Hola! My name is Adriana Gonzalez (@conadeaventura). I’m a journalist and content creator with +100K followers on Instagram and +80K followers on TikTok. Welcome to my guide on Ciudad Perdida (Lost City) in Colombia.
Traveling is something that comes naturally for me. I love it because I have been traveling with my family ever since I was a baby (I was just 3 years old when I took my first flight). Now, I’m 25 and I keep traveling on my own. I honestly can’t stand routines and by traveling I found a way to constantly have new experiences, meet new people and cultures, and have fun!
My Experience at Ciudad Perdida
Ciudad Perdida is a unique destination in every sense. Firstly, it has this mysticism about it – so I found it extremely interesting and I really wanted to visit. Secondly, I absolutely love destinations that bring about challenges because they are huge opportunities to experience personal growth and discover new abilities and passions that you never knew existed.
To visit Ciudad Perdida, you need to trek for 4 days in Colombia’s Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Along the hike you will pass through different environments such as mountains, rivers, jungles, etc. This was something that really interested me and I wanted to experience the 4 days of trekking.
The trip was amazing – it was one of the best experiences I have ever had. We started in Santa Marta and then took a van to Machete Pelao with our agency where the trekking started (I went with Teyuna – Aventruz agency).
We shared this experience with 2 out of the 4 indigenous groups of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (the Kogi and the Wiwa). We even got to share a meeting with one representative of the Kogi group who taught us about their culture, traditions and connection with nature. It was amazing!
There are different campsites you stay at where you can eat (lots of delicious fruit) and sleep. The camps have zones with cabins (camarotes) where the different groups spend the night. It’s a shared space.
We would walk during the day and at around 6pm every night we would arrive at the campsite to rest, eat and sleep. At the campsites we could swing into the rivers and waterfalls, go for a refreshing swim, eat amazing food, and share experiences and stories with people from all over the world.
Actually, there were a few Colombians in our tour group but most of the tourists were from other countries like Germany, Denmark, Australia and lots of people from France. It was awesome to see so many different people interested in Colombia and in the epic hidden gem of Ciudad Perdida.
It wasn’t until the third day that we arrived in Ciudad Perdida. We were able to meet the “Mamo” (spiritual guide of the Kogi group) and tour around the different floors/levels of this ancient archaeological site. The architecture, history of the place and the atmosphere of mysticism was all incredible!
In Ciudad Perdida, you can learn about the history of the site, talk with the Mamo, do yoga and if you bring your passport you can get the official stamp of Ciudad Perdida (similar to the one at Machu Picchu). During our whole trip, we had 2 guides and a chef who was in charge of meal prep. The agency cared about us a lot in every way and gave us the best experience.
Ciudad Perdida, The Machu Picchu of Colombia
My first impression of Ciudad Perdida was something along the lines of: “this place is a treasure”! The Lost City is like a smaller version of Machu Picchu. In fact, Ciudad Perdida is older than Machu Picchu and a lot of people think it could be bigger – only a small part has been unearthed with the rest still believed to be under the earth. So I guess we may never know.
When I was there I imagined the Tayronas (the indigenous people who lived there). I pictured their houses, traditions and realities. It was like being immersed in history for a while. I also learned a number of things.
Firstly, Ciudad Perdida is an extremely important spiritual place for the indigineous people of Colombia because the Tayronas used to bury their dead here under their houses with all of their possessions and treasures.
When the Tayronas left (for unknown reasons), nature covered up the Lost City. Years later, it was discovered again by the “Guaqueros” (people dedicated to robbing indigenous tombs). They desecrated the place.
The Colombian government later took charge of Ciudad Perdida and the descendants of the Tayronas asked the Colombian government to stop exploring the place in order to let their ancestors rest in peace. That is why only a small section of Ciudad Perdida is open for visitors/tourists today.
Need to Know Before you Go
- Our guides told us that the best time of the year to visit Ciudad Perdida is from February to May and from September to November.
- Try to be in reasonably good physical condition before you go. There is plenty of walking on this tour and so you want to be able to do it easily.
- Pack plenty of mosquito repellent – at least two bottles minimum.
- Bring a small suitcase with only the essentials because you will be walking for 4 days straight and you don’t want to carry extra weight.
- Wear specialized hiking boots with good grip. This is a must!
- Take your passport with you to get the Lost City stamp. What a great memory and memento this would be to show your friends back home.
- Speak with the indigenous Kogi people about their culture, traditions, connection with nature and life in general. This was my favorite part of visiting the Lost City and I recommend you experience it too. Amazing!