We had been out of breath, having simply climbed 1,200 stone steps when Celso, our indigenous information, referred to as for us to sign up for him round a bunch of stones organized in a circle in a clearing. In the center of the circle stood any other sq. stone on best of which lay a pile of coca leaves positioned as an providing. Celso defined with trademark calm in a sluggish, planned voice, “This is a place where we should let go of our impurities, our negative thoughts and emotions.”
We stood in silence, no longer most effective to “cleanse” ourselves so that we would higher revel in this sacred website online, but in addition to revel in its peace and quiet. To Celso, we had been then ready to additional consult with Teyuna, in a different way referred to as the Lost City (La Ciudad Perdida), without equal vacation spot to which we’d been trekking within the rainforest for the former two days.
The Lost City Trek, because it’s referred to as, takes you 46km (28 miles) spherical go back and forth in the course of the jungles, hills and river valleys of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in northern Colombia. We’d had our points of interest set in this trek for years, so expectancies had constructed up. Fortunately, the problem, panorama, and revel in exceeded such a lot of of them.
Here’s why. Here’s additionally why chances are you’ll wish to believe hanging the Lost City Trek in Colombia to your go back and forth want listing, in case it isn’t there already. We’ve additionally incorporated all you want to understand to devise, get ready for and revel in this trek.
Update: This article was once firstly printed in June 2015 and up to date in June 2019 with details about the brand new Lost City Trek itinerary and Wiwa group consult with.
What to Expect at the Lost City Trek: Day through Day
When I researched the Lost City Trek, I discovered a good bit of typical historical past concerning the website online, ceaselessly paired with a photograph or two of the general vacation spot, together with what I consult with because the “golf course” shot.
What I didn’t to find a lot of was once the character of the particular adventure there. The path and panorama is extra gorgeous and sundry than we had anticipated and the Lost City website online itself is way more in depth than maximum pictures point out. We particularly favored having an indigenous information.
Celso, a member of the native Wiwa indigenous group, shared his tradition with us and related it to the opposite indigenous communities, their courting to nature and their shared connection to the traditional Tayrona civilization.
Our days most often started early, round five:00 A.M., so lets get at the path whilst it was once nonetheless cool and in order that lets whole our day’s adventure prior to the rains of the mid-late afternoon. We favored getting up early, and we loved the entire advantages of the early morning – gentle, coolness and silence amongst them.
Note: The path under is the Lost City four-day path that we took. If you go for a five-day trek then your 2nd and 3rd days can be shorter, as you can have two days to finish all the path. Your day Four and five will glance the similar day three and four under. The present G Adventures Lost City Trek is 5 days and features a Planeterra Foundation mission stroll and consult with to a Wiwa group for a home-cooked lunch and to be informed extra concerning the tradition and folks. This article has been up to date to mirror this.
Start/Finish: Machete (El Mamey) to Adán Camp (Campsite #1)
All Lost City treks appear to activate from Santa Marta. From there, a jeep or van switch takes 45 mins alongside the freeway, all over which you’ll nonetheless have some mobile protection.
You’ll most probably forestall at a comfort retailer for ultimate minute snacks and water and the general little bit of cell phone connectivity. From there, you’ll head up a mud monitor into the mountains.
After you arrive in Machete, you’ll have lunch, then start the hike. (Note: that is whilst you will have to ask the folks coming off the trek if they have got a strolling stick they may be able to provide you with. It is in point of fact useful for steadiness and simplicity at the path.)
The starting of the stroll eases you into issues, with a swimming hollow an in depth 25 mins from the trailhead. After cooling off within the water, you’ll have a steep uphill for round 45 mins, then just a little of a smash, then an extended descent into the valley the place Adán, the primary campsite, is positioned.
Start/Finish: Adán Camp (Campsite #1) to El Paraiso Camp (Campsite #three)
This is an extended trekking day. The first section of the day takes you uphill and throughout some gorgeous terrain, together with some native farms. After a soar in a swimming hollow and lunch at Campsite #2 (Wiwa Camp), you proceed the entire technique to Campsite #three (El Paraiso), positioned most effective 1km downhill from the website online of the Lost City.
This day takes you thru quite a lot of various panorama — deeper into the tropical jungle, throughout rivers and through a few Kogi village communities alongside the way in which.
Start/Finish: El Paraiso Camp (Campsite #three) to Wiwa Camp (Campsite #2), by means of the Lost City
You upward thrust very early on this present day (round Four:30A.M.) in an effort to activate at crack of dawn and benefit from the Lost City within the softest gentle and coolest air conceivable. After a brief stroll from the campsite, you succeed in the place to begin of the 1,200 stone stairs you’ll want to stroll and scramble to achieve the terraces of the town above.
