Lost City Trek
The Lost City trek of 3 days is the best option for people who prefer to go at a faster pace, and have better physical conditions.
This service is exclusively managed as a private tour.
Duration: 3 days y 2 nights.
Staring point: agreed meeting point.
Starting time: approximately 04:00 am*
*Due to the current situation, regulations and restrictions, starting time may be modified.
Passport with entry stamp in Colombia required.
The best trek in Colombia begins at your accommodation site in Santa Marta, in order to reach the Lost City.
We will leave in a 4×4 truck or jeep at 4AM, in order to start a two-hour journey, divided between road and mountain road (offroad) to reach a small town in the mountains of Sierra Nevada, called Mamey or Machete Pelao. Machete is located at about 120 meters above sea level. In this village we will have breakfast and start our hike in the mountains.
The first day may be a very long one; however, we will enjoy excellent views, the mountains and contact with nature. Approximate temperature will be 34° C.
We will be in a humid tropical forest and begin at an altitude of 120 meters above sea level. Maximum elevation is about 900 meters above sea level, and it will be reached at the campsite in which we will spend the night.
Walking time will be of 3 to 4 hours approximately to Adán or Alfredo campsites, where we will have lunch. This time includes breaks for hydration, fruit points and information spots.
Approximate walking distance: 9.3 km
After lunch, there will be a very pleasant and considerably long walk, because we will enter the indigenous territory and visit a town of the Kogui ethnic group. We will learn about these cultures and their ancestral traditions, then we will continue our walk bordering Buritaca river until we reach the second campsite.
There we will enjoy the crystal clear waters of Buritaca river, have a break, rest and then continue our journey through these great mountains.
We will be able to breathe fresh air and enjoy the sounds of nature, till finally reaching our third campsite called “Paraiso Teyuna” or “Paso de Lorenzo”. There, we will enjoy a natural pool and listen to stories and anecdotes from our guides.
Walking time will be of 3 to 4 hours approximately from Adán or Alfredo to “Múmake”, including breaks for hydration. Approximate walking distance: 9.6 km.
Walking time from “Múmake” to “Paraiso Teyuna” or “Paso de Lorenzo” will be of 4 to 4 1/2 hours approximately, including breaks for hydration, fruit points and information spots.
Approximate walking distance: 10.4 km
This is the big day of the best trek in Colombia, it is time to get to know the great Tayrona city and fill ourselves with all the energy that a sacred place like Teyuna, the sacred city by its original name and nowadays Lost City, has.
To get to it, we have to cross the roaring waters of Buritaca river with the help of our guides, and start climbing 1200 stone steps to reach the first housing stone rings of this wonderful place.
With our experience coming from several years operating the in the region of the Lost City, we will start a wonderful tour and travel in time while exploring this important archaeological site, a wonder of Colombia.
After all the morning for taking pictures and enjoying the place we will return to campsite #3, following the same path. We will have lunch, rest and continue our route to campsite #2, where we will spend our last night in the mountains. Since the day is quite demanding, it is divided into two parts.
Note: while visiting Ciudad Perdida – Teyuna archaeological park, or the Lost City as it is called nowadays, it is not necessary to carry your backpack, only some items our guide will suggest, so that you can enjoy the best possible time up in the city.
Part 1 (morning) Visit to Ciudad Perdida – Teyuna archaeological park.
Walking time will be of 2 hours, one hour ascending and one hour descending from the Lost City, without considering walking time in the archaeological park.
Time spent on site is determined by our guides, together with the Colombian Institute of Anthropology and History ICANH, depending also on factors that may affect safety of the visitors such as weather conditions. Approximate temperature will be 26° C.
We will be in a humid tropical forest and begin at an altitude of 800 meters above sea level, with a maximum elevation of 1200 meters and having lunch at an elevation of about 800 meters above sea level.
Approximate walking distance: 2.5 km.
Part 2 (afternoon) Return from Camp#3 to Camp#2.
Walking time will be of 4 to 4 1/2 hours approximately, including breaks for hydration, fruit points and information spots. Approximate temperature will be 30° C; we will be in a humid tropical forest and begin at an altitude of 800 meters above sea level and spend the night at an altitude of about 460 meters above sea level.
