Minca is a jungle paradise set within the mystical mountain range of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.
It’s often a favourite amongst travellers due to its laidback vibe, tranquillity and nature-centric values. Minca is a place where people and nature have learnt to live interdependently.
And with only 800 residents, you’re likely to see more birds than people — Minca has an impressive 345 species of birds.
If you’re visiting Minca soon, you’ve come to the right place. After reading this guide, you’ll know where to stay, which restaurants are the best and how to get around this tiny lush village in Colombia.
Minca is the place to fully immerse yourself in nature. You can spend your days swimming in waterfalls, hiking up mountains or learning about cacao and coffee.
The people in Minca do their best to live in sync with nature, whether it be through organic farming, cooking with local produce or finding ways to encourage tourism in a sustainable way.
It’s also somewhere where it’s okay to do nothing. Time seems to escape the town of Minca, so there’s never a rush here. It’s quite a liberating and unusual feeling for most of us!
With an abundance of fresh and local ingredients, you can also find some incredible restaurants in Minca.
Eating, relaxing, swimming and hiking — it doesn’t sound too bad to us!
Top Tip: There are no official ATMs in Minca, so make sure to bring enough cash with you to last your stay.
How long should you spend in Minca?
How long you should stay in Minca depends on what you’re looking for. If you want to see Minca and tick it off the list, then 3-4 days is a good amount of time.
Minca has more to offer than just its things to do. Its vibe emanates relaxation and tranquillity. That’s why a lot of people decide to stay for at least a week. The amazing jungle accommodation in Minca provides the perfect space to slow down a bit.
Where to stay in Minca
Minca isn’t a very big place, the population doesn’t even reach 1000 people!
Thankfully, its size doesn’t impact the number of incredible accommodations available in Minca. Think jungle retreats, infinity pools and nothing but the sound of nature.
Location #1: In the centre of Minca — live amongst the locals
If you want to be close to amenities such as shops, restaurants and bars, then we’d recommend staying in the centre of Minca town.
It’s so small that everything will be within walking distance. Plus, you can soak up the daily lives of the locals.
Accommodation in the centre of Minca
Most of the accommodations in Minca, especially the good ones, sit outside the centre of town. But there are a few to pick from that will still guarantee a great stay, Finca Hostal Bolivar being one of them!
It’s only a few minutes’ walk from the centre of town, has a great vibe and still offers incredible jungle views.
Location 2: Stay in the surrounding nature — for relaxation and tranquillity
Our recommendation would be to stay outside of Minca. This is where you’ll find the best accommodation, surrounded by nothing but nature and its jungle orchestra.
A lot of the accommodations in Minca are situated on fincas (farms) or are luxurious ecolodges. They are the types of places we dream of sitting at our desks working. Absolute relaxation!
You may have to organise transportation to get to the centre of Minca, but we think the peace and tranquillity is completely worth it!
Minca jungle lodges
There are accommodation options for all budgets — incredible hostels with infinity pools, homestays, Airbnbs and eco hotels. And don’t worry, despite being in the middle of the jungle, the majority of accommodations in Minca do have Wi-Fi.
Sierra Alta Finca offers ultimate luxury and even a hot tub overlooking the jungle. Whilst Mundo Nuevo has plenty of classes and activities to keep you busy.
Sol de Minca Eco Lodge is budget-friendly, though you wouldn’t have guessed it with their beautifully decorated rooms, yoga and onsite restaurant.
Private rooms in Minca tend to start from $15 a night.
Top Tip: Minca might be hot and sunny during the day, but at night it can get a little chilly. Make sure to bring some layers with you, so you can still sit out and star-gaze without shivering the entire time!
Where to eat in Minca
Situated up in the mountains and surrounded by nothing but nature and agriculture, Minca is full of fresh and healthy produce.
For such a small town, there are a lot of good places to eat. The restaurants and cafes really use their fresh and high-quality produce here.
To make sure that you’re getting the best of what Minca has to offer, check out our 3 favourite places to eat:
Cattleya Fast Food — delicious arepas served in a cute and cosy restaurant
Looking for arepas that are so full and packed with tasty fillings that it can barely fit in your mouth? That probably wasn’t exactly what you had in mind, but we bet you want it now!
Cattleya is home to probably THE best arepas in Minca. It’s a small and cosy restaurant, with the friendliest owners. The balcony is a perfect place to enjoy your arepa and relax. Their cakes and happy hour cocktails (two for 20,000 COP ($4.25) are also a popular choice.
