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La Ciudad Perdida – ‘The Lost City Trek’ – Colombia, Carribean Coast

Michael Tyrrell - Monday, November 11, 2013

Lost City

Key Facts

Cost: Approximately 100,000 Colombian Pesos (COP)

Time needed: 4 nights/5days or 3 nights/4 days if you are keen

Items you must take: Lots of DEET, sunscreen, waterproof wetbag, garbage bags (to keep things dry) Traveller or Handy First Aid KIT with SMART snake bandage and antiseptic liquid

Where is it?

You depart from Santa Marta or Taganga which is in the north east of Colombia. I opted for the 1 hr flight from Bogota instead of the 20+ hour bus. You then have about 3-4 hours drive to the starting point of the trek. Some of this is on the main highway, the rest is on a bumpy and muddy trail.


Who should you go with?

There weren’t too many options to chose from. All tours do the same route and stay in the same spots. I went with Magic Tours and the guides, Elber and Freddie were incredible.

Positives and Negatives


- Incredible diverse scenery

- Swimming in natural water holes, rivers and under waterfalls

- The walk itself is truly spectacular and in my opinion is better than the actual city at the end

- Seeing the local indigenous people living the traditional way


- Be prepared for a lot of rain, which actually is pretty refreshing
- High humidity
- Plenty of mosquitos
- There was no first aid kit carried on the trip by the guide
- Blisters
- Chaffing 

What should you expect?

You have to carry your own bag so pack smartly. I ended up wearing the same clothes each day for trekking and had one change of long loose clothes for the evening. You are constantly swimming and crossing rivers so your trekking clothes are always being washed.

Expect to get wet. Take garbage bags to waterproof the inside of your bag and if you have a waterproof bag, take it. You only need a small daypack sized bag.

At night, you stay in a covered but open space with stacks of hammocks. Surprisingly, they are really comfy to sleep in, even if they are a little smelly.

The walking is hard. Some days there are a few hours of up followed by a lot of downhill on muddy and slippery terrain. It is not easy. However, at the end of each day, you feel very rewarded for your efforts and finishing each hard day with a swim is ideal.

Lost City 1

Which first aid KIT should you take?

If you are able to carry a slightly heavier kit, I recommend taking the Traveller First Aid Kit. If you are worried about weight, the Handy First Aid Kit should be your kit of choice. Make sure you add extras like blister protection, water purification tablets and something to assist with chaffing.


- This is simply an amazing experience and one of the highlights of my South America journey

- There is a high risk of injury on the trek and my first aid kit was used many times by myself and others who were not adequately prepared

- Because I had low expectations for the lost city when we arrived, it was actually better than expected

- Pack smart and light

Lost City 2

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