ear of the world minca, minca waterfalls

When we arrived in Minca, the weather wasn’t great. It was raining all day but we weren’t going to let that stop us on our adventures. We decided to take advantage of these rainy days and get wet anyways in one of the many waterfalls that Minca has to offer.

There is something blissful about going swimming while it is raining. You know the rain can’t ruin your day anymore. This weather helped the flow of the rivers; thus, the waterfalls were going hard.

Minca is an amazing town, and I highly suggest you add it to your Colombia itinerary.

When traveling to Minca, you can have a few days of hiking followed by relaxing at a waterfall. It’s the perfect combination.

minca hikes, minca waterfalls

Where is Minca Located?

Located around 40 minutes from Santa Marta is Minca. This ride will have you driving away from the beach and up into the mountains.

Once in Minca, it is possible to see the mountain range consisting of Pico Cristóbal Colón (the highest mountain in Colombia). This mountain sits at 5,730 meters high.

There are more hikes in Minca than the ones on this list and you’ll be able to stay busy for days! The amount of unique hikes in Colombia is what kept me traveling here for so long.

How to Get to Minca, Colombia

It is very easy to get to Minca. I will lay out the exact details of how to get there from two very popular places, Cartagena and Santa Marta.

The cost of travel in Colombia is cheap and that will help you to be able to see as much as possible.

Santa Marta to Minca

Minca is located 45 minutes south of Santa Marta in a beautiful mountainous region. This is a very popular area amongst travelers and local Colombian tourists alike. It is suggested to book your accommodation ahead of time.

Here are a few ways of getting to Minca:

  • Colectivo: This costs only $9,000 COP and runs multiple times a day. Head to the Mercado Publico and ask for Minca.
  • Taxi: The going rate to get a ride to Minca is $60,000 COP. We were able to get it down to $55,000 COP but that was it.
  • Moto Taxi: This will be cheaper than a taxi but may be difficult with your luggage.

Cartagena to Minca

Cartagena is located 4 hours southwest of Santa Marta. For the cheapest way to get to Minca from Cartagena, you will want to make your way to Santa Marta first.

This can either be done by public bus or private transport. The private shuttle is around $170 USD for 6 people. Below I will go over the cheapest way to arrive at Cartagena from Minca.

  • Either book ahead online at Redbus or make your way to the Cartagena Terminal.
    • The top 2 companies are Brasilia and MarSol
  • You can get a bus for as cheap as 60k COP ($12 USD) for a 4 1/2 hour journey to Santa Marta
  • After arriving you will either have the option to take a collectivo for $9,000 COP or a Taxi for $60,000 COP to Minca

Best Places to Stay in Minca, Colombia

  • Casa Loma Minca: This hostel is located up a hill just through the downtown area. It has a patio that offers spectacular views of Minca below.
  • Rio Elemento Ecolodge: A little pricier hostel compared to most in Colombia but it makes up for this with its great amenities.
  • Finca Carpe Diem: Farther away from the town than other hostels but that is what makes this place so magical.

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.

5 Amazing Waterfalls in Minca, Colombia

Marinka Waterfalls

I’d like to start off this list of waterfalls in Minca with my favorite one. Marinka waterfalls is a well-maintained small waterfall park that has 2 waterfalls you can get up close to.

The cost to get into the park is only $10,000 COP ($2 USD). These costs help keep the park in good shape for all the visitors they get.

There is even a small cafe where you can order food and drinks from inside.

It is a short hike from the town of Minca to the waterfalls or you can take a moto-taxi. If you want, you can connect the Los Pinos hike with the Marinka waterfalls if you have time.

marinka waterfalls, minca hikes

Cascada Oido del Mundo (Ear of the World)

The next waterfall on this list can also be combined with Marinka Waterfalls. It is smaller than some but it will most likely be very empty if not completely empty. Cascada Oido del Mundo (Ear of the World) is free to go and sometimes can be easy to miss.

While hiking on the main road up to Marinka waterfalls, about halfway you will see some signs on your right immediately after a turn. You will find a path heading down and only about a couple minutes of hiking and you will be there.

This is a hidden gem and one of the waterfalls I’d make my way back to if I was visiting Minca again.

Cascada Oido del Mundo

Cascada Perdida (Valhalla)

The next waterfall on the list might be the hardest to find. It is becoming more popular now than when I visited there, so there could be other hikers. Cascada Perdida or sometimes known as Cascada Escondida is along the same road as Pozo Azul.

Find Jugos y panadería “Del Bosque” on google maps. You will want to make a left on the street adjacent to this right before hitting this store.

Follow this road and there will be a trail down to this waterfall.

Other Hikes in Minca: 8 Legendary Hikes in Minca8 Legendary Hikes in Minca

Pozo Azul

Further up the road from Cascada Perdida, you will find Pozo Azul. This is the most popular activity to do in Minca for many reasons. The ease of access plus because its free to enter, makes it become very crowded.

I would suggest either showing up to this waterfall really early or heading there around 12 to 1 pm. You can take a moto-taxi to the entrance or simply walk up Calle 1 for around 30 minutes until you see the entrance on your left.

If you want to get away from the crowds at the lower waterfall, you can hike around the side to another waterfall.

The waterfalls in Minca are something you don’t want to miss when you visit this area.

pozo azul, minca hikes, minca waterfalls

Kamaji Sauna Spa

This waterfall is a bit different than the others on this list. Kamaji Sauna Spa is along the river on the western side of town. Here you will be able to get in a sauna and have a massage.

After you will be able to swim in the river and also by its nearby river. The reviews for this place are amazing and you won’t regret visiting this part of town.

Look on google maps for the Kamaji Sauna Spa for directions. It is possible to take a moto-taxi to this location as well.

Popular Activities in Minca, Colombia

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.

Final Thoughts on the Best Waterfalls in Minca

Minca is a legendary destination in Colombia that cannot be missed. I only recently discovered this place a few days before we arrived. We were scared about the rain being a factor but overall it enhanced our experience. The many waterfalls in Minca will get you entertained for days.

I highly suggest visiting this small mountain town in Colombia and you will be itching to come back for more.