What Machu Picchu is to Peru, the Lost City is to Colombia. The Lost City or Ciudad Perdida, is an ancient city and sacred site of the Tayrona Civilization, that once covered the Caribbean coastal plain of Colombia and extended to the highest coastal mountain range on earth, the Sierra Nevadas of Santa Marta. Any traveler can see Machu Picchu- by bus, plane, or taxi- but only an adventurous trekker can dare to explore the Lost City. Alongside a knowledgeable, bilingual indigenous guide, commit to a minimum 4-day 70-km trek on ancient trails carved in mountain and jungles that cross over rivers and waterfalls.


  • Explore the largest pre-Colombian city discovered in all the Americas
  • Trek in the tallest coastal mountains in the world, the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta
  • Visit a Kogi village and learn about indigenous cultures of Colombia
  • Meet the living descendants of the Tayrona civilization
  • Relax in jungle camps with beds, bathrooms, showers, and hot meals
  • Swim in natural swimming pools, rivers, and tropical waterfalls



  • The 4-Day Trek option includes 2.5 days of trekking to get to the Lost City and 1.5 days to get back
  • Day 1: Santa Marta to El Mamey town to Adán Camp (Distance: 12.5 km)
  • Day 2: Adán Camp to Paraiso Teyuna Camp via Mumake Camp (Distance: 23.5km)
  • Day 3: Paraiso Teyuna Camp to Mumake Camp via The Lost City (Distance: 22.2km)
  • On Day 3 enjoy 4 hours at Lost City to relax and take photographs
  • Day 4: Mumake Camp to El Mamey vía Adan Camp (Distance: 12.2km)
  • Return on Day 4 via an easy 4- hour trek and receive transport to Santa Marta
  • Extension option to visit an indigenous village en-route, or upon return, to Santa Marta (depending on the village’s calendar) to gain Arhuaco perspective on the Lost City
  • In total, the trail to and from the Lost City runs along the same path, weaving through the thick jungle of the Sierra Nevada mountains and covers the total distance of just over 45kms as the crow flies, or over 75kms (accounting for all the ups and downs)
  • To begin the journey, meet your guide at their office in Santa Marta, the second oldest city in South America and the capital city of dept. of Magdalena
  • Drive for 100 km along a highway and dirt road (approx. 3 hours) from Santa Marta to trailhead at small town of El Mamey
  • Today, trek from El Mamey to Adán Camp (Official Distance: 7.6km Actual Distance: 12.5 km)
  • Experience stunning views of jungle mountains
  • Tonight, you’ll sleep in open air bunk beds with mosquito nets
  • Pillows and blankets will be provided
  • Facilities at camp:  bathrooms, showers, electricity with limited use (by generator)
  • Enjoy breakfast at camp (eggs, bread, and some fruit along with coffee/hot chocolate/tea)
  • Today, trek from Adán Camp to Paraíso Teyuna Camp via Mumake Camp (-Official Distance: 14.7km, actual Distance: 23.5km)
  • Arrive at Mumake around 10-11am, and have plenty of time to relax and unwind before lunch
  • Keep your bathing suit at the top of the pack as there is another swimming hole waiting for you at Mumake. It’s about 5-10 min walk away, but a dip in the refreshing, chilly waters is wonderful!
  • Enjoy fruit stands along the way and a delicious lunch of rice, lentils, fried or grilled fish or chicken, salad, and fresh fruit juice
  • After lunch, begin a 2-hour trail that follows the beautiful Buritaca River
  • Visit a Traditional Kogi village en route to the Lost City and learn about indigenous cultures
  • The descendants of the Tayrona, the habitants of the Lost City, are today known as the Kogis and Arhuacos are people remained ruled by ritual priesthood they believe the ecological well-being of the planet is held in their hands, their prayers maintain the cosmic balance of the universe
  • Arhuaco and Kogis consider themselves as the elder brothers- they have a moral and ethical responsibility to educate us, “the younger brother” & they want to. They speak with passion in Spanish and in their own languages, to articulate with elegance about how the rest of the world needs to get our act together and care for the planet
  • In Colombia, they’ve emerged as symbol of continuity and hope- the last 5 presidents have visited the Arhuaco communities via helicopter to get their blessing
  • After a visit with the indigenous community, arrive at Paraiso Teyuna Camp for a restful sleep
  • Facilities at camp:  bathrooms, showers, electricity with limited use (by generator)
  • Today trek from Paraiso Teyuna Camp to Mumake Camp via The Lost City (Official Distance: 13.6km Actual Distance: 22.2km)
  • Day 3 is an early 5:30am wake-up call, so you have breakfast and set off on today’s hike by about 6:30am
  • Trek for one hour from the campsite to the Lost City with plenty of time there to take photographs, relax, and take an archeological tour
  • It’s about an hour walk from the campsite to the start of the 1200 step climb up to the Lost City. It sounds like this part would take forever, but you can easily reach the top of the stairs within 20 mins!
  • Begin a fascinating archeology tour that elaborates on the Lost City’s history:
  • The city dates back to 14th century when it was populated by some 2,000-4,0000 native Tayrona people and served as their biggest urban and commercial hub spread over an area of 2 sq kms
  • The conquest of Colombia in the 16th century was delayed, but when it broke out it was particularly violent, and the indigenous groups fled up to the lush jungle of the Sierra Nevada mountains and were miraculously left out of sight, out of mind, so they continued to follow their ritual practices. (other indigenous in general area are Arhuaco, and Wiwa people, but it is not thought that they lived in the lost city)
  • In 1970, a local man stumbled upon the city in his grave-robbing expedition. For about a decade, the Lost City, which at the time was referred to as “Infierno Verde”, (Green Hell) was a site of fighting between the grave-robbers (Spanish: quaqueros), until the government finally allocated resources to protect and excavate the site
  • Upon completing your Lost City tour, begin your return along the river bend and back to Paraiso Teyuna Camp for lunch.
  • From there, you’ll head all the way back to Mumake Camp (approx. 5 hours)
  • Facilities at camp:  bathrooms, showers, electricity with limited use (by generator)
  • Electricity is generator powered and only goes on from 6pm-9pm. You will need to ask the owners as the outlet is in the house
  • Trek from Mumake Camp to El Mamey via Adan Camp (Official Distance: 7.3km Actual Distance: 7.8km/12.2km)
  • After an early breakfast, you’ll set off on a 4-5-hour trek towards Adan Camp
  • This morning trek is fairly easy morning with some ups and downs along the trail
  • Once at Adam Camp, those on the 4-Day Trek, will take a quick fruit and water break and continue for another 4 hours all the way back to El Mamey Camp
  • Enjoy lunch at El Mamey Camp and hop aboard a 4WD van that will take you back to Santa Marta with your guide
Indigenous Visit Option:

