Ciudad Perdida Colombia; 10 things you should know to start trekking.

👤 Juan David Gonzalez
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📅 November 29, 2023
Lost City Trekking Santa Marta

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Lost City is located deep in the jungles of the northern jungles of the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta in Colombia, a trail that takes the adventurous, brave and curious to a sacred site that is believed to be some 650 years older than Machu Picchu.

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Kogi in Ciudad Perdida Colombia - Biosphere Reserve

Discovered in 1976 by a team of archaeologists of the Colombian Institute of Anthropology, the Lost City in the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta is a magnificent archaeological treasure and one of the wonders found in the department of Magdalena. Ciudad perdida was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO since 1979, being a place of great impact in Colombia.

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Chozas de Ciudad Perdida Colombia- Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta- indigenous communities

Archaeological investigations at the site seem to indicate that this settlement was founded around 800 A.D. and abandoned it at some point between the years of 1550 and 1600 A.D. A further 11 settlements were detected in the surrounding area, and archaeological excavations have been carried out at some of these sites.

Known as Teyuna by the indigenous communities of the Ciudad Perdida area is located between the 900 and 1,200 meters altitude; on the foothills of Cerro Correa in the northern part of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (Colombia); on the right bank of the Buriticá River.

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Lost city Colombia- Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta

The site comprises a complex system of constructions, stone roads, stairways and walls intercommunicated by a series of terraces and platforms on which the ceremonial centers, houses and food storage sites were built.

Make your dream trip to Colombia with expert travel agents, get all the information in: Organized trips to Colombia

Do you dare to live the Ciudad Perdida Colombia Trekking experience? Book now!


Recommended Tour: Tayrona Park discovering trails with the Arrecifes trekking

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tayrona park

If you are looking for a quieter place to relax close to Ciudad Perdida, you can visit the wonderful Tayrona Park which is known for being one of the places that has a special protection in their areas, both terrestrial and marine. For this reason it has allowed an even greater conservation of the place, generating spectacular landscapes, where many describe it as a paradise on the beach.

However, the main objective of the reef trekking is to show the majesty of the coasts of the Tayrona Park, showing its wonderful white sand beaches, delimited by large mangroves and incredible forests.

Throughout this tour, you will have the opportunity to interact with the Caribbean nature, breathe fresh air along its paths, immerse yourself in its forests and admire the small details that nature provides; if we are lucky, we can see some wonders of the forest, some birds, squirrels and even monkeys.

If you are a lover of natural experiences and discovering new places, this is the tour for you!

What is included in Tayrona Park: discovering trails with the Arrecifes trekking?

  • Round trip transportation from the meeting point
  • Entrance to the Natural Park
  • Guided tour through the forests and beaches (Canaveral - Reefs - Arenillas - Natural Pool - Cape San Juan - Canaveral).

Find out more about this incredible Tour HERE


How to get to Ciudad Perdida Colombia?

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Lost City Trekking Colombia

To reach the city, where the vestiges of the Lost City are located, it is necessary to organize an excursion with an agency or a local guide, since access is not completely public due to permit and security issues.

In the center of Santa Marta, a strategic point located about 37 km away from the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta National Natural Park, you can find several agencies.

Machete Pelao is located right at the entrance of this park, from where the 4-day hike begins, covering about 50 km in direct contact with the incredible fauna and flora of the region.

You can book the tour online or directly upon arrival in Santa Marta, depending on the season, as some months tend to have a large flow of visitors.

The guides are usually the ones who provide information about the amenities, rules and recommendations for the tour.

You may also be interested in: When is the best time to travel to Colombia


What is the best time to visit Ciudad Perdida Colombia?

Lost City Trekking Santa Marta
Lost City Trekking Santa Marta

The trekking in Ciudad Perdida can be done during all months of the year, except in September, when the indigenous communities perform rituals and maintenance work in the park.

In terms of weather, the best month for trekking is January, as it is usually a mild season and also the busiest. The rains start in May and last until September.

It is essential to consider that trekking in the Lost City involves long walks and challenging terrain, therefore, it is advisable to be in good physical shape and prepared to face variable weather conditions.

Also, since the Lost City is a very popular destination, it is advisable to make reservations in advance, especially during the busiest months.

What You Need to Know for the start of the Lost City Adventure

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  • The starting point for the Ciudad Perdida de Santa Marta is located in an area known as La AguacateraThe trail starts on the road from Santa Marta to La Guajira, in the north of Colombia, one hour from Santa Marta. From there, you drive 12 kilometers up a dirt road to the peasant village of El Mamey, where the hike begins.
  • To reach this treasure of the Tayrona people you must walk a long, but spectacular road that runs through the valley of the Buritaca River; the adventure begins with a three-day walk uphill before reaching the 1200 ancient steps of the Buritaca River.
  • The steps of the Buritaca River are incredibly narrow and steep and, even in the dry season, incredibly slippery, so take them slowly and carefully, especially when descending.
  • There will be river crossings, from ankle-deep cool water that will be a great relief from the heat in the dry months, to thigh-deep torrents of water at the peak of the rainy season.
  • The climate is tropical rainforest; some areas will be slippery with muddy mud flats and occasionally there may be unanticipated rainfall, during the months of May and September you can add torrential downpours to the mix.
  • For Ciudad Perdida take only what you need, light clothes for the day and clothes that cover you at night, although the weather drops to about 17°C is more to avoid mosquito bites.
  • Shoes are essential to achieve a more pleasant walk, they can be trekking boots or good tennis shoes that are comfortable and have good grip to the ground.
  • Towards the end of the first day's trek, the landscapes begin to change. The vegetation thickens, the farmland shrinks and the jungle beckons for an incredible breath of fresh air; by late afternoon you will enter Wiwa land, this indigenous group, one of four that call the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta home, has been around for centuries.
  • Members of the Colombian Army patrol the road, this is an additional piece of security that reduces the responsibility of the tour companies and eases the minds of thousands of visitors.
  • At each lunch break and at each camp, there is a large barrel of drinking water for each group, supplied by the catering team. This is locally sourced water that is purified with tablets to ensure it is pleasant and safe for everyone to drink; simply fill your bottle as often as you need.
  • Along the route in Lost City There are seven campsites with metal roofs, beds with mattresses and/or hammocks and a kitchen where the guides prepare lunch and dinner for the group. There are blankets in all of them, but they are usually not very clean and bedbug and flea bites are guaranteed. It is advisable to bring a very light sleeping bag or a sheet to protect you from the cool of the night and not to use the blankets in the camp.
  • For Ciudad Perdida there are organized treks of 4, 5 and 6 days. The 4-day ones can be done if you have a good training, because each day you walk between 7 and 10 hours. The 5-day treks are the most recommendable; during the first three days you walk four hours a day and have time to observe the landscape, bathe in the rivers or enjoy the people you meet. In any case, the two days of descent are the same for both programs and are very demanding.
lost city colombia
Lost City Trekking Colombia
Remember that you can book your 5 days Trekking Plan Ciudad Perdida Colombia. here!

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