What's a Minca?
That was exactly my thought when my friend Alison asked me to fly down there with her to work on a documentary film, just two days prior to the trip. After she told me it was a village in the jungles of Northern Colombia, it was an easy decision to make. I love a good adventure.
Minca is a tiny village in the Sierra Nevada known for growing organic coffee, extreme birdwatching, and plenty of outdoor activities like hiking and mountain biking. It is a jungle town with no real hotels, supermarkets or banks, making it a great escape for backpackers seeking some tranquility. To get there, you need to fly into the Santa Marta airport, which doesn't look like a real airport by U.S. standards, and arrange for a driver to pick you up.
We went down there without much of a plan and some expensive camera gear (I don't advise you to try this) but managed to book a couple rooms at the Mirador Hotel. Don't let the name fool you; it was a hostel. However, they served a delicious breakfast of authentic Colombian cuisine on an outdoor terrace on cliffs edge overlooking the Sierra Nevada. So you can't beat that.
Getting around is more difficult. If you are staying in Minca with no plans of leaving, walking is fine. You will enjoy the views and meet so many interesting people whose families have been living in Minca for generations. But if you want to get down the mountains to the coast, I suggest hiring a driver you can call when needed.