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  • Location: Santa Marta, Colombia
  • Duration:  Varies
Trek through the jungle to Ciudad Perida, Colombia’s ‘Lost City’ in the Sierra Nevada, the mountain range outside Santa Marta. This ‘into the wild’ experience will have you trekking over rivers and alongside waterfalls for four, five or six days as you make your way to the ancient archaeological site, founded by an indigenous culture around the 9th century. This outdoor adventure can be tough — you’ll walk up to several hours each day — but worth it for the amazing experience of getting ‘lost’ in the jungle and finally arriving at the extraordinary Ciudad Perdida, surrounded by lush mountain foliage.

Highlights

  • 4-, 5- or 6-day trek to Ciudad Perdida in the Sierra Nevada
  • Discover Colombia’s ‘Lost City’ and learn about the ancient Tayrona culture from an expert guide
  • Trek through the jungle, across rivers and past waterfalls
  • Enjoy meals and downtime at three different camps along the way
  • Pickup and drop-off in Santa Marta included
  • Small-group tour limited to 11 people ensures a more personalized experience

What You Can Expect

Ciudad Perdida: 4-, 5- or 6-Day Trek from Santa Marta

Trek through the Colombian jungle to Ciudad Perdida

Each tour group is limited to 11 people, providing a small-group experience with your guide. The pace at which you trek and how much downtime you have depends on which option you book — the 4-day option is harder work, essentially, than the 5- and 6-day options.

The total trekking distance is 29 miles (47 km) round-trip from El Mamey, a small town you’ll be driven to from Santa Marta. You'll spend each night at one of three camps, which have bathrooms and showers, and you will sleep in beds or in hammocks. Swimming is often possible in the river and natural pools during treks and at the camps.

All meals are typical Colombian fare; expect meat, rice and either beans, potatoes or yuca (a potato-like root vegetable) for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

It is recommended that you bring a book and a deck of cards to fill downtime you have at the camps. Make sure you bring good hiking shoes, mosquito repellant, sunscreen, a hat and a refillable water bottle. You may also want to pack a flashlight, a roll of toilet paper, small snacks and hand sanitizer.

Please see the Itinerary section below for details on each day of the trek.

Itinerary

4-DAY TREK
Day 1: Santa Marta – 1st Camp (L, D)
Your first day of the trek begins with a morning pickup from your Santa Marta hotel and a 3-hour drive by 4-wheel-drive vehicle to the small town of El Mamey, where you’ll stop for lunch at a local restaurant serving typical Colombian food.

After lunch, start your 4-hour walk to camp, stopping along the way when your group needs to take a break. When you reach camp, have dinner and then hit the sack, resting up for your long day of trekking tomorrow.

Day 2: 1st Camp – 3rd Camp (B, L, D)
Wake up early and eat a quick breakfast before departing around 6am for your trek to the 3rd camp. Your walking time today is seven hours. Because of the condensed nature of the 4-day option, you will skip the 2nd camp, where travelers on the 5- and 6-day treks stay.

Along the way, stop at the native community of Mutanyi, where you’ll meet members of the Kogi (or Cogui) indigenous group to learn a bit about their tribe and traditions.

You’ll have lunch during the trek and dinner at the camp.

Day 3: 3rd Camp – Ciudad Perdida – 2nd Camp (B, L, D)
After breakfast, leave camp around 6am for the walk to Ciudad Perdida, which you’ll reach around 9am and enter by climbing its 1,200 stone stairs.

You’ll have about three hours to explore the ancient city, set in the dense jungle. Archaeologists believe it was founded around 800 AD by the Tayrona culture. Check out its plazas and more than 100 terraces carved into the hillside.

In the afternoon, walk about 2.5 hours back to the 2nd camp, where you’ll have dinner and stay the night.

Day 4: 2nd Camp – Santa Marta (B, L)
After breakfast, walk seven hours back to El Mamey, where you’ll have lunch again, as you did on Day 1. Your guide will then drive you back to your Santa Marta hotel via four-wheel-drive vehicle. You’ll arrive in the mid-afternoon, concluding your trekking tour.

5-DAY TREK
Day 1: Santa Marta – 1st Camp (L, D)
Same as 4-day trek.

Day 2: 1st Camp – 2nd Camp (B, L, D)
Eat a quick breakfast before departing at 6am for your 4.5-hour trek to the 2nd camp. Along the way, stop at the native community of Mutanyi, where you’ll meet members of the Kogi (or Cogui) indigenous group to learn a bit about their tribe and traditions.

When you reach the 2nd camp, you’ll have lunch and downtime to swim in the Buritaca River and rest. Later, have dinner before going to bed.

Day 3: 2nd Camp – 3rd Camp (B, L, D)
In the morning, trek four hours to the 3rd camp, crossing the river several times. When you arrive, have lunch and relax. During the afternoon and evening, just soak up the incredible experience of being in the mountainous jungle environment.

Have dinner at camp before going to bed.

Day 4: 3rd Camp – Santa Marta – 2nd Camp (B, L, D)
After breakfast, leave camp at 6am for the walk to Ciudad Perdida, which you’ll reach around 9am and enter by climbing its 1,200 stone stairs.

You’ll have about three hours to explore the ancient city, set in the dense jungle. Archaeologists believe it was founded around 800 AD by the Tayrona culture. Check out its plazas and more than 100 terraces carved into the hillside.

In the afternoon, walk 2.5 hours back to the 2nd camp, where you’ll have dinner and stay the night.

Day 5: 2nd Camp – Santa Marta (B, L)
Same as Day 4 of 4-day trek.

6-DAY TREK
Day 1: Santa Marta – 1st Camp (L, D)
Same as 4-day trek and 5-day trek.

Day 2: 1st Camp – 2nd Camp (B, L, D)
Same as 5-day trek Day 2.

Day 3: 2nd Camp – 3rd Camp (B, L, D)
Same as 5-day trek Day 3.

Day 4: 3rd Camp – Santa Marta – 2nd Camp (B, L, D)
Same as 5-day trek Day 4.

Day 5: 2nd Camp – 1st Camp (B, L, D)
Walk to 4.5 hours the 1st camp for some relaxation. Swim in a natural pool and admire waterfalls. Have lunch and dinner and spend the night at the 1st camp.

Day 6: 1st Camp – Santa Marta (B, L)
After breakfast, walk four hours back to El Mamey, where you’ll have lunch again, as you did on Day 1. Your guide will then drive you back to your Santa Marta hotel via 4-wheel-drive vehicle. You’ll arrive in the mid-afternoon, concluding your trekking tour.
From USD $ 549.99

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Tour code: 5549CPTREK

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