Trek to La Ciudad Perdida (Lost City of Teyuna)

29.2 miles  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Adrien Patané

A dramatic hike through the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta coastal mountain range in Colombia, culminating in exploring an ancient city, deep in the jungle that predates Machu Picchu by 650 years.

La Ciudad Perdida is a stunning and challenging 47km hike deep in the Colombian jungle to a remote ancient city perched on a steep mountainside and surrounded by dense tropical rainforest.

The hike is typically a 5 Day journey which can only be taken with registered guide companies.  There are 4 & 6 Day options also if desired.  Logistics are taken care of for you with regard to the route itself, food and lodging, albeit lodging may be as simple as a hammock and a tin roof - but in the blistering heat of the jungle open air sleeping is the way to go ;-)

The La Ciudad Perdida trek typically starts near the town of El Mamey (Machete Pelao) after being picked up from your base in Santa Marta or Taganga on the Colombian coast.  There are a number of registered companies that take groups on the trek so research your chosen company - bearing in mind there isn't usually a lot of difference given the regulated nature of hiking in this region.

The hike itself is challenging in different ways you may be used to, fortunately high elevation is not an problem, however the Sierra Nevada Mountain range is the worlds highest coastal mountain range - so that should give you an  idea you will be dealing with steep yet dramatic slopes.  Hiking in Summer you definitely need to watch out for heat exhaustion and de-hydration, however you have many an opportunity to cool off in one of the numerous river crossings along the trek route.

Considered the Inca Trail of Colombia whilst there are some similarities, its very much its own trek, unique, rugged and secluded - there's no bus from Aguas Calientes to this ancient wonder ;-) 

The trek culminates with a morning wandering around the ruins of this ancient city, with quite a case of wonderment as to how exactly this city was built so high and deep into the jungle many centuries ago.  A unique element to this adventure is the opportunity to meet the local Kogi people, with little that has changed to their daily life for centuries, they are descendants of the original people who lived in "Teyuna" (Ciudad Perdida) in ancient times.

The hike passes through dense misty jungles, crosses rushing creeks & rivers and snakes over rugged mountainsides, views are spectacular & exploring the remnants of an ancient civilization holds an allure to many an adventurer.  This is a highly regarded trek and well worth the effort. 

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A must-do when in Colombia

I did this trek in 2012 and had an awesome time. The lost city itself is a lot larger than I thought, very beautifully kept and small groups went one at a time so your pictures wouldn’t include a ton of tourists. Two things I definitely recommend 1. Quick drying clothing. You’ll sweat, get rained on, slip in the mud.. you don’t want heavy damp clothes weighing you down. 2. Bring a life straw or your own water drops. The entire group I was with fell ill from bad water. Intense hill climbs and a bad case of mud butt are a rude combination. Originally the trek was scheduled for 5 days but because I was so ill I completed it in 4 just to be close to a washroom and proper bed.

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