It’s no longer a very easy climb, and could be a bit treacherous if rainy or damp, but when you are taking care and get right into a meditative rhythm, you’ll to find it is going in no time.
After the stairs, you’ll have reached the decrease chambers of Teyuna, sometimes called The Lost City. It is thought that this was once a capital town constructed through the Tayrona civilization in 800 A.D., roughly 600 years prior to the Incas constructed Machu Picchu in Peru.
When Spanish colonialists got here just about discovering or coming near the within the 16th century, the Tayrona folks opted to desert the town as a substitute of permitting it to fall into Spanish fingers.
Teyuna was once then overtaken through jungle for the following a number of hundred years, as most effective the shaman (holy males) of the 4 indigenous teams who are living within the space had been conscious about its life and would consult with it ceaselessly for ceremonies.
It wasn’t till the early 1970s that the website online was once “discovered” through the out of doors international. Tomb thieves cleared out a lot of the gold, treasured artifacts and different stays. Due to this misfortune and the truth that no written report of the Tayrona exists, a lot concerning the town and civilization stays the topic of hypothesis.
The Wiwa, Kogi, Arhuaco, and Kankuamo indigenous teams that stay within the space are believed to be the descendants of the Tayrona and feature carried on their tales and traditions.
We spotted after we arrived on the Lost City, Celso let down his hair, the sudden duration of which is claimed to constitute the knowledge that flows from the sacred mountains in the course of the rivers to the coast. He was once wearing white, as was once his customized, to constitute the purity and integrity of the snow-covered peaks of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, out of sight within the distance.
Throughout our adventure, he shared tales that were handed directly to him, thru generations, from shaman to shaman, from elders to youngsters, concerning the Lost City. The tales advised of its advent, the symbolism of the other terraces, and the Tayrona courting with nature.
The indigenous that inhabit the world consider they’re the symbolic “elder brothers,” there to give protection to each the sacred Sierra Nevada Mountains and their “younger brothers” – that means the remainder of us. The sense of duty to the equilibrium and the nice and well being of others was once obvious.
After your consult with to the Lost City, you go back to El Paraiso (Campsite #three) for a fast lunch and start your go back the entire technique to Wiwa Camp (Campsite #2). For us, we had been met with a day downpour that made it really feel as despite the fact that we had been snowboarding thru dust crevasses within the rainforest. We had been happy for the revel in; it was once if truth be told extra pleasant than it sounds.
Start/Finish: Wiwa Camp (Campsite #2) to Ricardito Camp
This is any other early upward thrust since a lot of the path is exposed, and due to this fact turns into moderately scorching. You attempt to make it so far as you’re ready prior to the solar turns into too robust.
As you’ll bear in mind out of your first day, a lot of the path is up or down, with out a lot in between. It was that you would move the entire technique to the primary campsite or go out at Machete (Four-day trek), however now the treks forestall close by at Ricardito Camp After a forestall for fruit on the first campsite and a soar within the swimming hollow, you end up again the place you started, with a celebratory lunch in Machete.
Start/Finish: Ricardito Camp (Campsite #2) – Gotsezhi Village – Santa Marta
Update June 2019: The ultimate day of the G Adventures Lost City Trek now features a Planeterra Foundation mission and consult with with the Wiwa group in Gotsezhi village.
This Wiwa group revel in is exclusive to G Adventures Lost City Trek excursions. Take a brief stroll from Ricardito campsite to the Wiwa village of Gotsezhi. Local Wiwa ladies will cook dinner a selfmade conventional meal for trekkers and feature a possibility to promote their conventional woven luggage and different handicrafts.
This supplies ladies within the Wiwa group a possibility to make money for his or her circle of relatives thru tourism, one thing they did not have get right of entry to to prior to. And for vacationers, that is any other alternative to be informed about and have interaction with Wiwa folks and tradition. Plus you get a super selfmade lunch.
After a while to loosen up in hammocks and swim within the river and waterfalls, switch again to Santa Marta for the evening.
Lost City Trek Difficulty Level and Conditions
We’d give this trek a medium-high problem score for the entire causes we’re about to elaborate. This implies that you will have to no longer require particular coaching to trek the Lost City path, however you will have to be fairly energetic and in excellent bodily form. You will have to both be familiar with or be ready for day-long treks with steep, sluggish uphill climbs and really lengthy walks in intense warmth and humidity.