Extend your trip by one day and one night to visit an Arhuaco village after your trek. Have the rare chance to connect with indigenous leaders by visiting their village situated on a beach by the sea and a beautiful river. Feel free to bring your bathing suit to swim or go fishing and indulge in local fish stews. Connect with the local weavers and watch as they make traditional weaving handicrafts, such as the Arhuaco “mochila”, or purse. Stay overnight at Taironaka Tourism Eco lodge and Archeology site located on the Don Diego River close to an Arhuaco village. In the evening, enjoy delicious food prepared by chefs at the lodge’s restaurant and stay overnight at the ecolodge. The following morning, you can float down the river in kayak or tubes to reach your own private beach on the sea, and return for transport to Santa Marta.

5 Day Lost City Trek Option:

The 5-Day Trek option, which breaks up the return journey by splitting up the 4th day of hiking into 2 shorter days. Those on the 5 Day trek will have lunch, enjoy the rock pools, and rest at Adan Camp. The following morning, you’ll take a leisurely 3-hour walk from Adan Camp to El Mamey where you’ll have lunch and catch a 4WD ride back to Santa Marta.

6 Day Lost City Trek Option:

There is also a 6-Day Trek option, which breaks up the 2nd (the longest and most exhausting day) into 2 days.


  • Professional bilingual driver for in-country travel and all transport needs
  • Expert bilingual adventure and cultural guides (languages: Spanish & English)
  • Emergency beacon, First Aid Kit, Colombian insurance
  • All food and accommodation
  • Excellent, filling hot meals prepared for you at camp
  • A staple meal usually consists of rice, small salad, beans, and a serving of meat, alternating between fish, chicken, and pork
  • Coffee/tea/hot chocolate and a sweet snack (a chocolate bar) are usually served for dessert
  • Breakfast consisted of eggs, bread, and some fruit along with coffee/hot chocolate/tea
  • Lunch consists rice/beans/meat or fish or a hearty soup
  • For snacks, your guide will provide you with fresh fruit and other delicious energizing goodies, but we recommend you pack extra snacks as you like
  • Excellent vegetarian, vegan, gluten- free, and other dietary options * please notify us of any dietary preferences when you book the trip
  • Accommodation on the trek include clean campsites with bunk beds instead of just hammocks to sleep in for the night.
  • Beds are right next to each other, but each bed has its own mosquito net that provides a bit of privacy between you and the person in the bed next to you
  • Extension option includes comfortable overnight stay and dinner at Taironaka Tourism Eco lodge and Archeology site

  • Bathing suit,  sunscreen, bug repellent, sun hat, headlamp, UV Water Filter
  • Lightweight, breathable long sleeved shirts and convertible hiking pants for sun protection (expect humid and hot conditions with warm breezes)
  • Daypack (40 liters or more),  bag rain cover, and dry bag for electronics
  • 4 T-shirts, 3 pairs of socks, 4 pairs of underwear, 1 warm layer for cold nights, rain jacket
  • A solid pair of hiking shoes, hiking poles (recommended), sandals
  • Blankets and sheets are provided at camps, but a sleeping bag/ travel lining is highly recommended (or ask about this rental option when you book the trip)
  • Most campsites have electricity as well as shower and bathroom facilities, so feel free to bring electronic equipment but you may want to bring a power bank for extra charges
  • Bring your valuables, like a camera and tripod, but be aware that you will be sharing campsites with other groups and guided tours
  • Travel Pillow, travel towel, soap, personal toiletries
  • Your passport on your person (no copies)


3 out of 5 = Several moderate physical activities raise your heartbeat on this trip. A good level of physical fitness is required. This trek is not technical & it does not require any equipment or any particular skills, but walking sticks, and a determined attitude, are highly recommended.


Dry Season (which runs from December through to early March) and rainy season (March to November). Treks to the Lost City are offered year around, but if you have a chance to choose when to trek, go in the dry season. Hiking in the rain on this hike is not ideal, to say the least.


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Expedition Colombia is a collective of dedicated guides, conservationists and professional athletes. We are passionate about the use of adventure tourism as a tool to protect Colombia’s cultural and natural treasures.

Over years of exploration we have discovered Colombia’s unlimited potential for multi-sport experiences and have created a unique line-up of expeditions to help you discover the hidden paradises that exist here.


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