Built by the Tayrona Indians between the 11th and 14th Century in the northern foothills of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, ¨La Ciudad Perdida,¨ (The Lost City) is one of the largest pre-Columbian settlements in the Americas. It was only discovered in 1972.
Explore the scenic backcountry of Colombia on a 4- or 5-day trek to this legendary site, hidden deep in the dense jungle. You’ll hike 29 miles (47 kilometers) passing unspoiled waterfalls and rivers along the way, eventually reaching this amazing archaeological treasure. Your trip culminates with a chance to explore Ciudad Perdida, admiring the site’s intricate plazas and stone terraces, carved into the hillside.
Day 1 Santa Marta – Adan (Camp Site #1)
After collecting you at your hotel in Santa Marta, we will ride in a jeep for about 45 minutes on the highway. We will stop at a convenience store to buy snacks and drinks, and from there, we turn off the highway, up a dirt track into the mountains. After arriving in Machete, we will have lunch and then have a short swim to cool off. Then we hike a steep uphill grade for around 45 minutes before a long descent into the valley where Adán, the first campsite, is located. (L,D)
Day 2 Adan- Paraiso Camp (Camp site # 3)
The 15 kms route starts along the Buritaca River, taking you further into the vivid green jungle past small villages en route to the evening campsite.
We will walk uphill and across some beautiful terrain, including some local farms. After a jump in a swimming hole and lunch at Wiwa Camp (Camp Site #2) we will continue to Paraiso Camp (Camp Site #3), located only 1km downhill from the Lost City. Today’s journey takes you through a varied landscape, deeper into the tropical jungle, across rivers and past a couple of Kogi villages. (B,L,D)
Day 3 The Lost City
We will wake up at about 430A.M so we can can set off at dawn and enjoy the Lost City in the softest light and coolest air possible. After a short walk from the campsite, we will reach the 1,200 stone stairs that ascend to the terraces of the city above.
Climbing the steps, we will reach the lower chambers of Teyuna, also known as The Lost City. It is believed that this was a capital city built by the Tayrona civilization in 800 A.D., approximately 600 years before the Incas built Machu Picchu in Peru. When conquistadores approached the structure in the 16th century, the Tayrona opted to abandon the city instead of allowing it to fall into Spanish hands.
After visiting the Lost City, we’ll return to El Paraiso (Campsite #3) for a quick lunch before returning to Wiwa Camp (Campsite #2) for overnight. (B,L,D)
Day 4 Wiwa Camp – Santa Marta
We will start early again, since much of the trail is unshaded, and therefore becomes quite hot. After a stop for fruit at the first campsite and a jump in the swimming hole, we’ll find ourselves back where we began, in Machete, for lunch.
We will drive back to Santa Marta to end this exciting trek . (B,L)
Hotel pickup and drop-off in Santa Marta
– Meals per itinerary (B=breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
– Entrance fee to Ciudad Perdida
– Local guide
– Accommodation at basic camps/shelters
– Small-group tour with a maximum of 11 people
– Hotel in Santa Marta or surroundings.
– Gratuities (optional)
Suggested Items to Bring
– Hiking shoes
– Light cotton trousers, shorts, tee shirts, long-sleeved shirt
– Rain protection (poncho) + Head protection – baseball cap, hat or scarf
– Microfiber fast drying towel
– Sun protection / sun block + insect repellent
– Small flash light and spare batteries (ideally a “free hands” head torch lamp)
– Small backpack for daily essentials
– Camera + memory cards and a spare battery.
– Phone and Camera charger (110V for Colombia)
– Phone + Whatsapp application
– Cash money (at least US$ 50 per person for every 2-3 days of travelling)
– Snacks and chocolate bar for the hike (please share with locals)
– The Sierra Nevada mountains can be climbed any time of the year, but the best time to climb is during the dry season. December – March is ideal weather.
– Minimal Requirements: Good physical condition, being able to walk at least 6 hours per day, some previous basic hiking experience.
– Temperatures during the day range from 5 Celsius to 25 Celsius degrees.
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