Colombia - Lost City Trekking
Everyone wants to visit an undiscovered region before it becomes a hotbed of tourism. Trek the Ciudad Perdida (Lost City) at Teyuna, and have that wish come true. Get firsthand knowledge of the area’s unique culture with an Indigenous guide and an English-speaking CEO accompanying you the entire way. Together, trek through lush jungles and across streams before stopping at an Indigenous village for a G Adventures for Good-supported community lunch. Arrive at Teyuna and explore the uncrowded ruins at leisure, marvelling at what would have been here in years gone by. Say you got here first and had the Lost City all to yourself.
Your G for Good Moment: Wiwa Community Visit & Lunch, Gotsezhi Village. Trek to the Lost City with an Indigenous guide (5 days). Guided tour of the Lost City. Transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Climb 1,200 steps to reach the Lost City of Teyuna, enjoy spectacular jungle scenery along the trek, learn about Indigenous Wiwa culture, swim in the cool Buritaca River, watch hummingbirds in the trees from the comfort of a hammock.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
Please Note: The Lost City Trek is closed for the month of September each year in order to preserve the trail and complete general maintenance and upkeep.
Hiking days are between 4-6 hours a day, and the highest altitude reached is 1,200 m (3,937 ft) at the Lost City itself. The humidity and the heat makes the trek challenging. Throughout the year the temperature is generally between 35-45 degrees, and there can be heavy rain and muddy conditions.
Along the trek, you will be required to carry your own gear. We recommend not carrying more than is necessary for the route. One or two changes of clothes is enough to give you a change for each day on the trek. Please bring a bag that is sufficient in size to carry what you might need. It is possible to hire a mule to carry equipment for the trek, at a cost of 40-50USD per day.
Dry season (December – March), the trail can be dry and dusty. When the rains arrive (April – November), the trail can be muddy and slippery underfoot. This also affects the numerous river crossings, as the rainy season brings higher rivers. This can mean that river crossings can be as high as waist height, so we recommend that you bring a dry bag or a plastic bag to cover your daypack as you might need to carry this above your head to keep it out of the river.
As the majority of this trek is through the jungle, please be aware of the presence of mosquitos and other bugs. We highly recommend bringing some form of insect repellent. While the campsites have mosquito nets over the beds and hammocks, mosquitos can be unavoidable at times. A sleep sheet can help to prevent bug bites at night as well.
Group Leader Description
All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders, a G Adventures representative, or an expedition team. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it’s the best of both worlds.
Group Size Notes
Max 16, Avg 10
6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners
Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. On trek in Colombia the food is plentiful and designed to give you the best possible fuel to walk each day. Meals are prepared by a cook who accompanies each group on the hike. Typical breakfast includes juice, eggs, coffee or hot chocolate, fresh fruit. A common lunch would be chicken/fish with rice and juice. Dinner will usually include meat, chicken or fish, with rice, vegetables and a sweet or chocolate for dessert.
We believe solo travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and solo travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Hotels (2 nts), camping (4 nts hammocks/rustic bunks).
My Own Room Exceptions
Days 2-5 for the Lost City trek.
Accommodation on the Lost City trek varies from day to day. In the campsites, the majority of the accommodation is in hammocks or bunks, with a mosquito net for cover. In the campsites, there are cold showers, flushing toilets and seating areas. Some of the campsites have lighting and power sockets, although these are not always guaranteed to be available. Because of the humidity, we do not suggest bringing a sleeping bag, as it would be too hot. Recommended is a sleeping sheet or a sleeping bag liner that can provide a level of comfort at higher temperatures.
For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
Simon Bolivar Airport is approximately 20 minutes away from the joining hotel. The cost of a taxi to the joining hotel is approximately 20.000 COP.
From Cartagena a shuttle costs around 50.000 COP and it takes between 3 to 4 hours to get to the joining hotel in Santa Marta.
Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned for that day other then your welcome meeting in the evening, so you can arrive at any time. Similarly the last day is a departure day during which no activities have been planned.
A G Adventures Representative will organize a short meeting soon after arrival, during which you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip. A welcome note will be left for you in the hotel so you have all the necessary information regarding the meeting time.
