The Lost City

It’s been a long time since we last updated you on our trip. In the meantime we came back to Europe and our busy working lives have caught up with us. However I enjoy writing about our trip even more now and relive everything again. So on we go:

Next up in our journey was a 3 day trek to La Ciudad Perdida (Lost City) in the middle of the mountains of Tayrona.

Unfortunately this tour gets more expensive every year. After searching a whole day for the best deal, eventually we had to accept that the price and service is the same with all tour agencies. So long story short we went with an agency that was recommended by friends. But any other agency was probably as good as this one.

Day 1 started at 9am, when we were picked up at our hostel. After a little while at the agency’s office, where we met the rest of our group (12 people) and our guide, we continued our way. Passing the Tayrona national park and countless banana fields, we arrived at a restaurant to have lunch and then start the hike.

In our group were mostly young, strong and experienced hikers, so we walked rather fast. The guide was a funny guy. He passed the time telling us unbelievable stories like working with narcos in this region in the 80s. Later on he says he helped the archeologists find and clean up the ancient city we were about to discover.

After 3 or 4 hours and many steep hills we arrived at our first destination. Everyone picked a bunk bed, changed to their swimsuit and went to the nearby waterfall. The cold water was so refreshing after the sweaty and tough afternoon! The evening was short: A good dinner, a few beers and soon everyone went to bed to be ready the next day.

Day 2 started in the darkness at 5am. At 9 or 10am with reached an indigenous village, where we had the chance to swim at another waterfall and got explained some of the indigenous traditions, like the making of their bags (called mochilas). After an early lunch we went on, steep hills up, then down and so on. Every now and then we passed stations where we ate watermelon and could have a drink. We crossed rivers which felt like a great refreshment for our feet. During the hike, the groups also mixed or passed each other. Then there were the groups coming back from the Ciudad Perdida and indigenous people making their way to different villages in the area. So imagine a busy path through jungle-like forest.

In the late afternoon we made it to the 2nd camp. It was huge, there were at least 5 big groups of us tourists staying there. That night was short, because again we got up way before sunrise to have breakfast and then start the last piece up to Ciudad Perdida. We walked along the river, crossed it, then started to climb the 1200 steps to the entrance of the ruins.

As far as I remember the explanations of the guide, this city was always a sacred place where indigenous people from everywhere in the region gathered for special rituals that would last days or weeks. Nowadays only the shaman of the remaining tribe lives here with his wife. We actually saw his hut but he wasn’t there. We went on walking through the different parts and levels of the city. With sunrise we sat at the most beautiful spot with an awesome view on the city and surrounding mountains.

Of course many pictures were taken, meaningful parts of the city were explained and people bitten by mosquitos. Then we slowly walked back. The way back is very unspectacular, because it’s the same path. We spent one more night in a camp we passed before. But instead of returning to the waterfall where we had been before, we checked out the river. For a small entry price we could access a beautiful little ‘beach’ and bathe in the fresh water. Actually this place was the nicest to swim in those 4 days. If you go, keep an eye out for this at one of the camps. The next day was only about walking back in tremendous heat. After a last good lunch we took the car back to Santa Marta.

Tired and worn out we arrived at the busy beach of Santa Marta, ready to sleep until an early bus ride to Cartagena.

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