Not a Technical Trail
The Lost City Trek isn’t in any respect technical, that means that you’re going to no longer want any particular apparatus (e.g., mountain climbing ropes or different fittings). The path is well-maintained and for probably the most section, it’s a very easy trail to practice. But, it’s essential to have a information to navigate the rivers and a few turns.
You’ll must move a couple of streams or rivers — with water-proof sneakers on, or together with your sneakers and socks for your hand — however that is a part of the joys.
Altitude, Steep Hills and Valleys
Altitude isn’t in point of fact a subject, because the trek’s easiest level is round 1,500 meters/Four,920 ft. However, the Lost City path turns out to both be immediately up or immediately down with out a lot flat.
Our recommendation is to take it sluggish and secure at the uphill. Keep in thoughts that it’s no longer a race. It’s higher to continue intentionally and take fewer breaks than to temporarily put on your self out and must recover with common and longer stops.
Heat and Humidity
One of the demanding situations of this trek is the mix of warmth and humidity. I’m no longer certain we’ve ever poured sweat with such depth and consistency. It if truth be told felt nice, like a cleaning procedure.
Just make certain that you drink numerous water to refill. Note that respite from the warmth comes a few occasions an afternoon within the type of rivers and swimming holes to leap into.
Another problem and inflammation of this trek: insects and their bites. There are numerous them, particularly mosquitoes on the Lost City itself. We counsel making use of numerous trojan horse repellent (convey at the DEET if you want to).
If you’re particularly prone to mosquito bites believe trekking in lengthy trousers. Finally, pick out up a pack of generic B-complex capsules (“Compejo-B generico” runs 25 capsules for $1.00), as sure B nutrients are mentioned to repel mosquitoes.
Another factor to be careful for are fleas and/or bedbugs within the hammocks and/or blankets on the campsites – that is the place we accrued maximum of our trojan horse bites (particularly campsite #2). We suggest wearing a nap sack, so that you’ve got any other layer of coverage while you’re napping.
Finally, test your frame carefully for ticks whilst you emerge from the Lost City Trek. We each and every had a couple of on us; they’re very tiny and tough to peer, so glance carefully. (Note: For recommendation on the best way to correctly take away a tick, take a look at this text.)
Rain and Mud
We were warned lots about rain and dust, however didn’t to find rainy climate an excessive amount of of a hindrance. Yes, it rained every now and then (most often mid-afternoon), however we had been ceaselessly so scorching anyway that the cool rain was once welcome.
Be sure any treasured digital tools is well-protected and any dry napping garments are a minimum of wrapped in plastic (e.g., ziploc or rubbish luggage). If you fall within the dust, simply flow and don’t take into accounts it an excessive amount of. You can at all times wash your self and your garments later.
You will under no circumstances move hungry in this trek. Each workforce is assigned a cook dinner and no longer most effective will you be served 3 huge foods an afternoon (e.g., fish and rice, pasta, hen and potatoes), however you’ll additionally revel in well-placed fruit stops alongside the path. These are very welcome for the extra spice up of power and hydration simply when you want it.
If you’re vegetarian or have meals restrictions, alert your trekking corporate and your information upfront so they may be able to reply accordingly.
Campsites and Sleeping Arrangements
There are a handful of campsites alongside the way in which, so we will most effective talk to those that we stayed in — Adán Camp, Wiwa Camp, and El Paraiso. Not at all times, however ceaselessly, you’ll have an method to sleep in a hammock or on a bed/mattress (each with mosquito nets). We at all times selected the hammocks, however some might want mattresses.
There are chilly water showers and flush bathrooms at the entire campsites. Clotheslines can be strung round so that you’ll be capable to cling up your rainy garments from the day. However, the rainforest is damp so don’t be expecting anything else to completely dry in a single day, if in any respect. Evenings additionally get cool, so stay a long-sleeved blouse or fleece to hand at evening.
Organizing The Lost City Trek: Your Options
Choosing a trekking operator
You can’t do the Lost City Trek independently (presently), that means you should move with probably the most 4 or 5 approved operators. We took our Lost City Trek with G Adventures and will extremely suggest the revel in.
G Adventures paintings with an area group that gives indigenous guides in order that their vacationers are ready to be informed concerning the indigenous cultures and communities nonetheless dwelling within the Sierra Nevada mountain space. In addition, the Planeterra Foundation has labored with the native Wiwa group to construct a group endeavor that permits ladies to immediately promote their handicrafts and serve conventional meals to vacationers. This lets them proportion extra in their tradition with vacationers and earn further source of revenue for his or her households.
This implies that the G Adventures’ Lost City Trek revel in now features a consult with to a Wiwa village on day five of the trek. There, trekkers revel in a home-cooked meal made through native ladies and are ready to be informed much more about Wiwa traditions, tales and ideology.
