Taking a day trip to Minca to explore waterfalls
Minca is a small, quiet town in Northern Colombia, and an easy day trip from Santa Marta. There is a ton to do in Minca, including coffee and cacao farms, waterfalls, and plenty of restaurants and cafes overlooking a stream.
We headed to the bus stop to catch the local van that heads down to Minca each morning. For $14,000 pesos total (about $2USD each), we took a 45 minute ride over to Minca. The van drops you off right next to the eager locals just waiting to take you on a motorcycle adventure. You can walk to the Pozo Azul waterfall, but it would be about an hour walk at 1.5 miles. For $10,000 pesos each way, we hopped on the back of these two guys’ motorcycles and caught a ride down a bumpy dirt road. We zoomed past weary travelers and were dropped off right at the entrance to the waterfall. You have to have a stomach for adventure to enjoy the wild motorbike ride, but the drivers were very friendly and cautious, and will even let you borrow their helmet if you’d like.
Pozo Azul is a refreshing swimming hole. Just at the base of the small falls, there is a perfect swim area to beat the humidity. A few brave souls were jumping off the side of the falls, but most were just lounging or swimming. A lone old man had set up his very own 7-11 style store right at the entrance, selling beers, candy and chips. The place was pretty crowded with tourists, but nevertheless refreshing and nice.
Once done at the waterfall, we walked back and found our drivers patiently waiting to drive us back to town. We wandered down the main streets and ended up at a Bakery/Cafe, La Miga Panderia. Upon walking up, you’ll smell the fresh baked bread and treats. They had samples of the different types of breads and dipping sauces. We purchased a loaf of bread and some hummus, and washed it down with a fancy coffee. However, we were having major FOMO over the table next to us and their delicious sandwiches. Everything there looked amazing; we don’t think you can go wrong.
After lunch, we stopped by the Lazy Cat Cafe for a beer overlooking the river and to use the free wifi. The outdoor patio was peaceful and surrounded by trees. We enjoyed listening to the river below, and ended up splitting a huge banana, coconut milk and cinnamon smoothie which is every bit as good as it sounds.
We then walked back to the motorcycle stand to catch a ride to Marinka waterfall. This one was about 20 minutes down another curved dirt road. Again, it was $10,000 pesos each way to rent motorcycle. There’s a small hike to get to the entrance where there is a S4,000 pesos fee to use the facilities. There are also two waterfalls here, nice restrooms, a restaurant, and a giant hammock to relax in. We spent more time here than expected, but our motorcycle drivers were still patiently waiting for us (and probably had been for an hour) and happily drove us back to town.
We hopped in the shuttle van to get back to Santa Marta and had a quick dinner before heading to the airport that evening. Then it was off to Medellin for our next set of adventures.