A complete and updated travel guide to visiting the Ear of the World (Oído del Mundo) waterfall in the mountain town of Minca near Santa Marta, Colombia.
Is Pozo Azul a bit too busy for you? Looking for an off-the-beaten-path waterfall without the crowds?
I’ve got you covered with this quick guide to the Ear of the World Waterfall! You’ll discover this one just a short hike from the town of Minca, Colombia, and it’s certainly worth the short walk.
In this travel guide, I’ll outline everything you need to know to get here and include some photos and information on what you might expect.
Featured in: 21 Awesome Things to do in Minca
I'm Olly, a full-time traveler for the past 5 years. I visit every destination I write about & handpick all recommendations.
About The Ear of the World Waterfall
The Ear of the World waterfall, or Oído del Mundo in Spanish, is a small, two-tiered waterfall located in the jungles of Minca.
The truth is, while this is one of the closest freshwater swimming spots to town, it's usually completely deserted!
This means this is the perfect spot to chill, unwind, and cool off, and you can walk here easily from the main tourist strip.
First: Unmissable Experiences in Minca
Before I get into this guide, here's a rundown of my favorite tours and experiences in Minca.
- Ciudad Perdida Trek - Perhaps the most fulfilling trekking experience in Colombia. Trek to "The Lost City" in the Sierra Nevada, an archaeological site built some 650 years before even Machu Picchu!
- Birdwatching Tour - Minca is world-famous for its wildlife, especially its birds. Let a local show you the best spots to photograph and spot beautiful tropical birds like toucans and hummingbirds.
- Minca Full Day Tour - The best-rated tour in town which covers all the highlights in one day. Includes waterfalls and cacao plantation tours.
Where is the Ear of the World Waterfall in Minca?
This Minca waterfall is located just 1 mile (1.7 km) from the white church in the center of Minca. You'll find it at the end of a very short jungle trail that darts into the forest off "Cerro Kennedy Oriente", which is the same road leading to the Marinka Waterfalls.
- Google Maps Pin: "Cascada Oido del Mundo, Minca Sierra Nevada"
Although this waterfall isn't well-signed, it is easy to find if you know where to look. The above Google maps pin is updated and accurate and will lead you directly to the waterfall.
How to Get To this Minca Waterfall
To get to this waterfall, you'll first have to make your way to Minca. The easiest way to get here is to take the colectivo from the main square in Santa Marta. This costs 9,000 Colombian Pesos and takes roughly 45 minutes. Otherwise, a taxi costs between 40,000 and 70,000.
Once you arrive in Minca, or if you're already here, you'll now have two options to get to the Ear of the World waterfall.
Option 1: Hike from town
This is going to be the easiest option. And, since it's very close, it's also the best in my opinion. Simple head down the main restaurant street in Minca (the one with the white church), and continue all the way down the end (the same road leading to Marinka Falls).
Follow this road for approximately 1 mile, and you'll soon arrive at the pin above. There's only one fork along the road, just simply stick to the left and you can't get lost. You will see a sign once you arrive, but it doesn't mention the name. Next, simply continue down this short track for a few hundred feet and you'll arrive at the base of the waterfall.
All up, it takes roughly 25 minutes to walk to Cascada Oido del Mundo from Minca.
Related: 10 Awesome Hikes in Minca
Option 2: Motorbike Taxi
If you're feeling extra lazy, then you can also take a motorbike taxi from town to this waterfall. This shouldn't take more than 10 minutes and costs roughly 10,000 pesos for the trip.
The motorbike taxi guys in Minca are called "MotoMink", and you'll find them just near the yellow bridge near the Colectivo stop.
Related: Cerro Kennedy Viewpoint Hike (from Minca)
What To Expect at Oído del Mundo Cascades
After following the short jungle trail down to the base of the falls, we arrived at the beautiful Ear of the World cascades.
The falls are found on a gentle creek with beautiful rainforest and bamboo surrounds. Although this waterfall is much smaller than some of the others in Minca, it's the quiet and relaxing charm that really makes this one special.
The waterfall itself is split in two equally-sized tiers, which plunge gently into a wide, shallow pool at its base. Although the water level is a little shallow, you can climb up on the rocks to the right of the waterfall to swim in a relaxing pool between the two levels.
From this point, you'll realize why locals call this waterfall the Ear of the World. The smooth, water-eroded rocks form a spiraling pattern that looks exactly like a human ear!
We visited this waterfall quite early in the morning and there were no other tourists swimming here. If you're planning a visit, I highly recommend combining it with a trip to Marinka Waterfalls and even a longer hike up to the Los Pinos viewpoint.
More Info: My Strava
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Related: 360 Mirador Viewpoint (Minca)
Where to Stay in Minca
The main town of Minca is quite small, and you'll discover that some of the best places to stay are on the jungle foothills of the surrounding mountains. Below I've included the current top-rated options for various budgets. But, don't miss this guide to where to stay in Minca for more options & a neighborhood breakdown.
While everybody knows about the famous Sierra Minca, there are several other great places to consider as well. Minca has some of the best hostels in South America, and the unmissable ones sell out frequently, so it's best to book in advance!
- Stay at an Organic Cacao & Coffee Farm: Finca San Rafael - This is where I stayed, and it was one of my favorite lodges in all of Colombia. Set in the jungle just outside of town, this beautiful oasis offers a pool with mountain views, and private or shared rooms, and offers plantation tours to learn about the cultivation process of cacao and coffee.
- Finca Carpe Diem Ecolodge - 9.6/10 rating on HostelWorld with over 800 reviews! This is an absolute backpacker heaven with 3 swimming pools, and amazing jungle views, and is well-located close to amazing hikes.
- Casas Viejas - Winner of the best hostel award in South America! Unfortunately, this place was booked out when we visited, but many claim that this is one of the best hostels in the world!
Read More: 4 Awesome Waterfalls in Minca
More Colombia Travel Guides
And that's a wrap. I hope you enjoy your visit to the Ear of the World waterfall in Minca, Colombia!
While you're still here on my blog, make sure to check out more of my travel guides and adventure blogs for more inspiration.