So, we took a trip to the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta to escape the heat of the coast. Close to the mountain village Minca there is a wonderful spot called Pozo Azul. The perfect place to cool down!
Tell us about Pozo Azul, por favor!
Pozo means well or waterhole in spanish and that’s exactly what Pozo Azul is. It’s a series of pozos connected by small waterfalls. The water is cool as it comes straight from the mountains, a wonderful treat in this tropical hotness. The water is green and not blue as the name misleadingly claims but don’t let that little detail keep you from going. The green water is both clear and super beautiful! And did I mention that the whole place is surrounded by incredible lush forest? Huge trees hover over the pozos, shading the whole place and keeping it nice and cool for you. Thanks trees! You can even jump off the surrounding cliffs into the water if you dare. Remember to check that your landing spot is deep enough! Okay, now that I have convinced you to go, I will tell you how to get there.
How to get to Pozo Azul
First you have to get to Minca and there are two ways to do that. In collectivo (shared ride) or with a motortaxi. Both cost the same, 3 USD/7000 COP, but each has it’s advantages and disadvantages. Motortaxi is faster and less bumpy as it can manuever between the holes in the road, however holding on to the bike gets tiring after a while. Another thing you have to be aware of is that it’s actually illegal for guys to use the motortaxi because of too many robberies by guys on motorbikes in the past. You are of course only guilty if you get caught 🙂 so I went ahead and took the bike anyway and I had no problems. The drivers only carry one helmet for themselves but if you ask they will let you wear it. I advice that you do so. The motortaxis to Minca can be found in Yucal in Santa Marta. You can take the bus there (0,5 USD/1400 COP), it’s close to the Buenavista shopping center.
If that sounds too risky for you then luckily there is another option. You can take a car from the mercado in Santa Marta (Calle 11). The place is a big chaos of people and animals so just ask someone: “Carro para Minca?” They will point you in the right direction. The cost is the same as the motortaxi but it’s a slower and much bumpier ride.
Once you reach Minca (45-60 minutes) another choice awaits you. You can either proceed on foot to Pozo Azul or take a motortaxi for 2 USD/5000 COP. If you took a motortaxi from Santa Marta the total price should of course be 5 USD/12.000 COP, no more. The ride is about 15 minutes long and the walk is 30 minutes or more. You can easily walk the bit but bear in mind that it’s uphill and it’s usually very hot. That just makes the destination that more delicious though!
Bring your own snacks and drinks if you’d like but it’s also possible to buy fruits, chips, water and soda from a man in a hammock right by the bridge at Pozo Azul. I recommend you try the organic bananas, only 200 COP a piece! Also, bear in mind that Pozo Azul is just straight nature, there’s no private place to change into you bathing suit. When you are done enjoying the refreshing water you can take the walk back to Minca which is much nicer when you are cooled off and going downhill. In Minca you can find lots of eating places and hostels if you aren’t ready to leave the fantastic nature. I recommend that you at least take a good lunch to restore your energy. A menu of the day at a local restaurant will cost you 3,5 USD/8000 COP. To get back to Minca take the collectivo or the motortaxi, the price is still 7000 COP.