■ Type of route: mid-mountain loop hike
■ Distance: 14 km
■ Cumulative elevation gain: +940 m
■ Cumulative negative altitude gain: -940 m
■ Estimated total time: 3h30 to 4h30
■ Min and max altitude: 620 m / 1445 m
■ Marking: none, but well-marked trails, with occasional signs to confirm. GPS tracking is useful, as the route combines several trails that are not always easy to connect.
■ Equipment in place: none
■ Equipment required: Useful GPS plotter, water and mosquito repellent!
Difficulties: none apart from the heat and a little orientation to follow.
Access to the place
Map & topo
It's almost a loop. A stop at the waterfalls requires payment of an entrance fee of 10,000 pesos to date. The end of part 3 can be avoided either by returning by road to El campano, with a cab or motorcycle easy to find on the spot, or after Finca Victoria by motorcycle.
Part 1: Minca to the Marinka waterfalls (45')
From the bridge at the entrance to Minca, follow the road down to the south, and you'll soon find the village exit. The road becomes a wide track, winding pleasantly through the forest and meditating on the little messages hanging from the trees. Leaving Finca Tabor to the right, continue straight on, gradually climbing past huge clumps of reeds to the sound of exotic Sierra birdsong. Further on, the track approaches a torrent and follows it upwards. Gigantic trees. A right-hand bend leads to the entrance to the waterfalls. Cool-off possible.
Part 2: Minca waterfalls to Mirador de Los Pinos (1h30)
Leaving the cascades, take the track again to wind up the hill. We pass the Tierra Adentro lodge to find the end of the track just beyond. It continues on a small forest path. Leave Finca La Semilla and follow it straight up towards Los Pinos. After a few steep sections and a good climb, the mni-trail rejoins a track which you follow to the left, climbing a little further past Gustavo Farm. Continue along the track, climbing up steep switchbacks until you reach the dirt ridge track. Turn left to reach the mirador de los Pinos, a simple esplanade on the left with a view of the valley and Santa Marta in the distance.
3rd part: from Mirador de los Pinos to Casas Viejas and Finca Victoria, then back to Minca (1h)
Head east again on the track, which climbs a little more to cross a pass and switch to the south. From here, it continues downhill until it crosses the road coming from Minca. Cross the road and head slightly uphill. A new track, which passes through private property accessible on foot, crosses onto a balcony overlooking the valley. At the end is the sunset point. From here, head north. The track twists and turns. Leaving Casa Viejas, descend further to Finca Victoria. Pass under the building, cross the stream.
From the Finca, follow the track which meanders for a while through the forest until it finally joins the road back to Minca. Look out for a motorcycle to get back to the village, otherwise it's a long way on foot...