Some say that getting the right information for travelling in Colombia is difficult. I would say it is not entirely true. There is a lot of all kind of information, destinations, prices, places to eat, areas where it’s safer to stay. The problem is that in such a fast paced country the information goes out of date sooner than in some other regions. And we are here to help. So here is how to get from Cartagena to Minca, Colombia.
NOTE! If you saw other posts regarding this destination, most of it will be the same but there is a key part that changed recently that I am going to tell you about.
So here is step by step on how to get from Cartagena to Minca
Firstly, you will need to decide on how to get from Cartagena to Santa Marta. Santa Marta is a city close to Minca and from there you will need to get a transport to your destination.
There are a couple of options for you to choose from. I am not going to tell you about flying from Cartagena to Santa Marta, but I think it is possible with a transit in another city in Colombia. Although it will mostly take the same amount of time and cost a lot more.
Other options are to go by land. Here you just have to choose with which company you would like to go.
The first option is to go from the main bus terminal with a company like Expresso Brasilia. The perk of this choice is that it is the cheapest transport to go from Cartagena to Santa Marta. The cost of this ride is 26.000 pesos per person. The company itself has good reviews and the people we talked with liked the company. But there is a huge drawback – the main bus terminal in Cartagena is far away from the main part of the city or at least the part where backpackers hang around.
To be exact, the main bus terminal is here… And it is at least 45-minute ride with a car from the center.
Of course, the choice is yours. We were told that the taxi from the center of Cartagena to the terminal would cost around 20.000 pesos. So in total, it would already be around 46.000.
Option number two is to use MarSol. This is a private transport company which has its own terminal close to the city center. So the benefit of it is that you can actually walk to it (roughly 15 min) or get a taxi for something around 6.000 pesos. But there are some downsides with this one. Firstly, it is more expensive. Here I cannot tell you the exact price, but from what I read and heard they have different services: one is to take you to their terminal to Santa Marta and another is to take you to where you actually want to go (in this case – the Minca “station” point). Still, even if you decide to go to their terminal, this would cost at least 10.000 – 20.000 more than what you would pay at the main terminal. But there is also another drawback, which is the reviews of the service. We have read a few reviews of the company and decided that we need another option. It seems that the drivers of the company tend to decide themselves if they want to take you to your destination that you paid extra for. And there were some other issues that can irritate you on your trip. But again, you will be the one to decide. You can find their terminal here.
The third option and the option we chose were Berlinas Tour (Berlinastur). They do not show it on their website but they definitely go from Cartagena to Minca. They start at around 6 AM and finish at around 6 or 7 PM. Berlinas are more expensive than Expresso Brasilia and the ride with them costs 36.000 pesos. The plus of the company is that it is very close (not far from Marsol) to the city center. You can see their terminal here. To be honest, this company has even more benefits, like helpful and polite drivers, wifi on the bus and their terminal is also in a good spot in Santa Marta.
Just understand that I am not trying to sell Berlinas here. It just seemed that there is less information about this company which has good reviews and I want to put it out there for everyone to see. You just have to choose according to your location. If we would have been closer to the main terminal, we would have most likely chosen Expresso Brasilia. But from the city center you save more by choosing other companies.
From Santa Marta to Minca
The ride to Santa Marta is nice and easy, but do take something warm to the bus as in Colombia people love the aircon and it does get chilly.
When you arrive in Santa Marta you have to find the place where they have the transport going to Minca. It will not be a bus. The transport differs but usually, it’s a pickup, jeep, a van or a car.
NOTE! And this is the part that actually changed – the location of “Minca station”. In fact, changes are so recent that even a local, who wanted to lead us to the place was wrong. We had to search for the new office. You will not have a problem if you speak Spanish but for those who lack the ability or are a bit shy to ask here is the new location where you will find the office that arranges the Minca transport.
The location could differ by a few meters, but when they will see you. you’ll definitely be hearing people yelling “Minca” a lot. The safest way is to go to the office and buy a ticket there. You will be waiting with other people until they arrange a transport for you. Usually, it’s groups of 4-8 people at a time. The ticket costs 8.000 pesos and the drive takes around 45 minutes. They take you to the center or Minca where you will see a lot of people with motorbikes offering taxi services to you.
Hope this helps a few of you and have a great trip!
If you find any information that is incorrect or need an update contact us via email or comment and we will be glad to review it. You are always welcome to write us if you need any other information.