It is known for its variety of ecological plans, such as the Marinka and Pozo Azul waterfalls.
Few places in the world offer different environments surrounded by nature in the same destination as the city of Santa Marta does. In the surroundings of the capital of Magdalena we can find swamp, hot springs, sea and beach, rivers and mountains. All in one place.
In fact, it is the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the highest coastal mountain range in the world, with 5,775 meters above sea level, one of the most attractive tourist spots in the area. There, the wisdom of nature converges with the indigenous, there are all the thermal floors and various activities focused on ecological tourism can be carried out.
In this same place is a hidden paradise called Minca, a small town located approximately 45 minutes from Santa Marta, known as the Ecological Capital of Colombia and recently recognized as one of the 10 most welcoming destinations in the country, according to the Traveler Review Awards 2021 from Booking.com, accompanied by Villa de Leyva, San Agustín, Guatavita and Santa Rosa de Cabal, among others.
And it is that Minca seeks to offer lovers of nature tourism an experience full of contrasts.
“Minca translates‘ meeting point ’into the Wiwa language,” explains Andrea Ortiz, guide for the Jungle Joe agency. “As we are on a mountain that begins at sea level, there are many ecosystems in the Sierra. We start with the dry forests and the humid forests. We also have the moors and snow, which is why there is a lot of biodiversity ”.
To enjoy this cool-weather destination and appreciate the contrasting landscapes, visitors have the option of staying in cabins, glamping sites or hostels, but also spending the day.
There are several tours that include plans such as ecological walks, visits to waterfalls or natural pools, tours of coffee farms, bird watching, mountain biking and talks about guadua (bamboo) and the cocoa process, to name a few.
“What also makes it a welcoming destination is that the community is very close-knit. We protect tourists and we offer them the best. Also, the good service. There are very good energies here, ”says Joe Ortiz, founder of Jungle Joe.
In Minca there are also other points of interest such as the Marinka and Pozo Azul waterfalls, the Nevada Cervecería factory or the Museo del Cacao. Also, La Miga Panadería to try their famous chocolate bread. In the end, each visitor can put together their own tour according to the time available, their physical condition and, of course, budget.
For Alejandro Spinelli, general manager of the Mercure Santa Marta Emile, a hotel that promotes nature tourism in the department, “at the moment they are betting a lot on the tourist development of the Sierra, where routes are being opened in conjunction with the natives.”
Furthermore, according to the manager: “We have the particularity of being able to offer the guest or the tourist direct contact with a native so that he can experience the Sierra in a much more direct way, with a totally local experience.