“Fill your life with experiences, not things. Have stories to tell, not stuff to show” – Anon
Preparation goes a long way in Colombia. We learnt this upon arrival into Minca – a gorgeous little bohemian village in the mountains near Santa Marta. It’s known primarily for it’s awesome coffee and the relaxed hippy lifestyle but we were also interested in hiking. We were staying in the Dreamer Hostel in Santa Marta – extremely well known in the area and a great base to do day trips. We hitched a ride with an organised tour for 10,000 pesos each and arrived in Minca at 11.30am. Warning: There is very very little information around. No maps, not much English and no signage whatsoever! We sat at Minca Cafe at first to try the delicious coffee and then decided just to set off on a path in one direction and try our luck.
Later, we learnt that the 5 hour hike we embarked on was called the Los Pinos trek which leads up and around the top of the mountain. It started with a 2.5 hour climb uphill. Some parts were steeper than others but the scenery was beautiful. Every bend we turned, the temperature got cooler and the air felt fresher. We walked along paths with huge pine trees, small local run coffee bars, an Indian ritual retreat, waterfalls (slightly off the path) and once we got to the top, we were walking through clouds. By this point we were also dripping in sweat. We stopped at a hostel called casa Elemento perched right up the top with great views over the mountain range. They have a giant hammock over the cliff (the biggest in Colombia) and they have a pool, bar, hammocks and jungle zip lining. It is amazingly peaceful. We relaxed for awhile (and had an incredible burrito) before heading back down. Many people were staying the night. One traveller had been there for 3 weeks sleeping in a hammock outside!
On the way back down, we suddenly realised how late it was getting. The sun was setting at 6.30pm and we didn’t think we would be back in time. We took the speed up a notch and powered down – absolutely exhausted! Ideally, if we had started earlier, we could have been able to fit in the Victoria coffee farm and Pozo Azul waterfalls however we ran out of time! Such an incredible day and great exercise!! We hitchhiked home with a local family back to Santa Marta and completely collapsed. Maybe if we were prepared for the intense hike, we may not have been so tired! Overall – it was insanely beautiful and we loved Minca overall. Muchos recommenda!