Regardless of which operator you select to take you at the Lost City Trek, make a selection person who works with indigenous guides. The cultural and dwelling historical past background is very important to a complete Lost City trekking revel in.
How many days do you want for the trek?
Most trekking operators be offering four-, five- or six-day trek choices. We did the Lost City Trek in 4 days, however the entire same old G Adventures Lost City Trek choices are 5 days. As the path is identical, the primary distinction is that a five-day trek features a comfortable day #2 with just a few hours of trekking to the second one campsite.
As for the six-day possibility, we will’t in point of fact believe taking that a lot time to do the trek. But in case you are apprehensive about your trekking talents and stamina then communicate with an operator relating to what they counsel.
Leaving your baggage at the back of all over the trek
Most lodging and excursion operators/trekking companies will mean you can depart your large luggage or baggage with them for the few days that you are doing the Lost City Trek. We left our large backpacks at our resort in Santa Marta and we noticed different vacationers depart their luggage on the excursion operator/trekking company place of job.
If you don’t seem to be making plans to go back to Santa Marta after your trek, then attempt to make preparations with the excursion operator to convey your baggage to you on the finish of the trek or to go away your baggage on the subsequent position you’ll keep. Although we’ve not heard of any issues of baggage and robbery, it is at all times absolute best to safe your baggage with locks.
Lost City Trek Packing List
Much of what we come with in our How to Pack for a Trek article holds true right here. However, we provide a custom designed Lost City Trek packing listing to make sure you have what you want for the tropical rainforest prerequisites however do not overpack.
While there’s the choice on one of the crucial path to rent a mule to hold property, it is best to not depend on it. You will have to pack and plan as though you’ll be wearing your pack all the duration of the path.
Trust us, pack gentle. You’ll temporarily start to really feel the additional weight going up the ones steep hills.
You will undergo a number of liters of water every day (if no longer, you then’re no longer consuming sufficient) because you’ll be sweating repeatedly. Bring with you 1-2 refillable water bottles or a water bladder in order that you at all times have a minimum of one liter of water on you all the time.
Each campsite provides blank water, so you’ll be able to fill up your water bottles each and every couple of hours at the path. If you in point of fact wish to play it secure believe wearing with you a SteriPEN or sterilization drops.
Consider bringing Gatorade powder packets or an identical electrolyte sports activities drink combine with you that can assist you refill one of the crucial minerals that you simply’ll sweat out every day. And let’s face it, now and again consuming liters of water will get uninteresting and you wish to have some taste.
We extremely suggest wearing a strolling stick. We had been very grateful for ours, particularly when issues were given muddy and slippery. Trekkers simply completing and on their method out of the path donated their wood sticks to us. If this doesn’t occur, then ask your information for one and he’s going to discover a strolling stick for you, or type one for you along with his machete. Alternatively, convey your personal strolling sticks. We most often simply use one stick each and every so a collection of 2 is enough for 2 folks.
You in point of fact don’t want a lot on this division. Don’t fear about packing blank garments for every day, as you’ll be sweating buckets inside of mins each and every morning of having out at the path. Here’s what we recommend:
- 1 set of mountain climbing garments: T-shirt (ideally fast dry), shorts, mountain climbing socks. This manner you’ll put on the similar garments each day. Don’t fear about it. Everyone does it. And you’ll be grateful to not raise the load of additional garments. Note: if mosquitoes love you, believe dressed in trekking pants the entire time. Dan did this and it minimize down on his mosquito bites significantly. If you’re particularly sun-sensitive, believe bringing an excessively gentle long-sleeved mountain climbing blouse, however bear in mind that you can be heat.
- Hiking sneakers: We wore low-rise Vasque mountain climbing sneakers (his and hers) and had been nice. Other folks wore gentle running shoes, on the other hand some mid-ankle give a boost to comes in handy on account of the pitch of the terrain.
- 1 set of night garments for post-shower and sleep: T-shirt, lengthy pants (or pajama bottoms), socks. To be certain those stay dry, pack them in a plastic bag or different impermeable container inside of your backpack.
- Extra t-shirt: Just in case.
- Underwear for each day of your trek: With an additional pair thrown in for excellent measure, should you like. Recommended his and hers.
- Extra pair of socks: Just if your first pair get soaked past convenience whilst rock leaping on the river crossings.
- Bathing go well with: Keep close to the highest of your backpack to have to hand for swimming holes.
- Long sleeved blouse: For cool nights or napping.
- Fleece jacket: For cool nights or napping (can double as a pillow, too).
