Casa Elemento is an amazing place to visit and stay in Minca. It is approximately 20km from Santa Marta but it takes about an hour to get there. Minca is in the Sierra Nevada, a rain forest, so you can expect quite some rain, however the nature is beautiful and you will again see a completely different side of Colombia. To get there you need to go to the bus area in Santa Marta were you can take a ‘collectivo’ (a minivan to a certain place that leaves when there are five passengers). Just tell a bus driver you need to go to Minca and he will tell you where to go. When you arrive in Minca you can find motor taxis that will take you on a 45 minute drive up to the hostel. It is possible to walk but it takes a lot of time and the road is very muddy when it is raining. We got stuck in a tropical rain shower that lasted until the next morning on our way up and the next morning the road was floated. However we arranged a 4×4 that picked us up and drove us to Santa Marta with other people that stayed at Casa Elemento.
Casa Elemento is an attraction in it self. The hostel is on a mountain and the view is amazing. If you’re lucky you can see the toucan that grew up at the hostel. Casa Elemento claims that it has the highest hammock of South America, and indeed it has an amazing view over the valley and you can see the Santa Marta and its coast line. Check out the pictures to see it for your self. The hostel has a pool and a bar and you can do some hikes to a waterfall. We didn’t do a hike because of the rain so we just laid back, read some books, and played games with fellow travelers. During happy hour we had some drinks with everyone and had a lot of fun. The bar closes around 1 am because they don’t want it to become a party hostel. But that’s fine, because in the morning you want to wake up earlyish to get a glimpse of the view when the hostel is not surrounded by clouds yet.
We only stayed for one night, which was fine for us, but most people stay two or three nights. You need to book your stay in advance via email. The hostel offers a couple hammocks, dorm rooms, and some private cabins. Bring some warm clothes if you’re staying overnight because it can be a bit chilly during the evening.
One more reason to visit this place is the amazing kitchen. Every meal here was fantastic (especially the bread!). It was always a challenge to pick what to eat, in the end we ordered different dishes and shared them so we could try as much as possible.
Unfortunately it comes at a price, though it is not as expensive as Casa en el Agua. The sunset, sunrise and the amazing view are free, but here’s an overview of the rest of the costs:
– Hammock: 20.000 COP/night
– Dorm room: 35.000 COP/night
– Private cabanas: 120.000 COP/night
– Breakfast: 6.000-12.000 COP
– Lunch: 10.000-13.000 COP
– Dinner: 17.000 COP
– Collectivio: Santa Marta – Minca 7.000 COP
– Motor taxi: Minca – Casa Elemento 25.000 COP
– Taxi: Casa Elemento – Minca 35.000 COP
Have you been to Casa Elemento? What are your thoughts on this amazing place? Let us know in the comment section below!