The Lost City Hike (Ciudad Perdida), Santa Marta, Colombia

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When I decided I wanted to visit Santa Marta in Colombia I was told about a great hike to do there and as I love hiking, I decided I had to find time to fit this hike in.  Instead of staying in Santa Marta I stayed in a little fishing village nearby called Taganga and stayed in La Tortuga Hostel.  As soon as I got there I explained that I wanted to do La Ciudad Perdida and got booked in for the tour leaving the next day.

My tour was with Wiwa Tour which is the only indigenous tour agency with indigenous tour guides showing you the area where they are from. Our guide Celso was amazing and answered all the questions that we had for him.

I was picked up from my hostel and we were then taken to the starting point of our hike, where we had lunch before setting off to complete our 7.6km hike for the day.  Our guide showed us a map of the area and explained where we would be hiking, basically up and down mountains and across rivers to get to the Lost City a total round trip of 46.6km.

Ciudad Perdida Lost City Santa Marta Colombia Ciudad Perdida Lost City Santa Marta Colombia Ciudad Perdida Lost City Santa Marta Colombia Ciudad Perdida Lost City Santa Marta Colombia

The first day it was very hot and we had the steepest climb of the trek, it was hard going, all up hill for a few hours but eventually we made it to the top and the views were amazing.

Ciudad Perdida Lost City Santa Marta Colombia Ciudad Perdida Lost City Santa Marta Colombia

After a little rest it was then downhill all the way to the river, where we would stay for the evening.  There were freezing showers available as the water was coming from the river but it was nice to get clean after hiking in the heat all day.

We then sat down and had dinner before getting into our beds for the night.

Ciudad Perdida Lost City Santa Marta Colombia Ciudad Perdida Lost City Santa Marta Colombia

The next morning it was up early for breakfast before setting off on our next day of hiking.

Ciudad Perdida Lost City Santa Marta Colombia Ciudad Perdida Lost City Santa Marta Colombia

Today would be our longest day of hiking and yet again it was another uphill climb, to the top of another mountain.  The days were so warm and in parts very little shelter from the sun, but the views of the surrounding valleys were just amazing.  We went past local villages and saw a few children playing around, who were especially fascinated with our cameras!!

Ciudad Perdida Lost City Santa Marta Colombia Ciudad Perdida Lost City Santa Marta Colombia Ciudad Perdida Lost City Santa Marta Colombia Ciudad Perdida Lost City Santa Marta ColombiaCiudad Perdida Lost City Santa Marta Colombia  Ciudad Perdida Lost City Santa Marta Colombia

It was then back down hill to the river, where we would again camp for the night.  Again there was the option of showers, I think this one was the coldest, piped straight from the river as the water was nearer the source it was colder, I couldn’t help but scream every time I had to get under it to rinse the shampoo out of my hair!! Once again we had a great dinner before another early night as we were up early again in the morning.

Ciudad Perdida Lost City Santa Marta Colombia Ciudad Perdida Lost City Santa Marta Colombia

On our 3rd day we were up in the morning before a short walk, across a river and finally arriving at the foot of Ciudad Perdida (Lost City).

Ciudad Perdida Lost City Santa Marta Colombia Ciudad Perdida Lost City Santa Marta Colombia

We are now at Parque Arqueologico Tayrona and to get to Ciudad Perdida (Lost City) we now have a climb of 1,200 steps, very hard going in the heat but it will be worth it once we get to the top.

Ciudad Perdida Lost City Santa Marta Colombia  Ciudad Perdida Lost City Santa Marta Colombia

Ciudad Perdida Lost City Santa Marta Colombia Ciudad Perdida Lost City Santa Marta Colombia

We arrived at La Ciudad Perdida (lost city) and our guide showed us around and explained that the Tayrona people built it over 1,000 years ago, making it older than some of the other ruins I have been to, Machu Picchu and Choquequirao, and named it Teyuna.  After the Spanish invaded, the indigenous people were forced high into the Sierra Nevada until their cities were abandoned.  It was a ceremonial centre and was only “discovered” again when grave robbers found gold in the 1970’s.  It is a beautiful place and the views are amazing.

Ciudad Perdida Lost City Santa Marta Colombia Ciudad Perdida Lost City Santa Marta Colombia Ciudad Perdida Lost City Santa Marta Colombia Ciudad Perdida Lost City Santa Marta Colombia Ciudad Perdida Lost City Santa Marta Colombia

It was then time to start the hike back along the same route, and just one more night staying in the bunk beds with mosquito nets.

