The distance between colonial Cartagena and the coffee town of Minca is only 154 miles (247 km), so most travelers make the journey by car. Taking a private transfer is the most convenient option, and it will take about four hours. 

You can also choose to fly, but there are no direct flights from Cartagena to the nearest city, Santa Marta. You'll have to factor in a layover before you can arrive at Santa Marta and continue to Minca. It's also possible to travel by bus, but only if you transfer in Santa Marta. 

While you're in Minca, consider joining a six-day birdwatching tour, or you can head to the nearby Sierra Nevada Mountains for a week-long trek through the jungle into the Lost City.

By Private Transfer

Duration: 4 hours

Given the popularity of the route, there are many private drivers for hire in Cartagena, but make sure to shop around for the best price and amenities. If they try to offer you a driver for Santa Marta instead, insist that you want to be taken straight to Minca, as adding an extra stop will negate the purpose of paying for a private car.

By Plane

Duration: 5 hours, more with layovers

As there are no direct flights from Cartagena to Santa Marta, layover times can vary significantly, so this option takes much longer than driving. 

Once you arrive in Santa Marta, you'll have to hire a driver or hop on a bus to make your final journey to Minca, which is an additional 19 miles (31 km) from the city.

By Bus

Duration: 8 hours, more with changes

There are no direct buses from Cartagena to Minca, as travelers must pass through Santa Marta. 

You can take a bus or a taxi to the Transport Terminal in Cartagena, which is around 45 minutes from the city center. From here, you will hop on a bus to Santa Marta, which takes seven hours. 

The bus will drop you at Santa Marta's central market, where you can find your final bus to Minca.


Map of How to Get from Cartagena to Minca
Map of How to Get from Cartagena to Minca