Minca is a small town up in the mountains of North Colombia and just forty five minutes from Santa Marta city. There are lots of hikes and waterfalls in the area but we headed to La Candelaria, a coffee and chocolate farm. It’s a bit of a mission to get to, a 4WD (or moto-taxi if you’re brave!) for about twenty minutes on a very steep bumpy road and then a sweaty fifteen minute walk uphill to the Finca.
This family coffee farm is run by Eugenio and Ana, you can either just go for the tours or stay in their B&B which we did. The location is stunning, high in the mountains with a view to Santa Marta city down below.
We chose to do the chocolate tour as we’d already learnt about coffee in Salento. Eugenio spoke in slow, clear Spanish so we could understand. It really was fascinating to watch the process from a seed to the delicious cup of hot chocolate at the end. We even got a chocolate face mask and some bonbons that Ana had prepared.
The star of the show at the Finca was Tuki, their pet toucan. He is free to come and go as he pleases but he always returns to his perch or the kitchen window for a helping of rice and spaghetti! We spent a couple of days at La Candelaria, sitting on rocking chairs watching the sunset, drinking coffee and hot chocolate and enjoying Ana’s delicious home-cooked meals. A beautiful sanctuary from the chaos and heat of the city down below.
Costeño beach is on the Caribbean coast, a beautiful stretch of golden sand, lined with coconut palms. There is hardly any development, just a couple of hostels and beach huts so most of the coast is just home to drift wood.
We were much more impressed by Costeño than the super touristy Cabo San Juan beach in Tayrona National Park. We spent a few days soaking up the sun and drinking rum, a nice little intro to the Caribbean.