The tiny mountain town of Minca, Colombia is not on most travelers list but I am here to tell you why it should be on yours. Minca is perched on top of a mountain about a 45-60 minute cab ride outside of Santa Marta. This makes it the perfect day trip if you are using Santa Marta as a base camp to explore this region of Colombia.
Minca is a rather isolated town and one that I am not sure if I would stay at for more than a day trip. On the flip side it was one of my favorite day trips in all of Colombia and one I still think about.
What To Do In Minca Colombia
My recommendation for a day trip to Minca would be to schedule a day trip with one of the local companies.
The day trip we scheduled was with Jungle Joe Minca Adventures a local tour company and they handled all the logistics of picking us up, providing an english speaking guide and meals for the full day!
I cannot recommend Jungle Joe enough and we where incredibly surprised just how much we did in one day and how much we saw across Minca in one day.
What is Jungle Joe Minca Adventures
Jungle Joe Minca Adventures is a locally owned small tour company that is run by Joe Ortiz. When we did the full day Minca tour we spent most of the day with his daughter exploring the Minca jungle and waterfalls, followed by lunch and cocoa tasting with Joe himself.
Jungle Joe Full Day Minca Tour
The Full Day Minca Tour started by a taxi picking us up from our Hostel in Santa Marta bright and early. The taxi had already picked up two other travellers from Chile who would be joining us for the day.
The taxi took us straight to the center of town in Minca and dropped us off to meet the rest of the group for the day. We ended up waiting at a local market while the rest of the group arrived and we got ready to set off for the day. Joe and his daughter introduced themselves at the market, made sure everyone was present and we set off on our way.
The first part of the day tour was led by Joe’s daughter and it was a long hike through the jungle to find a secret waterfall that was worth every minute of that hike. The hike led us through the Minca jungle and I must say it was pretty AWESOME!
The one downside to the hike at least for someone who gets hot easily, was just how humid it was. Mid way through this hike it seemed like I had jumped into the waterfall already fully clothed.
The waterfall was one of the funnest things I did in Colombia and was just a blast to hang out with the rest of the group and play around in some cool water after such a hot and sweaty hike down.
After about an hour at the waterfall we hiked back out and up the mountain to meet Joe for lunch. We hiked until we arrived at Joe’s house in the Minca mountainside where he lives in a full bamboo house. The meal prepared by Joe and his staff was amazing and the house tour was greatly appreciated.
After lunch and a tour of the house we got an indepth talk on how they used bamboo to build the house and a very informative talk on how useful bamboo can be.
The highlight of the time at Joe’s house was the chat on how cocoa is grown and produced for mass consumption. If you are like me that was the first time you would have learned where chocolate comes from and how its produced for consumer consumption.
The last stop of the day tour in Minca is a local coffee farm that produces organic and locally grown coffee that was hands down AMAZING!
Should you do the Jungle Joe Minca Day Tour
I cannot recommend the Jungle Joe tour enough and think it would be the best way to spend a full day in Minca if you are tight on time. While some people would state you should spend a few nights in Minca, I still advocate for Santa Marta as a base camp and day trips to the sorroudning towns. If time is not on your side this will be the best bang for your buck!
Have you been to Minca? What did you think? Do you recommend staying or just visiting for a day trip?
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