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More about Minca

Whether you're looking for unique cultural experiences, serene nature and relaxation or adventure and adrenaline rushes, Minca and the surrounding region has it all. Mountain biking, scuba diving, surfing, hiking, yoga and birdwatching are just a few of the things you can do while visiting here.

This page provides more general and historical information about the communities where we work.


Minca
Check out a 360º view of Minca here.

A small coffee village located at 650 meters in altitude in the foothills of the highest coastal mountain range on the planet: The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Magdalena Department. The Sierra rises steeply from the shores of the Caribbean Sea and in just 42 kilometers reaches its maximum height at Columbus Peak, 5,775 meters above sea level.

Minca has a pleasant temperature of 24˚C, lush green landscapes, diverse fauna, crystal clear waterfalls and rock formation attractions. It is also home of friendly people that bring trust, comfort and absolute peace.

There are many stories of the origin of the name MINCA. A popular version is that its name comes from one of the numerous Indian tribes that the Spanish, upon arrival to the Caribbean coast in 1502, found established in this area, the COMINCA tribe. Another is from the word Minga, a Quechua word that means “communal work or labor”. It is important to note that the original local indigenous culture, the Tayrona, were not one people. The chroniclers generalized this name from the name of the group of the Tayros, although different groups had the same technology and the same style in their material culture. Different indigenous provinces didn’t speak one language, but many different ones.

The cities of the Tayrona, before the arrival of the Spanish, were made up of hundreds and sometimes thousands of homes. These communities were organized, had circular houses with wooden structure, large temples and large stone paved plazas. A prime example of this architecture can be seen at the Ciudad Perdida. They were great engineers, made their buildings and structures according to the environment in which they lived and built their towns in a climate of intense rainfall and steep mountains.

During the conquest many of these indigenous cities had disappeared for the persecution they were subjected to. Back then, local people were grouped into parishes and Indian villages to control and use them in the land use, convert to Catholicism and inoculate European customs.

In times of New Granada, Spanish government established a civil-military colony in what is now Minca in order to safeguard the valuables that were in Santa Marta. In this way they avoided possible robbery by pirates and they also repelled and attacked other Indians of the region. Minca was the first and only colony in the Sierra Nevada by then but eventually ended up destroyed, leaving today only vestiges of that era.

In the nineteenth century, Minca began to make a name as one of the major areas of sugar cane plantations and coffee in the country. Today it is a point of coffee production in Colombia. Minca is a spectacular little town in a natural setting and a strategic point to get to know the treasures of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. It is only 16 km from the Caribbean coast, where you can visit quiet and amazing beaches.

Bellavista
The village of Bella Vista sits at about 1,400 m and rises to the height of 1800 meters above sea level, is a coffee region and an area of ​​agriculture that every day is becoming more organic. It consists of dense forests and many rivers. From it and as its name suggests, it offers one of the best views of the Sierra Nevada, Ciénaga (marsh) and the Caribbean sea.

La Tagua
Visit La Tagua, the last village before entering the rugged higher elevations of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, at 1,750 meters above sea level, is one of those experiences that change your life. With only 50 people, including indigenous, La Tagua is a haven of peace in a privileged spot in the mountains on the northwest face of the Sierra Nevada. Wild vegetation is everywhere there, with coffee fields, rivers, waterfalls and one of the most biodiverse areas for birds of the Sierra.

Taganga and the Caribbean
A few miles from Minca, gateway to the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, is one of the world's most heavenly shores: the Colombian Caribbean. Taganga is a town of fishermen, home of rest and natural paradise. It is amply visited by international tourists and is one of the points from which to discover the wonders that offers visitors the Colombian Caribbean. The area is hugely popular for scuba diving in crystalline waters in the natural bays of the surrounding area. Those who visit Taganga can find dozens of beaches, including Tayrona National Park. Taganga has plenty for the traveler to feel at home: friendly and hospitable people, good food, beautiful beaches, spectacular variable sunsets plus all the necessary tourist facilities for many tastes.