Located on top of a hill in Minca overlooking the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is a great viewpoint called Los Pinos. This is a popular location for locals to come (mainly on motorcycles) to have a drink with a view. It is easily accessible if you’re staying at the famous Sierra Minca hostel.

On a good day, you are able to see the town of Minca clearly as well as Santa Marta. Even the Caribbean will be visible. We weren’t so lucky when we got to the top. This shouldn’t stop you though.

The beauty of this hike is that it can be added on with others. Popular waterfalls like Ear of the World and the Marinka waterfalls can be combined in this full day of adventure. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, it is possible to get to Cerro Kennedy from here as well.

In this blog, I will go over exactly how to get to Los Pinos in Minca as well as the different ways of arriving there.

los pinos minca

Are there Hostels Near Los Pinos Viewpoint in Minca?

In Minca, there are only a few accommodations and hostels near the Los Pinos viewpoint. Aloha Ke Akua Holistic Hostel is one that has some good reviews. I would make sure to double-check if these places are open in the offseason, like when we went. One hostel that will always be open is Sierra Minca.

This hostel has it all. The famous Minca hammocks, ziplines, mountain views, and a pool. Couple this with a great vibe and you have an award-winning hostel! They run many tours that are bound to make every type of traveler happy. There is also a hand that you can stand on to get that perfect Instagram photo.

sierra minca hostel

How to Get to Los Pinos Hike in Minca

There are many ways to get to Los Pinos viewpoint from Minca. You can take a moto-taxi all the way up the mountain, take a big truck up (best for a large group), hike the whole thing, or do a mixture. We decided to do a mixture. If you’re looking to take a moto-taxi then you will want to visit Moto Mink in the center of town. They are located right before the yellow bridge.

We decided to do a mixture since we had already visited Ear of the World and Marinka waterfalls the day before. It cost us $10,000 COP to get a moto-taxi up to Marinka. From here you have two options. Follow the road or cut through the Marinka waterfalls. I would suggest taking the road up, especially if you want to visit Sierra Minca.

The other route is through the Reserva Natural Tierra Adentro. This is a beautiful area but is rather steep when hiking up. We decided to hike down through this area. Below is the route we took to get there.

My Suggested Hiking Gear

Below is a list of some of my favorite hiking/travel gear I bring everywhere. Everything below is something I currently use and never leave my house without.

  • KEEN Durand II Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots: I finally upgraded my hiking boots in 2022 and these are fantastic. They have top-notch ankle support and are super durable.
  • Petzl Tikka Headlamp: A headlamp for hiking is a must if you’re like me and love sunrise hikes. This is a great price for a quality headlamp and also has a good red light to not disturb others in the morning.
  • Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Cushion Socks: I originally got these as a present but I had to buy more because these are the most comfortable hiking socks I’ve ever tried on.
  • Grayl GeoPress Water Filter Bottle: You will never have to rebuy plastic water bottles. This is the best water filtering device on the market. It is excellent for hikers and travelers alike.

Los Pinos Hike Details

  • Distance: This hike is around a 14-mile out & back trail. This depends on visiting the Ear of the World waterfall along the way and Marinka Waterfalls.
  • Duration: It will take around 6-7 hours to complete depending on how long you stay at the top.
  • Difficulty: I’d rank this hike as moderate to difficult for some. While this is mainly all on the road, some parts have an incline. This is especially true if you take a slightly different route.
  • Incline: The elevation for this hike is around 900 meters
  • Hiking Guide: A guide is not needed for this hike and is easily accessible by the public.
los pinos minca

Popular Activities to do in Minca

Minca is a special place. Easily one of my favorites in Colombia. There are more things you can do here besides seeing some amazing waterfalls. The region has amazing coffee as well as one of the most famous hikes in all of Colombia, The Lost City Trek.

