Note: During the Lost City Trek, if a group is 6 people or more, an English translator will be included as part of the cost. If a group is less than 6 people (which is rare), an English translator can be added for roughly $150 USD.
Start your trip with a Santa Marta airport pick-up on Day 1. On Day 2, take a day trip to the stunning Tayrona National Park where you will visit Playa Cristal, with beautiful crystal waters, white sand and optional snorkeling at coral reefs. Embark on a challenging 5-day Lost City Trek through the jungle on Days 3-4. Hike up 1,200 mossy steps to reach the site on Day 5 and then hike back to Santa Marta on Days 6-7 arriving in the evening for a refreshing swim. Your trip ends on Day 8 with a Santa Marta Airport drop-off.
Day by Day Itinerary:
Day 1: Santa Marta Airport Pick-Up
You will be picked up upon arrival in Santa Marta and transferred to your accommodation for check-in. Enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure to relax and taste some delicious colombian food. Overnight in Santa Marta.
Day 2: Tayrona National Park Day Tour
Make your own way to the meeting point at El Rodadero Beach at 8:30am for your transfer to Neguanje, the biggest bay in the Tayrona National Park and the most exposed to the waves because of the open sea. Catch a local boat from Neguanje and 8 minutes later arrive to Playa Cristal, 'Crystal Beach', considered as one of the areas of highest ecological importance of the Colombian Caribbean. Enjoy a full day in crystal waters, white sand and beautiful coral reefs perfectly suitable for snorkelling. After this amazing day, you will return to Santa Marta to be dropped-off at El Rodadero Beach, make your own way back to your accommodation. Overnight in Santa Marta.
Day 3: Santa Marta - Lost City Trek Starting Point - Camp 1 (L/D)
Depart between 9:00 and 10:00 am from the door of your hostel by 4x4 vehicle for a 3-hour trip to reach the Mamey region. 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.)
Day 4: Camp 1 - Camp 3 (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 5: Camp 3 - Lost City - Camp 2 (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 we reminisce on the magical experience of discovering the Lost City in the jungle.
(6-kilometer trek; 7 hours approx.)
Day 6: Camp 2 - Camp 1 (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 7: Camp 1 - 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. Overnight in Santa Marta.
(7-kilometer trek; 4 hours approx.)
Day 8: Santa Marta Airport Drop-Off
Today it is time to say goodbye to your new friends. After checking-out from your accommodation, you will be dropped off at Santa Marta airport in time to catch your departing flight.
Additional Information for the Lost City Trek:
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.
WHAT TO BRING: small or medium backpack (pack as lightly as possible), trekking boots and sandals/tennis shoes, hiking poles (optional), personal medication & toiletries, swimsuit, sunscreen & insect repellent, warm layers for night, torch/headlamp/flashlight, rain poncho, waterproof bags for clothes & camera, basic first aid supplies, water bottle/water purification tablets, camera.
*Please note that the Lost City tour does not operate during September due to Spiritual Cleansing Rituals in the indigenous communities.
*Please note that the region has a humid and rainy temperate climate with cold nights of 16 - 18° C.
*The itinerary may vary according to climatic conditions, river levels and availability at the campsites.