Approximate walking distance: 10.4 km.
As all good things must come to an end, it is our last day of the best trek in Colombia, it is time to return to Santa Marta.
Since the way back is pretty long, we must start our walk very early to reach the town of Machete.
Before that, we will be making a stop at campsite #1 to recharge our batteries with a snack, enjoy the natural pool and continue our descent to have lunch, before getting transportation back.
Approximate temperature will be 30° C; we will be in a humid tropical forest and begin at an altitude of 460 meters above sea level and have lunch at an altitude of about 120 meters above sea level.
Walking time will be of 5 to 6 hours approximately, including breaks for hydration, fruit points and information spots.
Approximate walking distance: 18 km
Is Lost City trek worth it?
The Lost City trek is worth it because of the amazing views, nature, the incredible history of one of the most important archaeological sites in Colombia, native communities and their culture and traditions.
Unlike Machu Picchu, though, there is no comfortable way to reach the Lost City, so being in a good shape is required since it’s a walk of more than 50 km.
It’s so much more worth it to visit it with Teyuna Tours, since it’s the only Tour Operator of the Lost City trek run by local guides, who used to be baquianos (a term used in South America that means “expert or knowledgeable”).
Baquianos were usually employed in an informal way, and no one was actually certifying how good or suitable for the task they were. Nowadays, guides are not just experts: they are professionals, founders and associates of Teyuna Tours.
- 4×4 Transportation (Santa Marta – Mamey- Santa Marta)
- Meals during the tour
- Accommodation in campsites (hammocks or beds with mosquito nets)
- Entrance to Teyuna archaeological park (ICANH)
- Travel insurance
- Contributions to the farming and indigenous communities
- Professional local guide
- Fresh fruits and snacks during the trekking
What's Not Included
- Mules during the trek
- Meeting the Mamo (local indigenous leader)
- Beers, drinks, extra snacks
- Shopping tour and / or visits to other attractions
- Handicraft items and tips
Lost City Trek Tips
- This trekking takes place in a tropical forest.
- Temperatures are of about 26°C – 32°C.
- It is usually hot and very humid, during the night temperatures may get as low as 16°C.
- There are a lot of mosquitoes, bugs and other insects, so that we recommend to bring insect repellent.
- Chances of rain are usually pretty high, expecially during the afternoon, so the trail can be muddy.
- During the trek, it is necessary to cross rivers and streams.
- Natives and their traditions have to be respected: this is the base for a positive cultural exchange for both visitors and communities.
What should I bring to Lost City Trek?
- Tennis shoes or boots, and sandals or resting shoes for the camps
- T-shirts, quick dry are the best option
- Shorts or bermudas
- Sweatshirt and a pair of long trousers
- Towel – microfiber suggested
- Insect repellent
- Personal items and toiletries
- Water bottle of 1 liter or more – purified water will be available in every campsite
- Personal medications
- Cash for extra expenses, handicrafts, tips…
- Waterproof, plastic bags or rain cover for the backpack
- Playing cards or a book
- Sleeping bag liners
Cancellation Policy and Refund
Clients have the right to claim a total or partial refund of the amount he/she paid according to the following terms and conditions:
- Teyuna Tours or its provider, has failed to provide the service, as long as the reason is different from force majeure *: you will have a refund of the total amount paid for the service.
- Cancellation of a standard (non-private) tour, either the Lost City trek or another destination in Santa Marta, more than twelve (12) hours prior to the departure of the tour. You will have a refund of the total amount paid for the service.
- Cancellation of a private tour, or transfer service, more than forty-eight (48) hours prior to the starting time of the service. You will have a refund of the total amount paid for the service.
- Cancellation of a standard tour to the Lost City within twelve (12) hours prior to the departure of the tour: there will be a charge of the 10% of the total value of the tour.
- Cancellation of a standard tour other than the Lost City trek within twelve (12) hours prior to the departure of the tour: there will be a charge of the 50% of the total value of the tour.
