In the heart of the dense tropical jungle in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains, is located "La Ciudad Perdida" (The Lost City). This is an ancient sanctuary, Teyuna that goes back to the VIII Century A.D. and it was rediscovered only in 1972 by a body of explorers.
La ciudad Perdida today is the most known archaeological site of Colombia, and considered a sacred place by the 3 ethnic groups that still live in the Sierra Nevada: the Kogi, the Wiwa and the Arhuaco.
The area is an indigenous jurisdiction, so the natives manage the visitors flow. The only way to visit La Ciudad Perdida is a trekking of 4/5 days that cost around 200 - 250 Euros depending on the selected packet.
The packages includes the breakfast, lunch and dinner for all the days, the guide and the transportation to and from there (you can ask to bring you in Santa Marta, Palomino or all the places between the 2 locations). The path starts from a height of about 800 meters to arrive at 1200 meters. The journey is not so simple especially if you find raining days. The best way to deal with it should be prepared and equipped.
The local agencies where you can book your trekking will pick you up early in the morning at the hostel where you are staying, and bring you up to the base camp of “El Mamey”, real starting point, where you will meet your guide (mandatory). The transfer takes place in jeep 4×4 and lasts about 3 hours.
It would be dishonest if I told you that the journey is simple, , you will meet some long ascents steep and the great warmth will affect your strength, so it is good to know this that in order to reach the Ciudad Perdida. Better to have a decent physical preparation. An advice is to not do the trekking during the era of the rains (March, April, May, September, October, November) precisely because it often rains and the ground becomes inevitably muddy and slippery.
Day 1: You can have lunch at “El Mamey”, and there the guide will do a briefing introduction on the trekking. The first day, you walk 7 km (3-4 hours depending on the step that brought) to reach the first camp, where you will spend the night in hammocks. You will pass some ascents, waterfalls and rushing brooks that characterize the landscape.
Furthermore, along the path, you will stop in small kiosks and the guide will offer you water and fruit.
Day 2: the second day starts at dawn, since you must walk for about 8 hours to reach the second camp, at the foot of the Ciudad Perdida, Teyuna or as they call the natives. During the walk you will meet even the indigenous community of Mutanzhi. At the end of a long day you can relax in the fresh water of the river that flows to the side of the camp.
Day 3: The great day. It starts at 5.30 a.m., and after breakfast, is the time of the Ciudad Perdida. Before you will start better for you because you will have more time alone on the top. To arrive at the top of the Sacred City, you will have to climb 1.200 stone steps, built by the ancients and the only way of access to the site. The climb is hard, and puts a strain on your psycho-physical skills, but once on the view is unbelievable and the effort is worth it.
After a thorough visit of the site on the late morning, you will start your way back. It will take at least 5-6 hours to reach the camp (Mumake). Remember to not charge you more than what is needed because you will do the trekking with all your equipment. You need clothes to change all the days especially if it rains…. Chocolate and few other things.
Day 4: the Fourth day will be in descent in the same path you did for arriving to the Ciudad Perdida. After you wet in the waters of fresh streams, you will reach the starting point, El Mamey. Here await you already transfers that late afternoon will lead you to your hostel.
For other articles on Colombia, click here!