A complete guide to visiting Pozo Azul waterfall in Minca, Colombia.
Pozo Azul is a series of two natural waterfalls and freshwater swimming holes in the town of Minca Santa Marta, Colombia.
These waterfalls are located just outside of the town and make for a perfect spot to cool off in the beautiful jungle surrounds at the feet of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains.
In this quick travel guide, I’ll give you an updated account on how to get to Pozo Azul, what to expect, and a few tips for making the most of your visit.
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Where is Pozo Azul Waterfall?
Pozo Azul waterfall is located at the end of a short trail (roughly 20 minutes), which begins just off the side of a road called Cienaga-Minca. This is approximately 2.1 kilometers from the town.
The starting point is actually a small restaurant called “Cafébar mis ojitos”, where you’ll often find loads of tour buses and vans (more on this later).
Below I’ve pinned the exact location of the trailhead, as well as a basic map of Minca to get yourself orientated.
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How to Get to Pozo Azul From Minca
To get to Pozo Azul, you have two options. You can walk from town, or take a motorbike taxi to the restaurant pinned above.
Option 1: Walk
We chose to simply walk from the center of Minca town, which took us roughly 45 minutes. The road isn’t too long, but it’s also quite uninteresting. However, to make up for it, we decided to stop at “Cascada Escondido” on the way.
If you choose to walk, just follow the main road (Calle 1a, or Vía Minca) east from town (opposite way from Santa Marta). The road winds a little as it makes its way up the hill. Just keep an eye out for motorbikes and trucks that also share this road.
Option 2: Moto Taxi from Minca
Those of you who want to avoid walking, you can also take a moto taxi from Minca to Pozo Azul. If you’re in the heart of Minca, you’ll find a large group of these guys just after the bridge in an undercover area.
The price to get to Pozo Azul is 10,000 Colombian pesos per person. These guys are very skilled riders, and getting a motorbike taxi is actually the most popular way to get here.
Visiting Pozo Azul – Everything You Need to Know
After making it to the restaurant at the start of the trail to Pozo Azul, you’ll have the option of grabbing a quick coffee (3,000 pesos), or just heading straight down to the waterfall.
Tip: This is a very popular swimming spot among Colombians, who often come here on organized day trips from Santa Marta in vans and tour buses. I’d recommend getting here very early, or at 12:00 PM (when all the Colombians leave for an organized lunch). Alternatively, check out the Marinka Waterfalls and nearby “Ear of the World“, which are just as beautiful and far less busy!
Visiting Pozo Azul is free. However, if you are taking a motorbike, you’ll need to pay 3,000 pesos to park it, and 5,000 if you have a car.
The Hike to the Waterfall
Immediately to the left of the restaurant, you’ll see a boom gate which serves as the entrance to the short hiking trail.
Again, you’ll often find moto-taxi drivers at the top, offering to take you down all the way to the falls for 10,000 pesos. However, the walk itself is quite quick and generally very easy.
Follow this obvious dirt road and avoid any detours. There are signs at all the intersections stating “Propiedad Privada”, so you really can’t go off course.
The trail is also quite wide, with leafy jungle on all sides, offering shade and a comfortable walk. Additionally, there are sections with beautiful bamboo and a few snack shops along the way as well.
We arrived at approximately 11:30 AM and were shocked at just how many people were walking back up. I’m sure we passed over 100 Colombian tourists, and this wasn’t even on a weekend! Remember, visit early or come around this time when everyone is leaving for lunch. If you can help it, avoid visiting Pozo Azul on weekends as well, especially if you want to avoid crowds.
Best Viewpoint in Minca: 360 Mirador
The Two Waterfall Basins
After the short 20 minute hike, we arrived at Pozo Azul. This is actually a series of waterfall tiers that are perfect for swimming.
The main waterfall tier is a large, freshwater basin with shallow water (around 1.2 meters in depth). This is a natural river formation (formación natural), with rocky outcrops on both sides.
The water is crystal clear and very refreshing. However, the actual waterfall itself is quite small at only about 2 meters in total height. We swam up to it and found the water was much deeper just under the falls. This was also a very refreshing spot to get a natural water massage!
With that said, in my opinion, the best swimming spot is just a little further up the hill. Take the steep, rocky trail on the left and you’ll arrive at a smaller, but much deeper waterfall basin. This is a great spot for swimming and you’ll often find much fewer people here.
Pozo Azul Cliff Jump
Yes, there’s even a small little cliff jump at Pozo Azul! From the second waterfall tier, climb up the jungle vines on the left side and you’ll arrive at the rocky jump spot.
The jump is only around 3.5 meters in total, but it was fun nonetheless! Just remember to always do a depth check as conditions can often change.
If you continue on even further upstream, past the second tier, you’ll discover a beautiful shallow river in the jungle. If the main series of waterfalls are too busy, cooling off and relaxing up here is a good idea!
More Tips for Visiting Pozo Azul in Colombia
Here are some final tips to ensure you have a great time visiting this serene natural watercourse in Minca.
- Visit early or at lunch time to avoid the crowds
- Avoid visiting on weekends or on a public holiday
- Bring your swimmers
- Keep an eye out for tropical birds like Toucans on the hike to the falls
- You can stay right near the waterfall at Casa casa del pozo azul
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.
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, 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, 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!
- Reserva Natural Tierra Adentro – The best place to stay near Minca for couples and those wanting absolute serenity. Offers amazing private rooms with a river view in the jungle, an incredible breakfast and is actually very affordable for what you get!
Read More: 4 Awesome Waterfalls in Minca
More Colombia Travel Guides & Blogs
I hope you’ve enjoyed this quick guide to visiting Pozo Azul in Minca, Colombia.
If you’re looking for more travel inspiration, make sure to check out some of the other articles on my blog!