Minca and the Sierra Nevada Travel
Don’t miss a visit to the Sierra Nevada, a coastal mountain chain bursting with tropical flora and fauna where ancient indigenous culture continues to thrive.
If the heat and clamour of Colombia’s Caribbean beaches and coastal cities is getting a little too much, take refuge in the secluded village of Minca, nestled high up in the forested peaks of the Sierra Nevada. Up here you can cool off in chilly mountain rivers and waterfalls, trek deep into the jungle to historical sites and go in search of remarkable wildlife including many of Colombia’s endemic and endangered species.
From snow-capped peaks, the mountains of the Sierra Nevada stretch down through jungle-clad slopes almost to the very shores of Colombia’s Caribbean coastline. Their verdant peaks and troughs conceal a myriad of treasures including a rich array of animal, plant and birdlife, ancient ruins and the homes of ethnic tribes that have continued to quietly live out their lives in these mountains for centuries.
The journey inland from the coast doesn’t take long but, once you’re here, the sense of remoteness is palpable. Stay in Minca, a pretty village off the beaten tourist trail and in an ideal location for experiencing the best of the Sierra Nevada. Various hikes from the village lead through the lush forest to spectacular viewpoints as well as scenic waterfalls and natural pools where you can take an icy plunge. Tour nearby coffee and chocolate farms for an insight into the local farming communities or join a birdwatching guide and go in search of the astounding variety of species found in these mountains. To round the day off, watch the sun disappear over the mountains and the Caribbean coastline beyond; from this height, the views are something else.
Tour a coffee farm
The climate of the Sierra Nevada is ideal for growing coffee beans. Many farms around Minca offer tours where you can watch experienced farmhands and ancient machinery in action plus enjoy a slurp on the good stuff at the end. The best time to visit is during harvest season (November to February).
You don’t have to be a serious twitcher to be astounded by the colourful array of birdlife found here in these mountains. That first glimpse of a hovering hummingbird will have you hooked. Minca is a particularly well-known area for impressive birding so binoculars to the ready!
Hike to The Lost City
Step back in time to the abandoned ruins of the Tayrona civilisation. Rediscovered only several decades ago, the enchanting, mossy terraces of this pre-Columbian site can only be reached via a multi-day hike through captivating jungle and mountain landscapes, past the villages of the ethnic tribes that descend from this very civilisation.