Ciudad Perdida: How to Trek to Colombia's Lost City

Nestled deep within the gorgeous verdant jungles of Colombia lies an ancient treasure shrouded in mystery and wonder - Ciudad Perdida, most commonly known as the Lost City of Colombia. This breathtaking UNESCO archaeological site is thought to have been constructed by the indigenous Tairona people over 1,000 years ago. Its remote location has helped preserve its secrets until recent years. Re-discovered in 1972 when treasure hunters found the steps leading to the city, then covered in jungle and named it the “green hell”. Fancy taking on the challenge of exploring the lost city? Enjoy the reward of stunning views, encounters with diverse flora and fauna, and a glimpse into the rich history of Colombia's indigenous cultures.

Where and what Is Ciudad Perdida? 👣

Ciudad Perdida is a pre-Columbian city located in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain range on the Caribbean coast of Colombia. The city was rediscovered in 1975 by a group of treasure hunters and was subsequently studied by archaeologists, who determined that the Tairona people built it between the 8th and 14th centuries. The city is believed to have been home to several thousand people.
Ciudad Perdida is a popular destination for adventurous travellers seeking to experience the history and natural beauty of Colombia. The city can only be reached by a strenuous 4- to 6-day trek through the jungle, which involves crossing several rivers and climbing steep hills.
Spanish for “lost city”, this destination really does transport you into the jungle of the past. Whilst this opens you up to a world of exploration and heritage, only 10% of it has been uncovered and made open for those who pilgrimage here on the Lost City trek. Enjoy the idea of the unknown as you explore the gorgeous green fauna of the ancient jungle. One-third of the 30,000 square kilometres is open to exploration, in which travellers wander the roughly carved path through the wilderness to arrive at the magical destination that is Ciudad Perdida, a lost civilisation.

Indigenous Ciudad Perdida 🇨🇴

Home to some of the richest culture and history, including; The Kogui, Wiwa, Arhuaco, and Kankuamo communities, all of which are descendants of the Tayrona (Tairona). Dive into history and enjoy a fully immersive experience at Ciudad Perdida. This destination is also a sacred site for the indigenous communities that still live in the surrounding mountains, and visitors are encouraged to respect the cultural significance of the city by following guidelines set forth by their guides.

How Long Is The Trek? ⏱

Get your walking boots on, this trek will have you exploring for a few days! The trek to Ciudad Perdida is typically a 4- to 6-day journey, depending on the pace of your group. The trek covers a distance of approximately 44 kilometres (27 miles) round trip and involves crossing several rivers and steep hills. Enjoy the trip alone or use one of the many tour companies that offer expert and experienced Lost City treks. Tourists even have the opportunity to enjoy a tour with indigenous guides.
Starting from Skratch? Here are some links to help you get started:

Colombia — Facts before you go


🇪🇸 Spanish


💰Colombian Peso

How long does the trek take?

🗺️ Roughly 4-6 days.

Trek Travel Tips

💦 Drink a lot of water

👖 Wear fast-drying clothes

👜 Make sure everything is in waterproof bags

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Imogen Kemp
August 30, 2023

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