My Experience Hiking to Los Pinos Overlook in Minca

Like I said previously, we decided to take a moto-taxi up to Marinka waterfalls. This saved us around an hour. From here we followed the road on our way to Sierra Minca hostel. It is very hard to get lost on this path. I would suggest downloading maps.me just in case.

There isn’t much to see on this route besides some pretty nice views of the forest. We passed what seems to be a new hostel that is being built. Looks like it will have some good nature vibes to it. Keep a lookout for this in the next year.

los pinos minca hostel

Want to take a different route up?

If you aren’t interested in hiking along a road or visiting Sierra Minca then I suggest you take a different route. Take a left inside of Marinka waterfalls off the main road. Instead of walking in like you are about to pay, hook a right. Here you will go past some nature hotels and cross a river. You will be going through some dense forest and then start to hike the steep incline up.

This will be a good challenge and walking down the road will be an easier task than walking down this area.

los pinos minca

Arriving at Sierra Minca Hostel

After a couple more hours along your hike through the outskirts of Minca to Los Pinos, you will arrive at a sign pointing you toward the Sierra Minca hostel. Shortly after this, you will come upon two roads. Hook a left and head up to the hostel.

After going through the gate located to your left you will start a steep incline that seems to circle around a hill. Once we arrived at the hostel we decided it was a good time to take a break and grab a drink. If you want you can grab a day pass here and hang out for a bit.

From here it is very easy to find Los Pinos viewpoint as there are many signs pointing towards it. If you have any questions, feel free to ask one of the workers at the hostel.

sierra minca hostel
sierra minca hostel
los pinos minca

Sierra Minca to Los Pinos Overlook

Start following the signs that point you to Los Pinos. This will lead you past some houses and through the thick forest. There will be many banana trees but the path is pretty well established. We even had a dog lead us the way for some of it.

You will want to get off this path once you see an opening in the fence (shown below). Walk through this opening. This trail from Sierra Minca hostel to Los Pinos will lead you back to the main road. A solid shortcut with great views from the hostel.

As you keep hiking you will pass a playground on your left and then the viewpoint is not much further ahead. We saw many bikers there all enjoying the view as we arrived.

It wasn’t the greatest weather day as it became extremely overcast. If you go in May like us, try your best to get there as early as possible.

los pinos minca
los pinos minca
sierra minca to los pinos

Relaxing coffee shop with a view

If you keep walking past the Los Pinos viewpoint you will come across a beautiful little coffee shop/restaurant with great views over Minca. We didn’t bring much food with us on this day so we were pretty hungry. So as any normal person would do, we ordered a ham and cheese sandwich. Oh, and also a Corona while we waited.

This hit the spot.

After about an hour we started our trek back down toward Minca.

los pinos minca

The Hike Back Down to Minca From Los Pinos

We wanted to take a different route down. Sometimes it’s easier to take the same path but we wanted a change of scenery. I highly suggest doing the same. This route begins as a dirt road and then turns into a dirt trail.

Head back the way you came until you get to the section of the fence that you passed through coming from Sierra Minca. Hook a U-turn and head down this path. It will be a rocky road down until you get to what at first glance seems like a dead end. Find the trail to the left of the gate and begin your trek down through the Reserva Natural Tierra Adentro and Finca La Semilla.

This path will lead you right before the main entrance to the Marinka waterfalls. If you get lost, all you have to do is keep going straight and down. At one point there will be multiple paths but don’t take the U-turn and just keep walking straight.

los pinos minca
los pinos route

Final Thoughts on the Los Pinos Hike in Minca

It was a great hike and an even better workout. The view at the top was slightly disappointing for us because of the cloud cover but it was still worth it. There are only a few stumps to sit on at the main viewpoint, so try to get here early. We have seen better views of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta like from Cerro Kennedy but I still highly suggest making the trip. It is a must-do activity if you decide to spend the night at the Sierra Minca hostel.

Thank you for reading my guide on the hike to Los Pinos Overlook in Minca. This town is amazing. I wish we had more time to spend here.

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