Ciudad Perdida Lost City Santa Marta Colombia Ciudad Perdida Lost City Santa Marta Colombia Ciudad Perdida Lost City Santa Marta ColombiaCiudad Perdida Lost City Santa Marta Colombia

I really enjoyed this 4 day hike, the views were amazing but it was quite tough on the legs with the uphill and downhill parts but so worth it when you get there.  If you are in the area it is must do hike.

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The Lost City Hike.  A 4 day hike in Colombia

Find out about Why I started travelling here, Miami Beach here, Key West here, Everglades here, Bolton Abbey here, Naples here, Koh Tao here, Yangon – Myanmar here, Ischica – Italy here, Koyasan – Japan here, Machu Picchu – Peru here, Memphis here, Faro – The Algarve here, Fiji – South Sea Island here, Egypt – My trip in a hot air balloon here, Doutbful Sound – NZ here, Death Road – Bolivia here, Iguazu Falls here, Northern Lights – here & Hobbiton here

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31 thoughts on “The Lost City Hike (Ciudad Perdida), Santa Marta, Colombia

    • You don’t have to be superfit, there were people in my group who don’t hike often but we still had plently of time to go slow for them and get to camp before dark 🙂

  1. This hike sounds amazing! I’d love to do a less-busy big trek like this. I bet the views were mind-blowing in person – and a great company to go with. Thanks for postin!

  2. That looks like a strenuous hike, but totally worth it for the views! I probably would have had the biggest problem with the mosquitos as I always end up getting bit the most. Must be something about my blood. I would love to try this someday though!

  3. That looked like a challenging yet fun hike. Did you come with the group, or found it there? I love that the tour company is indigenous owned, not just staffed. Your photos are awesome.

    • It was the company recommended by my hostel when I got there. I wasn’t able to book the hike in advance so did it the day before when I arrived at the hostel 🙂

  4. Those views are gorgeous! I can only imagine they look even better in person and the hike seems well worth it. After the rest of my travel this year, I might be ready for a hike of this level by spring.

  5. Wow this looks incredible! A 7km hike isn’t too bad and it looks like it was a good hike. I don’t know if I would be able to handle the full 46km hike to the Lost City though! I have heard great things about Colombia – looks like it’s a must visit.

    • Yeah it’s a great hike to do. You have the option of doing it in 4, 5 or 6 days. The longer ones you just do less hiking each day 🙂

  6. I hadn’t thought about visiting Columbia but it looks spectacular. A 46km hike is quite an accomplishment. It’s with articles like this that you realize the world is such a beautiful place.

  7. When I went to Machu Picchu I read a book about the men who discovered it. It must have been so amazing to be the adventurer who stumbled upon these fabulous cities left in ruins. I have to one day have the chance to explore more of them.

  8. This sounds like an amazing hike! I’ve never done any longer than a day but the overnight experiences sound like a fun adventure and it also seems like a great way to meet people! Not to mention the views look spectacular!

  9. This hike sounds challenging, but amazing and so worth the view at the end. I really enjoy being in the outdoors hiking. It always feels that the obstacles don’t seem so bad after you get to the top.

  10. What an amazing trek! I didn’t know there were lost cities like that in Colombia. While I am not a fan of heat, I do love hiking and adventures, and this sounds like it might be right up my alley. I love that you had indigenous guide to explain what you were looking at. The more I hear about Colombia, the more I want to go.

  11. I commend you for doing such a challenging hike. I find anything more than 1-2 km challenging! The meals look really good, especially the fish fry. I have wanted to head to Colombia for awhile now. Your photos look incredible.

  12. What an adventure! This looks incredible, although very hard work. Columbia is so beautiful and to get to see areas like this that are off the beaten track is s special. I love to hike, although I imagine I’d have to be quite a bit fitter to complete this hike!

  13. I have to say I love reading your adventures and this hike looked very challenging but looked worth it all having looked at your pictures. I have really hiked in a jungle before but you really do deliver a great argument to add it on to the list of things I need to do.

  14. I loved the landscape view of the lush green mountains. I dont think I will go for this hike as I have major knee issues…and hence, may thanks for the pictures. At least I have been able to get a glimpse of this awesome place through your post…thanks for sharing.

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