Minca is a little village up in the mountains in Northern Colombia. It is one hour away from dirty Santa Santa Marta and a tiny little backpacker village. If you want to escape Santa Marta’s busy and dusty roads and relax a bit in nature, Minca is the place to go.
The weather is refreshingly mild and the view above the mountain range is breathtakingly beautiful.
HOW TO GET THERE
From Santa Marta you can take a minivan up to Minca. The ride is around 1 hour and wringles its way on curvy roads up the mountains.
Santa Marta to Minca is about 8000 Pesos.
Minca to Santa Marta is about 20000 Pesos by scooter or Jeep (Jeep can be shared!) and takes another 25 minutes.
Count in 28000 Pesos and 1,5 hours to get up there in total.
When you choose a scooter ride- make sure to avoid the idiots! I went down the street and people were already storming us dying to take us up the Hostel (Case de Viejas). I instantly disliked them the way those dudes checked me out and decided not to ride with them. There was one really nice guy of bout 19-years-old and I hopped on hi scooter.
What surprised me most was the reaction of the two guys I was traveling with. “Get off the scooter. We have someone already.” I didn’t really get it at first, so my first reaction was to get off the scooter – startled- to then realise they actually wanted me to ride with one of the other dudes- for no apparent reason- I mean we needed three scooters anyways and there was no discount either way. I am used to travel on my own, including making my own decisions on what feels right and what does not – this was a bit weird to me then haha.
The vibes quickly changed- I could feel that. Even if it did not make sense to me at all – my choice was not appreciated. Don’t get me wrong, I got along with the two guys really well and they’ve got golden hearts, but I think they might have never been actual friends with a girl before! That moment made me miss my guy friends at home in Germany!
I’ve never signed up for any scooter asshole in the first place. Well … it’s not going to happen I thought and jumped right back on the scooter of my nice guy whilst shouting “I am definitely NOT driving with them – they are RUDE!!” and off we drove. Damn was I pissed!
Those scooter dudes somehow had made themselves stupid t-shirts and pretended to be from a company. In case they were: it’s was shitty one! Don’t go with them!
Let your instincts guide you! In the end I rode up from Minca with a nice guy who actually drove slow and carefully.
The roads were covered in mud and the cliffs were steep.
The scooter dudes from Minca were overtaking us – angry that I had chosen someone else to ride up- and insulted us all of the way. The boys I had travelled with were avoiding eye contact. The dudes drove so shitty they almost fell down. My dude was chilled though and didn’t care about them at all. I actually practiced some Spanish on the way up, which was funny.
At some point we had to walk through mud for a bit, because the mud was too deep for the scooter, but I made it up safe. It only took 25 minutes.
When I arrived at the hostel I made my way to the dorm on my own, when a girl came in and we started talking. “I hope you don’t mind…!” She said unpacking a huge bag of weed she had gotten from one of the scooter guys on her way up. I bet it was one of the nice ones! “Hahahaha, where did you get that from?” I asked, laughing. “I asked him for some, we drove to the forest- he disappeared and came back with that”. Well, this sounds easy!
I liked her a lot and we ended up talking and laughing all night.
I missed traveling. The real travels, where you have an infinite time to go wherever life takes you. Meet people you instantly connect and just live without needing a watch or a timetable.
I am SO looking forward to doing that again in a few months. Just head off and who knows where I’ll end up. I remembered being homesick just a week earlier and I still do not know how to combine those two feelings. But hey! Life is great if you travel on your own.
One of the boys I had been traveling with was getting sick and I wanted him to feel better. I went to the cook of the hostel and guess what: they made him a ginger, turmeric lemon tee for free! Nice one! I secretly hoped he would ditch his medication and was happy to hear that he felt better as the night went on.
The night ended with all of us being one big group at a really tiny place up in the mountains together. It was a nice day and an even better evening up there. I could have stayed longer hanging out with the funny girls I’ve met. But when you don’t have time for traveling, you have to stick to a timetable and I had to leave the next day.
Where to stay?
If you want to stay at the famous hammock place you have to go to “Casa Elemento”. The reviews are not the best online and if you imagine this place without he hammock it doesn’t look too nice! You can visit this place those (entry fee is 10000 Pesos). One girl told me the dude who owned it was a bit touchy. Be prepared to tell him off, in case you end up there! Or just ditch it and go somewhere else, haha!
I stayed at “Casa Viejas” and had a great view over the mountains.
The next morning there were free yoga lessons and breakfast was just amazing.
There is no WiFi, but you actually do not need it. Enjoy the bonfire, some cold Mojitos or hang out at the inside hammocks!
I mean just check out this massive hammock up there hahaha!
The next day we went back to Minca and road down those muddy roads, but in a much more comfortable way: in a jeep. Ohoho this made me remember my jeep at home in Germany!
I then took a bus from Santa Marta directly to Cartagena. The tours organise the transfer for you. I said goodbye to my short term travel crew and made my way back to São Paulo.
If you want to read more about Tayrona National Park, click here to read my article.