- Rain jacket(not obligatory): We did not use ours because of the warmth and humidity. We favored the cool rain. Not to say, a rain jacket within the tropics can really feel like a non-public sauna.
- Flip-flops or river sneakers (e.g., Tevas): To use in river crossings, showers, and evenings whilst you want to get from your mountain climbing sneakers.
Other Trekking Gear
- Waterproof backpack quilt: You by no means know when a rainstorm will hit, so it’s very important to stay a rain quilt on your backpack shut to hand. Your information will most probably actually have a provide of plastic rubbish luggage in case you want additional rain coverage.
- Quick-dry go back and forth towel: To dry off after showers, and in addition after a swim. Hang it at the out of doors of your backpack within the morning so it dries temporarily within the solar and air as you progress.
- Silk sleep sack: To supply an additional layer between you and the hammock (or bed) and blanket. Fleas and different insects within the hammocks bit us and different vacationers we spoke to.
- Headlamp: Most of the campsites do not need electrical energy, so be ready. Carry your personal headlamp to seek out your technique to the bathroom and to type thru your stuff at evening in and round your hammock.
- Silicone earplugs: A precaution within the case your camp has a snorer. We know from our Lost City path revel in that it will demolish a excellent evening’s sleep.
Toiletries and Health Kit
You could have get right of entry to to a bath each and every night, and you’ll be so grateful for the chilly water bathe to clean away the entire sweat and salt to your frame from the day’s efforts.
- Shampoo, cleaning soap, toothbrush and toothpaste: The fundamentals.
- Sunscreen: The upper the SPF, the simpler
- Sunglasses: Of direction.
- Bug repellent: You will observe this ceaselessly, particularly on the Lost City itself. The mosquitoes there are large, competitive and many.
- Hand sanitizer: To be at the secure facet.
- Pack of tissues or rest room paper: The campsites all have rest room paper, but it surely’s at all times a good suggestion to hold a pack of tissues in case of messes, spills or emergencies.
- Vitamin B Complex: Take one tablet in step with day (referred to as Complejo-B in Spanish, to be had at pharmacies in Colombia). Supposedly, mosquitoes don’t admire the scent and style of your blood when B-1 Thiamine is provide. It is controversial whether or not this in point of fact works to repel mosquitoes, however we favored the use of it and felt that it helped.
- Duct tape: Very efficient for warm spots and blisters to your ft. Also believe selecting up some Compeed, which is magic when you have already got blisters.
- Medical Kit (for emergencies): Band-Aids, anti-bacterial gel (for cuts), rehydration powders, ciprofloxacin (or any other medicine towards abdomen micro organism), Tylenol (anti-headache/aches), Immodium (or some form of “stopper” should you get diarrhea), tea tree oil (nice to use to mosquito bites) Note: some of these are simply and inexpensively bought at native pharmacies, together with in Santa Marta from the place you leave for the trek.
Electricity and Charging Batteries
While a few the campsites do have electrical energy, it’s unreliable. Prepare your self for no longer getting access to electrical energy all over the trek. Some tricks to care for this and extra your battery energy.
- Put your smartphone on aircraft mode. There isn’t any connectivity alongside the trek anyways, so do not waste your telephone’s battery energy looking for a community.
- Consider purchasing a telephone case that doubles as an additional battery. Here’s an instance for our iPhone 6 battery case and iPhone SE battery case. It supplies any other 1-1.five fees.
- Take an additional digital camera battery or two.
- Don’t hung out reviewing your photographs, as this will likely devour up your battery energy temporarily. Unless you’re reviewing photographs to decide whether or not you’ve captured a selected shot, there can be time sufficient for picture overview when your trek is done.
Lost City Trek Small Group Tours
Colombia – Lost City Trekking
The Lost City Trek excursion we took that incorporated the entire stories on this article, together with an indigenous information and cultural revel in.
Colombia Multisport & Lost City Trek
Another Colombia excursion that is a part of G Adventures Active line that comes with the Lost City Trek along with white water rafting, different mountain climbing, and extra.
Colombia’s Caribbean Coast & Lost City
A little bit of seaside time exploring Colombia’s Caribbean coast prior to heading into the Sierra Nevada mountains for the Lost City Trek.
Have different questions concerning the Lost City Trek? Just ask within the feedback under and we’ll incorporate the guidelines into the object so others could gain advantage.
Disclosure: Our Lost City trek was once equipped to us through G Adventures in cooperation with its Wanderers in Residence program. Check out this text for the entire other G Adventures excursions we have taken and suggest.
As at all times, the ideas contained herein — the what, the why, and the how — are fully our personal.
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