Another day, another adventure out of Paso del Mango to the well travelled and nearby town of Minca. Leaving at about 8am by moto taxi, it took more or less 45 minutes and 25.000 COP to get to the town of Minca. There is no ATM in Minca so on the way, the moto taxi driver was kind enough to stop off at La Bomba which is en route and has a cash machine. As we ascended the mountain road, the air began to brisk and the once sweaty shirt that I was wearing soon dried as my body cooled.
Getting to Minca from Paso del Mango by moto taxi is only one of many options. Other options include by: Bicycle (2 hours); Hiking (6 hours); Bus via Santa Marta (~2 hours / 17.000 COP); Mule/Horse (4 hours / 35.000 COP). It’s easy to make a day trip or even multi night trip all while leaving any unessential luggage here at Finca Carpe Diem.
Upon arriving, I paid the moto taxi and made my way past the church and up to Casa Loma. I checked in, threw my bags in my room and made my way back down to start my hike to Pozo Azul.
The many things to do in Minca
The first of many things to do in Minca is the hike to the popular swimming spot of Pozo Azul. From the area with all the moto taxis, I made my way uphill, opposite the bridge. After walking for about 40 minutes, I arrived at the entrance where it is another 20 minutes to the actual waterfalls. Along the way I passed farms, locals and some beautiful views of the surrounding green mountains. The path leading up to the waterfalls themselves can be quite beautiful since you can see Pozo Azul from quite a distance.
You can do a few things at Pozo Azul including: swimming; hiking up stream; eating; or just hanging out and enjoying the beautiful nature and waterfalls. There are more or less 4 waterfalls in total and leading into one another. The two main ones are readily visible as you enter the area and are safe to jump into from their surrounding rocks. I spent an hour swimming and enjoying the natural beauty here before making my way back to the main entrance and then up to Finca La Victoria.
Finca la Victoria
One of my favourite things to do in Minca is to take a coffee tour! There are many coffee farms in the area due to the unique properties of the climate and elevation. After leaving Pozo Azul, it took more or less another half hour to reach the entrance to Finca La Victoria where from there it’s another 20 minutes down to the processing facility where you can request a tour.
First impressions here as I was greeted with a freshly brewed cup of coffee from the farm. The interior of the processing facility was rich with steampunk looking machines from the 19th century. Inside you will also find a small café with delicious cakes and amazing coffee. Shortly after arriving, the guided tour started where we learned all about coffee, the mechanized process, the different machines they use, byproducts and much more. The tour itself was professional, informative, and quite interesting.
After finishing the tour, I made my way back into town where I grabbed some lunch and decided what activities I would do next.
Finca la Candelaria
It’s not always easy deciding what things to do in Minca since it’s hard to do everything. However, if you find yourself in town, you must check out Finca la Candelaria. Leaving from town, cross the bridge, turn right at the police station, and continue on keeping right and following the signs. After about 45 minutes walking, I arrived at the entrance where it was another 10 minutes to the farm’s main house.
When I arrived, I was warmly greeted, escorted to a patio with an amazing view of the region (including Santa Marta), and given a refreshing lemonade followed by a freshly brewed coffee from the farm. Finca la Candelaria also has an awesome mascot/pet Toucan which I was able to catch some snaps of.
After waiting for a group to arrive, we started the cacao tour (20.000 COP) which started with the explanation of the trees and the picking process. Then we went into a preparation room where we tried the beans at various stages in the process and were given hot chocolate and a brief history of the farm. To close the tour we went back to the patio where we received cacao face masks. Finca la Candelaria also offers a coffee tour however I passed since it was getting late and I had to make my way back down to town.
I was warmly greeted, escorted to a patio with an amazing view of the region
Las Piedras Swimming Spot
After coming back down, I made my way to one of the easiest things to do in Minca, Las Piedras. At roughly 10 minutes walking from the town center, you can find yourself relaxing in the sun and swimming in and around Las Piedras. With brisk mini rapids and large warm white rocks, Las Piedras is perfect for children and people looking to have an easy day. When I arrived, there were some locals swimming in the water and nothing but clear blue skies. I sat on a large rock, dipped my feet into the cool water and had a satisfying snack to ready myself for La Cascada Marinka.
With brisk mini rapids and large warm white rocks, Las Piedras is perfect for children and people looking to have an easy day.
Las Cascadas de Marinka
Cascada Marinka is one of main things to do in Minca. At roughly 1 hour walking and 15 minutes/10.000 by moto taxi, it’s quite easy to get to. From the center, walk in the direction of the church and continue on past the football field for another hour. Along the way, you can enjoy waterfalls just off the road and beautiful nature all around. One of the things I enjoyed the most were the large creaking colonies of Guadua (Bamboo) trees.
When I arrived at the waterfalls, I was greeted by a owner asking for a 3000 COP entrance fee. I paid and made my way to the first drop which was quite tall and beautiful. You can swim in the pool fed by the waterfall as well as let the waterfall drop on you. I finished up and made my way up to the second drop which feeds the first. Here you can stand on the top of the first drop and look all the way down. That’s if you’re not afraid of heights of course!
The second drop is quite a bit more secluded than the first and is less than 5 minutes from the entrance. It’s a very tranquil area and is perfect for losing a half hour. After drying off in the sun, I made my way back into the town of Minca where I would sleep off the busy day.
It was a beautiful sunrise as from my room I could see Santa Marta slowly unveiled from under the shadow of the mountains. I packed up my things, had a delicious breakfast and made my way to the center of Minca where I would begin my 2.5 hour hike up to Los Pinos.
Depending on which direction you take up to Los Pinos, you can combine the hike with activities such as Pozo Azul and Finca la Victoria, or Las Cascadas de Marinka. Upon arriving, I couldn’t help but notice the brisk cool air and the amazing view of both Santa Marta and Barranquilla. The altitude there was about 1200m and felt otherworldly compared to just an hour downhill. Los Pinos gets its name from the 4 large pine trees towering over the viewpoint.
Across from the viewpoint is a property where you can camp for 20.000 COP. It was a beautiful night with next to no clouds, a beautiful view of Santa Marta, an amazing view of the distant Sierra Navada, Barranquilla, and of course the starry night sky. I spent the evening staring off into Santa Marta before calling it a night and retreating to my tent. The next morning I started on my way to Cerro Kennedy, one of the highest points in the area with an unbeatable view.
It was a beautiful night with next to no clouds, a beautiful view of Santa Marta, an amazing view of the distant Sierra Nevada, Barranquilla, and of course the starry night sky
We encourage all of our guests to explore Minca in addition to our less travelled, yet just as rich in activities and nature, Paso del Mango.
There is no shortage of things to do in Minca
For good reason, Minca is well travelled. With such a diversity in activities, temperatures, and flora/fauna, there is no question why it is such a popular destination for tourists. We encourage all of our guests to explore Minca in addition to our less travelled, yet just as rich in activities and nature, Paso del Mango. If you have any questions about the activities mentioned in this post, check out our regional activities page. If you still have more questions, leave us a message on our contact page and we will get back to you promptly!
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.