Minca is becoming a hot spot for backpackers and hikers alike. Located only 45 minutes north of Santa Marta, it is a perfect place to cool off from the heat. With many waterfalls located in this region, you will not run out of things to do. One of those great spots to go swimming in is the Marinka waterfalls.
This is a very popular spot amongst locals and travelers and for good reason. We went to these waterfalls after visiting Tayrona National Park and it was perfect. There is quite a lot of infrastructure here which I was surprised about. I’m not sure if I like waterfalls to have this many amenities but nonetheless, it is still worth the visit.
In this guide, I will go over the reasons to visit, my experience, and how to get to Marinka waterfalls when you come to Minca.
What is Marinka Waterfalls
Marinka waterfalls are the 2nd most popular area in Minca behind Pozo Azul. There are 2 cascades that you can explore to cool off from the heat. The water is super cold but it also felt amazing after the hike.
I suggest getting there early if you want to have most of these waterfalls to yourself. That will be the case at a lot of these spots in Minca.
The cost is $10,000 COP and was worth every peso. Sometimes you have to pay to see nature’s best creations.
Marinka waterfalls vs Pozo Azul
Let me start out by saying both of these areas in Minca are amazing in their own right. It all comes down to personal preference.
If you want to save money and have a better area to swim then Pozo Azul is for you. It is free to enter and there are two great areas to swim. It is more popular, which might not be ideal for some.
Marinka waterfalls are great for those who want to have less of a crowd and better facilities. With these facilities comes an entry fee. The price to enter is $10,000 COP. There is also another free waterfall on the way called Ear of the World.
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.
Popular Activities to do in Minca
Minca is a special place. Easily one of my favorites in Colombia. There are even 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.
How to Get to Marinka Waterfalls
There are really only two options (unless you have a car) you can take to get to Marinka waterfalls. Below I will lay them out for you.
Moto taxis are extremely popular in Minca. These are skilled drivers who do this for a living. Right before the yellow bridge on your right-hand side, there will be a company called Moto Mink.
Here you will tell them wherever you want to go in Minca and they will take you. If you aren’t comfortable riding on the back of a motorcycle then I suggest you do the next option.
It costs $10,000 COP to get from downtown Minca to the Marinka waterfalls.
Hike to Marinka Waterfalls
This is the preferred option as you get to save money and potentially stop by another waterfall if you want to. It takes around 45 minutes to an hour.
The hike is mostly all on a road and not a trail. You will know when you arrive at the entrance as there will be a lot of moto-taxis there. From here it is another 5 minutes up to the entrance.
Marinka Waterfalls Hike Details
- Distance: This hike is a 4.7-mile out & back trail. This depends if you visit the Ear of the World waterfall along the way.
- Duration: It will take around 2 hours to complete this hike.
- Difficulty: I’d rank this hike as easy to moderate. While this is mainly all on the road, there are some parts with an incline.
- Incline: The elevation for this hike is 944 feet or 287 meters.
- Hiking Guide: A guide is not needed for this hike and is easily accessible by the public.
You can find this info and more reviews of the Marinka Waterfalls hike on Alltrails
My Experience Hiking Marinka Waterfalls
This hike is easily accessible from the center of Minca. You will want to find the yellow bridge and then head down the perpendicular road that leads you past the church. Stay on this road the rest of the way.
It is a great feeling that you can walk from downtown to a waterfall within an hour. Minca is a special place. The hike wasn’t as great as I’d liked because it is mainly on the road. This has its perks because it makes it nearly impossible to get lost.
Once you arrive at Marinka waterfalls you will walk past a couple of restaurants and stores. Inside the park, there is a restaurant as well where you can grab something to eat or a coffee.
Inside the park, there will be two different waterfalls that you can visit. The first one is better for swimming while the second one is better for photos.
Keep following the path shown above until you see a restaurant. You will pass a couple of Minca’s famous hammocks that you can lay on. Walk down past the restaurant and you will see the first waterfall.
The water is freezing but once you go under you are fine. It was actually quite refreshing after the hike. Make sure to get here early if you want to get better photos and have the place more to yourself.
Walk back up the steps that you came down. This time instead of going back the way you came from the entrance you will want to take a left. The path goes for a couple of minutes and you will be at the second waterfall.
This is not as popular as the first Marinka waterfall but it is great for photos. We stayed here for a few minutes capturing some epic moments and then we headed back to Minca.
Final Thoughts on Hiking to Marinka Waterfalls
Overall I really enjoyed visiting these two waterfalls in Marinka. If you are a fan of having more structure and facilities around an attraction like this then you will love it. Marinka waterfalls are great for the entire family, so try to come during the week if possible. The hike wasn’t bad either and this is a great activity if short on time.
Thank you for reading my guide on Marinka waterfalls in Minca. This town is special with so many things to do.