with a free, fresh and cold natural juice from the farm. The swimming pool was the perfect freshener after the many rivers we crossed 🙂 A cold beer, good company and a comfortable bed did the rest for making this day an unforgettable experience.
A nice new 4-bed dorm. The room is located in the second house on top of a hill with a small swimming pool and spectacular mountain view. The room comes with air conditioning, first quality mattresses and mosquito nets. The room is located 100 mts from the restaurant and reception following a beautiful stonen path,
Nice brand new dorm (2018) for 4 people, perfect for the budget traveller. The dorm is also great for backpackers who like to meet other people and are looking to do hikes and activities around the finca during the day and sleep peacefully and comfortably during the night.
A spacious brand new tent with two compartiments (one for luggage 1 x 1 mts; one for sleeping 2,3 x 2,3 mts) next to the river under the mango trees. Spacious, nice and calm atmosphere. Not far from the swimming pools and main facilities.