Bururake — perfectly cooked grilled meat
Bururake is a great dinner spot in Minca, boasting a friendly ambience and tasty food. The restaurant focuses on grilled meat that is cooked to perfection.
You can enjoy a fillet mignon or a rack of ribs right next to a river and for half the price that you’d pay in most countries. Plus, it’s probably better! Don’t worry if you’re vegetarian or vegan, they also have plenty of choices to satisfy your hunger.
Amora Cocina Saludable — healthy and fresh food made with love
If you need a dose of health, then pop into Amora Cocina Saludable. Brunch lovers will be extremely happy as there’s pancakes, acai bowls, juices, wraps, sandwiches and more.
It’s hard to find good bread in Colombia, but Amora Cocina’s baguettes and ciabattas are winners. Couple this great food with delicious coffee and you’ll be visiting every day.
How to get around Minca
Minca is only small which makes getting around an easy task. However, some of the things to do in Minca are in the surrounding area and might be a bit too far to walk to.
Here are the best ways to get around Minca and the area:
If you’re staying in the centre of Minca, or your accommodation is on one of the roads connecting to the centre, then your own two feet should get you to a lot of places.
Most of the best restaurants and cafes are found in the centre of Minca, so they are all within walking distance.
Minca is also a stunning place, so taking the time to walk to activities further outside of Minca can be part of the activity too.
By moto taxi
Moto taxis are a popular form of transportation in Minca. They’re essentially a taxi but on a motorbike.
They can be a good way to get to nearby sites and to your accommodation when you arrive in Minca. Don’t worry if you have luggage, they always find a way to fit it on.
Moto taxis are an adventure in themselves!
You won’t find it hard to find one as you’ll have lots of drivers saying ‘taxi’, ‘moto taxi’ as you walk along the streets.
They’re also pretty cheap, as long as you haggle. For example, a 10-minute journey to Pozo Azul — two waterfalls nearby — costs around 10,000 COP ($2.10).
Staying in Minca is more than just choosing a place to stay. This is going to be an experience that you’re never going to forget. The majority of accommodations are farms or eco lodges.
You’ll be surrounded by nothing but jungle, eating some of the freshest produce and simply relaxing.
With so many great places to stay, here are our favourites in Minca:
Sierra Alta Finca — Treating Yourself
How many times in your life do you get to stay in the middle of the jungle? If the answer is ‘not many’, then why not treat yourself? Sierra Alta is a magical blend of indoors and outdoors. Outdoor bathrooms where you can shower under the stars and cosy rooms that guarantee a good sleep.
The hot tub overlooking nothing but the jungle has to be one of the best things about this place. The hosts, Julio and Pilar, come in a close second. They help to make your stay as relaxing and enjoyable as possible. This place is incredible.
This is the kind of place most of us dream of. A jungle oasis, nestled between the mountains, with nothing but nature. You can even hear a waterfall as you lay in your huge and comfortable bed.
Every room has its own balcony where you can simply admire the view from your hammock or lounge chairs. You’ll quickly feel at home here because the staff are on another level! Always willing to help with anything.
Mundo Nuevo has an incredible story that you’ll want to be a part of. Everything they do has sustainability and the planet in mind. Due to this, you’ll get to enjoy some of the freshest produce that’s grown on their own farm.
There are plenty of activities here: you can visit an indigenous village, join a bread workshop, learn about beekeeping or simply have a massage. Their comfortable and clean rooms are the cherry on top!
This place is more than just somewhere to stay, it’s an experience. It’s a place where you will leave feeling inspired and rejuvenated. Through their yoga and meditation, family-feel atmosphere and eco-tourism, your eyes will be opened to many new things.
All of this, whilst being surrounded by lush jungle and views of the sea. The cabins are all made with natural building materials and boast unique designs. This is somewhere that you’ll never forget and potentially not want to leave!
Now that you’ve finished reading this guide, you’re almost ready for your adventure in Minca. The next step is to create your personalised itinerary with our top picks of things to do in Minca. Simply choose your favourite activities and places to visit, and you’re all set to make lasting memories in Minca.
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Kate is a writer, (ex)Management Consultant and avid traveller. She recently returned from a 2-year career break exploring the world and decided corporate life wasn’t for her. She’ll soon be testing life as a digital nomad. She’s visited over 40 countries and fell in love with Latin America in particular. Her travelling has inspired a passion for yoga, salsa, hiking and Spanish.
Aleksandra is a writer and editor who recently moved from Hong Kong to London. She’s worked and studied in four countries (and counting) and picked up a new hobby in each of them. She’s a big fan of long train journeys so you can count on her to take the scenic route, finding a few hidden gems along the way.