Where is Casa Elemento located?
Casa Elemento is a great hostel located up in the mountains that surround Minca. The town of Minca is about an hour away from the large city of Santa Marta.
Can you visit Casa Elemento without staying there
YES! This is actually what we did and I found it to be a great day in Minca. The cost to just visit the hammock and use the facilities is 10,000 COP. The ticket in also includes a drink of choice.
How do you get to Casa Elemento?
Getting to Casa Elemento can be a bit of a challenge and cost will depend on the method of transportation you choose. Obviously the cheaper the method the more challenging it will be.
First things first, you have to get to Santa Marta. If you need help getting from Cartagena to Santa Marta check out this article. But, let's assume you are in Santa Marta. You will need to take a colectivo or taxi to Minca.
- A 'Colectivo' is a shared taxi you can get from the market in Santa Marta. Pick up is located on the cross streets of Calle 11 and Carrera 12, in downtown Santa Marta. It is very easy to find. Once there, keep repeating Minca to anyone that will listen....they will point you to the right car. Cost is 8.000 COP and takes 45 mins.
Now you're in Minca, you can hike up the mountain (the true budget option) or more likely, you will want to get on a motobike. Look out for their colorful jackets that designate the moto union. This is the easiest way up the mountain and is also the fastest and cheapest.
So why is Casa Elemento so famous....
Well, it opened in 2013 and has become known as the only hostel in Colombia that is truly a must-visit tourist destination. What makes Casa Elemento so special and different? Giant hammock!
And there isn't just one hammock. There are multiple hammocks!
Is Casa Elemento's hammock safe?
The main hammock has space for at least 15 people, and while the impressive structure juts out over the edge of the hillside where the hostel is perched it is sort of an optical illusion. The ground is right below you so even if the hammock breaks you will fall less than 3 feet!
What else is there to do while up there?
- You can hike to Los Pinos (which we did) for a fantastic viewpoint.
- You can also take a motorbike to nearby waterfalls or coffee farm.
- You can relax.
- Take in some birdwatching!
Prices for beds (and other things) at Casa Elemento
You can choose from fancy new private cabins and dorm rooms even just paying for a hammock. Also the hostel has a pool, bar, and another huge hammock in the jungle. You can do things like relax, read a book, watch a movie in the movie room, enjoy a few beers and cocktails, or just chill out in the hammock and make some new friends.
Lunch and dinner are communal affairs since they are served at the same time.
Beware: there is absolutely no WiFi!!! But, if you have an international plan I got signal just fine.
Where can you eat while up at Casa Elemento
The great thing is that there is food on the property and it is good and cheap! Check out what I had below. Plus, they have vegetarian options - wooooo!
One last thing... even though researching ahead of time is great, I definitely recommend bringing a guidebook along with you. Here are some books I recommend...
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