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Getting to Casa Elemento can be a bit of a challenge depending on the method of transportation you choose. Let's face it, you've travelled across Colombia, maybe even South America, so finding one of the best hostels in the nation shouldn't be that hard for you.......although it can require a bit of determination. The cheaper the method of transportation you choose the more challenge it can be to get here......so choose the method that suits you and your travel partners best. Please take a moment to review this section in detail.
Santa Marta is located on the north coast of Colombia and is accessible by bus or air from many hubs in Colombia. For example, from Cartagena it is a four hour bus ride or a 45 minute flight. For all the details on getting in and out of Santa Marta, visit this link on wikitravel.org
There are a few options you have to get from Santa Marta to Minca. This part of the journey should take 45 minutes, more or less - with the bus being the slowest but cheapest option.
Shared Taxi/Collectivo/Public Bus: Pick up depot is located on the outskirts of the market at Calle 11 con Carrera 12, downtown Santa Marta. Depending on where you are staying in Santa Marta, this could be a walk, local bus or taxi to get to. This corner depot has shared taxis for many destinations so you're going to have to ask the drivers of the vehicles for Minca. If you don't know Spanish simply keep repeating Minca to anyone that will listen.......follow their pointing and it should only take a second or two.
Cost: The taxis are shared, they also cost 8,000 COP pp but the driver will wait for four'ish people to depart...if you've got a group of four, take the taxi for the full price and depart immediately (some negotiation skills might be required).
Moto Taxi: You can take a moto taxi (one person and bag per moto) for 8,000 to Minca from YUCAL in Santa Marta. With new laws not allowing two male passengers on a moto within the city, the closest moto option starts in YUCAL which you will pass through no matter which method of transport you choose. Some guests taxi (approx 5,000 COP) from anywhere in Santa Marta direct to Yukal and then get on motos from there......it makes the travel time slightly faster than the collectivo option. Once in Minca you can continue with your same driver right away OR take a break, grab a beverage or something to eat and take another moto when you are ready. In any case the next portion of your journey is approx 30 mins and costs 20,000 COP pp.
Congratulations, you've almost made it!
Moto Taxi: In the center of Minca there is a moto taxi stand with prices listed on a hand written board. Ask for Casa Elemento, confirm the price of 15,000 - 20,000 COP and hop on, see you in 30 minutes.
Hiking: The best hiking route to Casa Elemento will take you approximately two hours and costs nothing but time and effort. This hike takes you through the gorgeous lower foothills out of Minca and up through waterfalls and coffee farms en route to us. From town, head west towards the church and then past the football field............ follow the signs to the popular "Markina waterfalls". Total hiking time is a bit under a couple hours, depending. Just follow the road going up from Marinka waterfall.....its probably the easiest and most direct......the falls are a third of the way up, just so you can judge your time.