Note: We have more than 20 guides for the Lost City tour of which 3 are bilingual. In the rest of cases we include a translator as long as there is a minimum of 6 people for the day they wish to register. In general (90%) we send translators every day.
Note: This tour does not operate during September due to Spiritual Cleansing Rituals in the indigenous communities.
Travel to El Mamey on Day 1 to begin your hike through the jungle, passing by several natural pools. Walk through indigenous villages and forge the Buritaca river on Day 2. Reach the Lost City on Day 3 along 1,200 steep, mossy steps. Hit the trail by 7:00am on Day 4 to return to camp 1, crossing the Buritaca River and passing through the indigenous community of Mutanshi. Hike to the starting point of your trek on Day 5 and take a van back to Santa Marta, arriving around 5:00pm.
Day by Day Itinerary:
Day 1: Santa Marta - El Mamey - Adan's Camp (L/D)
Depart between 9:00 and 10:00 am from the door of your accommodation by 4x4 vehicle for a 3-hour trip to reach El Mamey. Here we will have a light lunch before beginning your exciting trek into one of the largest pre-Columbian towns in Latin America, once inhabited by the Tayrona civilization around the 11th to 14th century. Get ready for a 7-kilometer trek through the jungle passing by several natural pools where you can take a refreshing swim before reaching the first camp where you will set up your hammocks for the night, have dinner and get a good night’s sleep.
(7-kilometer trek; 4 hours approx.)
*Transfers: Please note that transfers from Cartagena to Santa Marta can be organized at an extra cost, please contact us for more information.
Day 2: Adan's Camp - El Paraiso Camp (B/L/D)
Wake up for an early breakfast before departing on your 15-kilometer trek at 8:00 am. Walk through the indigenous Kogi village of Mutanshi to learn about local life in the jungle and the native inhabitants who live here. During the day you will meet indigenous families in their native lands and cross the river Buritaca several times refreshing yourself in the cool waters. During rainy season water levels can reach up to 1 meter deep. So today, please plan to wear water shoes or hiking sandals with good straps and be prepared to get wet. Snack on fresh fruits during the trek before reaching the third camp. Get settled in, have dinner and sleep here overnight in your hammocks.
(15-kilometer trek; 8 hours approx.)
Day 3: El Paraiso Camp - Lost City - Second Overnight Camp (B/L/D)
Enjoy breakfast listening to the sounds of the jungle come awake and be ready to depart at 7:00 am for a 6-kilometer trek en route to the mysterious site of Ciudad Perdida with its 1,200 steep and mossy steps, that take you uphill to reach this ancient site. Nestled on the slopes of the Rio Buritaca river valley, the site overlooks the region from 1,300 meters above sea level. Here you will have magnificent views overlooking the dense jungle and rugged terrain. Walk among the 170 stone terraces and endless staircases that cover the approximately 2 square kilometers that was once the largest Tayrona city and major economic and political center. This will give you a better understanding on how large and spectacular this site really is. After the site visit we will return to the third camp for lunch. Then go back to the camp 2 and have dinner as you reminisce on the magical experience of discovering the Lost City in the jungle.
(6-kilometer trek; 7 hours approx.)
Day 4: Second Overnight Camp - Adan's Camp (B/L/D)
Have an early breakfast today at 6:30am and hit the trail by 7:00am for a 10-kilometer return trek to camp 1 crossing back over the Buritaca River and passing through the indigenous community of Mutanshi along the way. Enjoy the fresh jungle air and spectacular scenery as you make your way to the camp 1 where you will get settled in, have dinner and get a good night’s rest.
(10-kilometer trek; 4 hours approx.)
Day 5: Adan's Camp - El Mamey - Santa Marta (B/L)
Trek back another 7 kilometers today as you make your way back to the starting point of your trek in El Mamey where you will have lunch. Then take a van back to the coastal town of Santa Marta arriving around 5:00pm to rest up from your challenging trek and enjoy the amenities of civilization. Reminisce about your trek with friends and compare photos. Don’t forget to head over to the beach for a refreshing swim.
(7-kilometer trek; 4 hours approx.)
*Important Note: The itinerary may vary according to climatic conditions, river levels and availability at the campsites.
*Transfers: Please note that transfers from Santa Marta to Cartagena can be organized at an extra cost, please contact us for more information.
Physical Requirements: If you exercise regularly and enjoy nature, then the path to the Lost City is an exceptional experience that you should add to your list of adventures. For those concerned about their physical condition, most days consist of about 7-8 kilometers trekking through challenging trails that are often steep, slippery and muddy, including forging the Buritaca River. During the dry season, the water may be knee high while water levels may increase to chest-height with strong currents during the rainy season. We recommend bringing a reliable pair of trekking shoes.
Avoid carrying a heavy and uncomfortable backpack. During the trek, everyone carry what they want to take.
Keep your body hydrated by drinking water constantly.
During walks, always stay with your group and avoid getting away the paths.
Protect your skin by reapplying sunscreen regularly and wearing protective clothing and a hat.
Minimize your plastic garbage and dispose waste properly.
Leave what you find and respect wildlife and local customs.
During the day the weather is hot and humid, so we recommend wearing comfortable clothing, shirts and shorts for walking; at night the temperature is about 16°C and there is a high proportion of mosquitoes and other insects, so it is important to wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts for sleeping and use insect repellent.
It is recommended to have the yellow fever vaccine as a preventive measure for the Lost City Trek.
What to bring:
Small or Medium Backpack (pack as lightly as possible)
Trekking boots and Sandals/Tennis Shoes
Hiking poles (optional)
Personal medication & toiletries
Sunscreen & Insect repellent
Warm layers for night
Torch / Headlamp / Flashlight
Waterproof bags for clothes & camera
Basic first aid supplies
Water bottle / Water purification tablets
*Please note that the region has a humid and rainy temperate climate with cold nights of 16 - 18° C.