At our hostel at Costeño Beach we made a deal that although we didn’t spend another night there, we were allowed to use the facilities and take a shower, which was a blessing after the exhausting hike. Then, we headed to Minca. A taxi from Santa Marta to Minca costs 40000 peso (the first two drivers wanted more than 60000 peso).
There are two things that you cannot neglect / oversee when you are heading to Minca:
- the mosquitoes. Be very well prepared – they are indeed nasty: quiet, tiny but stinging with noticeable reddish itchy consequences. Wear long sleeves and trousers, closed shoes and apply repellent atop you clothes – the bastards manage to sting through them too… If you see people with legs covered with mosquito bites on your way in the North of Columbia, be assured, they didn’t take precautions in Minca.
- absence of proper ATMs. There is a manned 9-17 ATM in Minca which demands 10% of your withdrawal amount. However, the money come and go and there is a big chance that there will be no cash when you drop by (we experienced this problem ourselves). Therefore, bring enough cash with you to Minca.
Restaurants and accommodation
We have eaten in two restaurants in Minca and both of them were good:
- Rincon de Tono by the river (beware of mosquitoes!)
- Casa Cristi
In Minca, there is a big choice of accommodation – various casas, eco lodges, guest houses and hotels for any budget. We stayed in Casa Colibri (you have to be fit enough to climb numerous stairs to reach it) and can recommend it further, especially for a cabin with a view to the mountains. There is also a big chance that you will see colibris around the place. Some people we met stayed in Casa Loma (situated even higher on the mountain) and were also very happy with their choice.
Coffee and cacao plantations
One of the best things you can do in and around Minca is to visit coffee or cacao plantations. We went to Finca La Candelaria (15000pp for a mototaxi or 1,5 hours exhausting uphill hiking) and joined a cacao tour (the timing suited us better). The price is 20000 pp for both coffee or cacao tour which lasts about 1 hour. We were shown production of cacao, received some chocolate peeling and tasted the best hot chocolate in my life! A charming, colorful, playful toucan living at this finca is another reason for a visit.
Waterfall Poto Azul
From Finca La Candelaria you can go to Poto Azul, a waterfall popular among the locals: the trip is easy downhill and takes about one hour. You will pass wonderfully green hills and some local villages.
From Minca you can go to Santa Marta with a bus (8000 pp, services from 7 am till 5:30 PM).