Day 9: From Minca to Cartagena

Our last few hours in Minca, consisted of eating breakfast at the hostel and then trekking down to the town to get a bus to bring us to another bus station near Santa Marta so we could get to Cartagena.

The bus ride to Cartagena was around 5 hours. When we got to the bus terminal, it was surprising that to us that we just couldn’t find an uber. I guess since Cartagena was such a big tourist spot, maybe taxis just get priority here. Our Airbnb was around 15 mins or so from the main tourist area where everything was. We were pretty much staying at a local neighborhood.

Once we dropped down our stuff and changed to clothes that were more suited for the hot humid weather of Cartagena, we took the taxi to the main area.

I can see why most people only visit Cartagena in Colombia. Cartagena is absolutely beautiful. The photogenic streets and and colorful buildings. There were so many restaurant options. It also seemed like a family friendly city to visit.

We walked around for a hour until we got to eat at La Cevicheria, a famous restaurant that Anthony Bourdian went ate at. Everyone we know was raving about it, but we actually thought it was just okay. Definitely overhyped.

After dinner, we just walked around some more. At this time it was pretty dark out. We decided to just grab drinks at El Baron which was known for cocktails and outside seating. There was a great view of the church as well. After two drinks and a lot of conversation we hopped to another bar/restaurant called El Baluarte San Francisco. It was situated on top of the wall and also outdoors. We got drinks and food and pretty much chilled there until we decided it was time to head back. I was excited to see Cartagena in the morning.

Day 8: A Day in Minca

We woke up to the sounds of nature, birds chirping, insect noises and dogs barking. Sleeping in a hammock was surprisingly comfortable and it felt great when there was a breeze of wind. We actually woke up around 9ish, which was the longest we ever slept in during our trip. Here are some pictures of the hammocks we slept in.

The bathroom was a short walk from us and there was a hut for massages.

We got breakfast in the morning at the main lodge area of our hostel. We saw guests doing yoga in the morning. Overall the hostel had a hippie vibe.

After breakfast, we trekked down from our hostel and explored the town a bit before hiking. Minca is a small backpacker village in the mountains behind Santa Marta. There were similar vibes as Salento, but Minca felt a lot smaller.

It was blazing hot, honestly one of the first times we felt the sun this strong. We stopped by a cafe for some coffee and then we decided to take a motorbike up El Campano and hike east looping back into Minca.

The motorbike ride up the mountain was pretty rough. It was my first time sitting on back of a motorbike and the road was not smooth at all. It didn’t help that my driver was pretty young and he was fast. We were the last bike to go, but ended up being the first one to make it to the destination. It was bumpy and there were times when I thought I would’ve bounced off. I was literally holding on for my dear life.

The hike from El Campano started uphill for us. Our first viewpoint was Los Pines but we kind of missed it as we didn’t know what we were looking at. There weren’t many signs despite the person who helped us with the trail said there were.

Casa Elemento was the next view point and we didn’t go to see it. It was like a giant hammock you can lay on, on the edge of a mountain. It was one of those things you have to see in Minca. Since we wanted to just chill and take it easy, we didn’t do that or the other big tourist attraction called the Pozo Azul. These were two spots that are often crowded with tourists and we just didn’t want to experience the madness.

The main attraction we did see was the La Cascada, which was a waterfall with a pool of water that you can jump in.

We should’ve took a dip in the pool when we first arrived but ended up eating at a restaurant near it because we were hungry.

I didn’t even want to go in afterwards aside from dipping and cleaning the dust off my legs.

The hike back to town felt forever. It felt like we were just hiking a never ending trail.

We got back to the town at 5pm, got some coffee and trekked back up the mountain to our hostel. We got back at the perfect time, put in an order for dinner at the hostel and went to shower.

Our day was pretty much just relaxing and taking advantage of our tranquil hostel.

It was the most relaxation we had on the trip. The only bad thing during dinner was that we got attacked by mosquitoes. Wish we had another full day in Minca, but it was good enough time for this trip. We’ll be heading to Cartagena the next day!