Minca & Beyond

11244388_915806031818481_645306468948888469_nIf you’re looking for a day of jungle hiking, rivers, a series of waterfalls, a coffee and cocoa growing region and expert information about the area (in English or Spanish), then this one day trip in the Minca area is for you.  We offer one of two day options: visiting a 100 year old coffee plantation (easy to medium hike) or visiting a cocoa plantation where they grow cocoa and then process it into chocolate (medium to difficult hike).  Both hiking options boast jungle hiking, a series of waterfalls and river to swim in, and amazing – travel like the locals – motorbike rides through the mountains (car transport the entire way available on request, may have additional charge depending on the number of people requesting the service).  Choose from one of the two options below (either an easy to medium hike or a medium to difficult hike, depending on fitness level).

Option 1 Coffee (Easy to Medium Hike):

We pick you up from your hotel or hostel in Santa Marta between 8-8:15 AM by taxi and travel to the base of the mountain region.  From there we switch to motorbike – each person gets their own driver, and helmets are provided.  It is roughly a 30-45 minute ride to the small town of Minca.

We stop in Minca briefly where we have a small tour and the opportunity to purchase a quick, cheap, fried breakfast of arepas, empanandas or fried potato balls (outside tour price) if you didn’t get a chance to eat breakfast beforehand.
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From Minca, we ride another roughly 20-30 minutes on the motorbikes to a 100 year old coffee plantation.  Hydroelectric and eco-friendly, this plantation still uses much of the same machinery from over 100 years back.  We take a tour of the machines and learn about the processing of the beans on a large scale. IMG_2057 After the tour we enjoy a sandwich lunch and fresh coffee (included in tour price).

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It’s back on the motorbikes for another 15 minutes to our final stop, which is a river and series of beautiful waterfalls. We park the motorbikes at the main road and enjoy a nice and easy 20-30 minute hike/walk to get to the river.  Here we have a chance to swim in the refreshing waters.  After a time of enjoyment and relaxation, we head back the way we came (20-30 minute walk back).  Then it’s back on the motorbikes to the base of the mountain, where we switch back to car and then back to Santa Marta.

Option 2 Chocolate & Mini Coffee Tour (Medium to Difficult Hike):

Please note that this is a more challenging hike than the coffee day hike, it would be considered an easy to medium hike for people used to hiking, and a difficult hike for people with little or no hiking experience, and is subject to availability (the cocoa plantation is a small, family run place that will close based on the availability of the family), so please let us know in advance if you would like this tour option so we can schedule with the family.  Total hiking time: roughly 3 hours, the first hour mainly uphill (can be steep), the rest downhill or slight up and downs.

We pick you up from your hotel or hostel in Santa Marta between 8-8:15 AM by taxi and travel to the base of the mountain region.  From there we switch to motorbike – each person gets their own driver, and helmets are provided.  You travel to the small town of Minca where we have a small tour and the opportunity to purchase a quick, cheap, fried breakfast of arepas, empanandas or fried potato balls or juices (outside tour price) if you didn’t get a chance to eat beforehand.

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IMG-20150826-WA0011The hike to the cocoa plantation is uphill for 45 minutes to an hour.

Once at the plantation, there are some beautiful views.  We start the tour in the fields, where we learn about the cultivating process.

IMG-20150826-WA0005Afterwards we learn about processing the cocoa to make chocolate.  Then comes lunch on the plantation (included in tour price).

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After the cocoa plantation, we hike an additional 1 to 1.5 hours (mainly downhill).  The guide shows coffee plants and gives information about coffee growing in the region.  You arrive to a system of waterfalls and a refreshing river you can swim in.  We pass some time here before starting our hike back to Minca (another 45 minutes to an hour).  From Minca we take the motorbikes back to the base of the mountains where we switch to car and then drop you back in Santa Marta.

DSCN7313Suggested things to bring: sunglasses (good for the motorbikes, helmets provided but not all have visor), camera, water bottle (you can refill for free at the coffee plantation, clean mountain water), pants if you do the long hike or if bugs love you, closed toed shoes/shoes you feel comfortable hiking and riding a motorbike in, light jacket/rain jacket, bathing suite, shorts, t-shirt, bug spray, extra money if you want to buy coffee beans or souvenirs in Minca, and/or to tip your guide.  Keep in mind, there is the possibility of rain.  Dry bags or plastic bags are highly recommended for things you want to keep dry.  Please take care of your belongings, we cannot be responsible for lost or damaged items.

To book:     WhatsApp +1 480 547 7038          Or              Email: vergeltours@gmail.com