Minca is home to around 500 people. It’s located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada at over 600 meters above sea level. If you want to leave the cars, heat and nightlife of Santa Marta behind then this quiet town is the perfect escape.
The area was named after Don Juan de Minca, who came from Spain and settled there with his family. He started coffee plantations in Minca with families from Puerto Rico and Honduras. You can visit some of the many waterfalls around Minca or just relax in town and enjoy the over 50 species of hummingbirds in the area. Trips to the Lost City can also leave from here when the route is open.
Minca is becoming known for it’s bird watching tours. At over 1800 species, Colombia has the most variety of birds in the world and you can see over 600 species in the Sierra Nevada region alone.
The town is also becoming a hotspot for extreme sports with rafting, tubing and downhill mountain biking tours available to book.
If that sounds too exhausting, most eco lodges offer relaxing yoga classes, massage, meditation and day spa packages. You can also visit nearby waterfalls, or visit some indigenous villages to see how the locals live.
There are no ATMs in Minca. You can withdraw cash in Santa Marta.
The best way to get to Minca is by private cars, which act as taxis, leaving when they’re full from Santa Marta. The journey takes under an hour. In Santa Marta, ask for La Estacion de Minca- you’ll find it in the market area (el mercado, calle 11 con carrera 12.) 7000 COP per person- cars leave from around 8am until sunset.
The closest airport to Minca is in Santa Marta. A shared car from Minca to the airport is around 25,000 COP per person (Feb 2013).
Book Your Minca Trip
We recommend Casa Loma Minca. With a mix of dorms and private rooms it’s perched in one of the best locations in Minca, giving you a spectacular view.
Minca Eco Lodges
With no traditional hotel style accommodation in Minca, a popular alternative for those looking to escape the backpacker crowd is eco lodges. Our favourite in Minca is the family-run Rancho De La Luna which offers a range of activities in addition to accommodation.