Continuing from my previous post. After Tayrona Nationa Park, I went to Santa Marta. I took a bus from outside Tayrona Park for Santa Marta. When I reached Santa Marta, nicest thing happened with me. When I get down from the bus, many taxi drivers approached me but I flatly said “NO” as I wanted to take a local bus to reach my hostel. This one taxi driver asked me where I am going and I replied. He walked with me for a good 5 mins to show me the bus stand from where I can get the bus for my destination. It was a small act of kindness but left a big impression on my mind. Lesson Learnt: Be nice to People! I only spend a night in Santa Marta before traveling to Minca.
I took a Minivan/Combi from Santa Marta to reach Minca. It was around 40 mins ride. Minca is a small town surrounded by mountains and nature. After checking into my hostel, I went straight to the Marinka waterfall. It is approx. 1-hour walk through nature from the town. Entrance fees were 5000 cop. There are two waterfalls. Climb up to the second one as it is much cooler as you can bath below the waterfall. There’s a huge hammock at the restaurant in the compound. Make sure to check it out! I walked back to my hostel before sunset for a much-needed rest.
I check out of my hostel and went to Pozo Azul. There’s no entrance fee. Here too there are two waterfalls and again the higher one is better. It was approx. one hour walk from the town. I like Pozo Azul much better than Marina Waterfall. Water was really cold here though. There’s a small pond beside the waterfall and I jumped from the small cliff even though I didn’t know how to swim. Yes, the pond is deep enough to drown. The people helped me to get out of the pond with a wooden stick. The experience taught me two things that I am not afraid of water and I need to learn swimming pronto. At Pozo Azul, I met a couple traveling South America in a Car cum Motorhome. The guy is from Germany and the girl is from South Korea. They have traveled in India extensively and absolutely loved it and wanted to share travel stories with me but due to time constraint couldn’t. So I bid them goodbye and walked to my new hostel where I am going to spend the next 2 nights. The hostel in question is “Casa El Recuerdo”. Around 40 mins walk from the town. Located in the middle of nature. I highly recommend staying at this place. Great staff, location and ambience. As luck would have it, I met the same couple in the hostel. During the night, they shared endless travel stories from their travels to India, Pakistan and Iran. What was common in these countries according to them was heartwarming hospitality.
Next morning, I decided to go to “Los Pinos” via Shortcut with the couple. Los Pinos is a viewpoint from where you can have a beautiful view of mountains, Minca and Santa Marta. After walking for more than half an hour, we were clearly lost and decided to return to the hostel. I decided to go to Los Pinos by myself in the normal way. There’s a way to Los Pinos near Marinka Waterfall entrance. I saw some beautiful peacocks on the way. After a certain point, the hike gets steep. I walked a lot. It was getting late and I decided to head back. It is approx. 3 hrs walk from the town to the way up. So I should have left early in the morning. While returning, I stopped at a restaurant for fresh Lulo Juice. Lulo is a local fruit. It has a particular taste and is good for your health. I went back to town to visit the Minca Museum but it was closed that day. Do visit the museum to know about the history of Minca. While returning back to the hostel, I stumbled upon a beautiful farm. I met some friendly locals there who let me inside the farm. There’s also a cacao farm at Finca La Candelaria. It is around 90 mins walk from the town. The tour of the farm lasts around one hour. It is popular among tourists. After returning back to the hostel, I took a bath in a unique swimming pool at the hostel. At night, we went to the mirador(Viewpoint) for the beautiful view of Santa Marta. After dinner, I played the card game of “Uno” until late at night with the couple and hostel staff. It was total fun. Next morning, the couple gave me a ride till the bus station of Santa Marta. From there, I catch a bus for my next destination.