- Cancellation of a private tour, or transfer service, within forty-eight (48) hours prior to the starting time of the service. There will be a charge of the 10% of the total value of the service.
- Presenting a positive result for the Covid-19 test, after the starting time of a service that requires a negative result, implies a charge of the 20% of the total value of the service.
The customer will not get a refund in the following cases:
- The client does not show up to start the tour (no show).
- An accident or calamity occurs and prevents the service to be provided or provided in full.
- The client resign during the service.
- Events unrelated to Teyuna Tours occur, such as cancellation or delay of flights, loss of luggage, closure of roads, airports, terminals, borders, among other external reasons that may prevent the client to be provided a certain service.
* It is intended as force majeure: meteorological phenomena, disturbances of public order, unforeseen closures of the destination or roads, among others that prevent the service to be provided, or put safety of our customers at risk.
Where can I borrow a backpack or trekking poles for the Lost City trek?
Teyuna Tours offers as an extra service trekking poles and backpack rental; depending on availability, in our office you will find a 20L backpack and a couple of trekking poles and rent them for just $100.000 COP for the whole duration of the tour.
Teyuna or Ciudad Perdida, also known as the Lost City trek in Colombia, was discovered in 1976 by archaeologists from the Colombian Institute of Anthropology. It was almost entirely restored between 1976 and 1982. The site, which is considered the most important spiritual center of the indigenous tribes in the area, can be visited nowadays through the Lost City trek.
The Lost City trek, also known as the Ciudad Perdida trek, is a guided tour operated by TEYUNA TOURS, a travel agency based in Santa Marta, Colombia. The trek takes between 3 and 6 days to complete and involves walking through the tropical forest of Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, crossing rivers, navigating uphills and downhills, and exploring archaeological ruins.
The Lost City trek is managed and regulated by the Colombian Institute of Anthropology and History (ICANH), as it is located within the Ciudad Perdida-Teyuna Archaeological Park, a national natural park that overlaps with a native reservation inhabited by local indigenous groups. To reach Ciudad Perdida, visitors are required to make contributions to both the farming and indigenous communities in the region as part of the trek.
The Lost City trek costs $1.750.000 COP for the 4-day trek and $2.050.000 COP for the 5-day trek per person in 2023. The cost includes transportation, guide service, lodging, food, entrance fees, contribution to local communities, and travel insurance.
The Lost City trek is a challenging adventure, involving long walks in a tropical forest with high temperatures, humidity, and mosquitoes. However, the trek offers outstanding views, unique cultural experiences with local indigenous communities, and a chance to explore the ancient ruins of Ciudad Perdida.
In conclusion, if you are looking for an off-the-beaten-path adventure in Colombia, the Lost City trek, also known as Ciudad Perdida trek, is a must-visit destination. Managed by the Colombian Institute of Anthropology and History, this guided tour offers a unique opportunity to explore the ancient ruins of Teyuna, also known as the Lost City, while supporting local communities and experiencing the natural beauty of Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Book your trek with TEYUNA TOURS and embark on an unforgettable journey into the heart of the Colombian jungle.
To be able to visit the Lost City in Santa Marta, Colombia, through a 3-day trek, it is necessary to be in excellent physical condition, since it is a more demanding tour than the 4 or 5-day itinerary.
Likewise, it will be necessary to sign a disclaimer, to ensure that there are no medical or other conditions that may affect the development of the activity.
Campsites, accommodations and restaurants belong to local communities; we cooperate and work in order to provide a high quality service, however quality of lodgings and camps depends on them.
Trails and infrastructures are shared by all companies, so that the number of visitors depends on tourist season and number of visitors among all tour operators.
This tour involves risks; travel insurance covers accidents and injuries that may occur in the trek.
Teyuna Tours and the managers of the campsites on the Lost City trek are not responsible for lost or damaged personal belongings.
Other options – Lost City Trek
Lost City Trek – 4 days
This adventure is designed for people who prefer to go at a quicker pace, and who have a tight travel schedule.
Lost City Trek – 5 days
This adventure is designed for people who prefer to go at a slower pace, even without having much time.