Minca – the paradise cloud forest
Leaving Palomino we were both quite sad as it had really restored our faith that Colombia is a worthwhile destination. However, being on a round the world trip means moving regularly so it was on to our next destination – Minca.
After 1 night in Santa Marta (where I treated us to a fabulous hotel, so we could get a good night’s sleep and revitalize after 5 nights camping) we hopped into a shared cab and 60 minutes later we arrived in Minca. The shared taxi was super easy, it costs 8000COP pp and the little bus departs when full, so you never have to wait more than 20mins.
Perched on top of a mountain in the Colombian Sierra Nevadas overlooking Santa Marta and the Caribbean Sea, with a population of 800, Minca feels a bit isolated but we had read so many cool things about it, we felt we had to add it to our itinerary.
Upon arrival we checked into our accomo ‘Chunuu Glamping and hostal’ which is AWESOME! We booked a double but managed to get a free upgrade to a 1 bed chalet overlooking the beautiful forest, costing us $60NZD a night with breaky.
We ate some amazing food during the day and explored the tiny town getting our bearings for the next few days of adventures visiting waterfalls, hiking to the largest hammock in the world and tasting amazing local produce of the region.
The following morning we woke up early to the sounds of howler monkeys, birds singing and the sun splitting the sky. It’s so peaceful here and the sounds of wildlife and the surrounding river really has brought back the sense of calm that Taganga and Cartagena destroyed at the start.
The mission of the day was to get to ‘Casa Elemento’ situated 9km up the mountain road as you leave town, or 2-3 hour trek depending how you want to try and make your way there. We opted for moto taxi up and walk back down so we were still getting our steps in but not overdoing it in the sun. Expensive as it is, the moto taxi costs 20000COP pp and takes around 30 minutes. The Casa Elemento Hostel is the most well-known spot in Minca (especially on insta), because of it’s giant hammock, considered the largest in the world overlooking the vast forest below.
Upon arrival, guests can pay 10000COP pp to enjoy the day in the grounds, exploring the jungle, the pool and entry comes with a beer or juice as well which is needed after the explore. We really enjoyed it there, we would not have stayed there as we have recently read some bad reviews but for a day trip and some pretty awesome pics, we highly recommend it!
The walk down took us 1.5 hours as we were fast and started to get peckish so wanted to get to town ASAP for some lunch. Beware of snakes…we saw one. It was dead but it was there, so naturally I picked it up. Upon arriving back into town our lunch spot today was ‘Duni’, so far my favourite thing about Minca. Period. With a tiny, carefully selected menu, changing from day to day: artisanal bread with cream cheese; coffee from a local farm; thick fudgy oat cookies; brownies, chocolate bread and AWESOME menu of the day…this has quickly become where I want to eat every single day of my existence. We ordered the vegetarian menu of the day and …well…have a look for yourself. ($7NZD pp – incredible)
Lush with mountain views and thick with jungle vegetation dotted with waterfalls and swimming holes, we feel that the next few days in Minca will be well spent and we are looking forward to exploring as much as possible.
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Hey! I'm Ally. I left the UK in 2011 to move overseas and ended up in New Zealand - my new home. This year we are taking a gap year to loop the world stopping in some AMAZING destinations - and I'm passionate about sharing these adventures with you!