Lost City in Colombia: adventure in the mythical El Dorado

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The Lost City is located in northern Colombia, in the mountains of Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Ciudad Perdida was discovered in 1972 by a group of tourists who on their way encountered barely visible climbing stairs covered with moss. Followed by them, they discovered an abandoned city hidden under the crowns of trees. Soon afterward, antique gold figures and various valuable artifacts began to appear on the local black market. When the authorities found out about the situation, they created a guarded national park there.  Today, Ciudad Perdida is one of the most popular monuments in South America from pre-Columbian times.

In the past, this city was called Teyuna and was the capital of the Tairon Indians. Teyuna was founded around 800 years A. D., about 650 years before Machu Picchu. It’s much larger, wilder and slightly less photogenic than the Peruvian equivalent – because of this also not so well-known. While Peru has had to limit the number of tourists in Machu Picchu to 2500 per day, Ciudad Perdida is still visited by a small number of tourist groups. A great option for everyone, who are not into crowdy places!

The inca trail leading to the Lost City is not the easiest one and requires the presence of a professional guide. Dense thickets of bushes, which at times are barely seen by the sun, the multiple crossing of the river Buritaca, muddy routes, dangerous reptiles, and spiders. Nature has the power in this unique place! The trail is not recommended for amateurs, but it is not advanced enough to let go and give it up. Wildlife fans will definitely find their place there!

Trekking lasts from 4 to 5 days. To the lost city leads a path through the jungle and steep stone stairs that count 1200 stone steps. On the route, the guides built a couple of campsites. Each of them seems to have a permanent service of at least one person. In the base under the canopy, you can find beds or hammocks equipped with mosquito nets, showers and a wood-fired kitchen where local meals are prepared.

The ruins of the Lost City are inhabited by the Kogi Indians, who consider themselves descendants of the Taironi people and still cultivate old traditions, habits, and rituals. They live a life far from civilization and do not use its benefits. The living conditions of these people are far from the standard of living of the rest of Colombians. Kogi Indians wear simple clothes and often walk barefoot. Homesteads are huts built of stones, palm leaves, and clay.

The biggest admiration after reaching the destination is aroused by the stone terraces, which were supposedly in the bloom of the city lived 5 thousand people. You can also see there the foundations of cottages, mentioned before amazing stairs, a system of fortifications and outlines of residential quarters. Only a few males had access to the highest terraces, while females were forbidden to enter. The territory visited by tourists is only 3 hectares out of 12, and according to local legends, it is only one of the eight “lost city”. These are sacred places for the locals, so they are the only ones who know the location of these valuable monuments and do not betray their location in fear of unleashing the “green hell”, i.e. the pursuit of wealth and gold.

Colombia is an amazing place on earth, and a lost city should be a “must have” for every traveler who likes wild adventures! Tales of mystery, curiosities from the lives of Indians or rituals performed by local shamans make this place more imaginative and charming, while the surrounding mountains and the amazing view from the top of the city allow you to forget about the achievements of civilization. If you are fascinated by the local culture, or if you just want to check another place on your travel bucket list, we encourage you to book a “Lost City Trek” experience today! We can guarantee that it will be an unforgettable adventure!

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