We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier and contact us as soon as possible. If you have a pre-booked transfer, and you have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:
Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office Quito, Ecuador
During office hours (Weekdays 9am-6pm Local Time)
From outside Ecuador: +593 2250 6610
After hours Emergency number
From outside Ecuador: +593 999 506 000
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
What to Take
We strongly recommend the use of a small backpack. It is essential that you travel as light as possible as you will be carrying all your own gear during this trip. You should be able to fit everything you will need into a 30-35litre rucksack.
You may leave some extra gear or a piece of luggage at the start hotel and get it back on Day 6 at the end of the trip (check with your CEO or hotel front desk about the luggage storage policy).
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Small travel towel
• Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket
Lost City Trek:
• Day pack (Large enough to carry gear for the hiking days)
• Hiking boots/sturdy walking shoes
• Hiking pants (Convertible/Zip-off and quick dry recommended)
• Pack liners to waterproof bags
• Sleeping bag liner/sleep sheet
• Sport Sandals or Water Shoes (Suitable for water if you plan to do rapeling and/or rafting)
• Walking poles
• Waterproof footwear (For river crossings)
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sun hat/bandana
Note: On the Lost City Trek you must carry the gear you require for the trek. Your main luggage will be stored at the hotel, so please bring a day pack (30-40L) to use during the trek.
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances. Visa cards are the most widely accepted cards. While ATMs are widely available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Latin America. Check with your bank. You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies. Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of US dollar cash, travellers cheques and cards is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.
CURRENCY EXCHANGE TIP: Please be advised that slightly torn notes, notes that have been heavily marked or are faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denominations lower than 100USD (or equivalent).
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an ‘emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
It is customary in Latin America to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is an expected – though not compulsory – component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $5-10 USD per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture.
Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures Chief Experience Officer (CEO) did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $20-25 USD per person, per week can be used.
Please see the itinerary for information on optional activities and estimated pricing.
Safety and Security
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it deemed necessary, due to safety concerns. Your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy and explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards), have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk. Read more about travel safety for ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling.
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your leader, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency evacuation and repatriation. A minimum coverage of USD200,000 is required. G Adventures can provide you with the appropriate coverage. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Some tours include adventure activities that require extra coverage (e.g. crampon use); please review your itinerary and make sure that you are covered for all included activities. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation
The Planeterra Foundation planeterra.org is a Canadian non-profit organization that helps empower local people to develop their communities, conserve their cultures, and create humane and supportive systems for their endeavours. Planeterra provides capacity building and catalyst grants to get community social enterprises off the ground. These businesses address local challenges by providing benefits for indigenous people, empowering marginalized women, and granting disadvantaged youth access to education, employment, and brighter futures. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating programs into G Adventures’ itineraries globally.
G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.
G Adventures’ Dollar-a-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar for every day you are on trip. 100% of these donations go directly to support community development projects worldwide that are implemented by Planeterra.
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You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.
Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
Chief Experience Office (CEO) throughout, local guides.
PRODUCT_LINE: SMLC, ID: 22616
Day 1 Santa Marta
Arrive at any time.
Day 2 Santa Marta/ Wiwa Camp (1B, 1L, 1D)
Transfer to Machete Pelao, where the trek to the Lost City of Teyuna begins. Trek through farmland, steamy jungle, and rural Kogi communities. Get a glimpse into the local way of life in the remote river valleys of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Lost City Trek – Day 1
Day 3 Wiwa Camp /Teyuna Paraiso Camp (1B, 1L, 1D)
Continue trekking along the route to Ciudad Perdida. Today is a tough portion of the trek with a lot of steep inclines, make sure to rest and take in the beautiful views. Arrive at the campsite in the afternoon and relax by the river.
Lost City Trek – Day 2
Day 4 Teyuna Paraiso Camp/ Wiwa Camp (1B, 1L, 1D)
Get started early to climb the 1,200 steps up to the Lost City. The view of the surrounding Sierra Nevada Mountains makes it well worth the hike. Explore the Lost City and learn what is known of its origins from the indigenous guide, before making the descent back to Wiwa Camp for the night.
Lost City Trek – Day 3
Day 5 Wiwa Camp /Ricardito Camp (1B, 1L, 1D)
Follow the path back through the deep jungle, wind through banana trees, cacao plants and small Kogi communities on the way to Ricardito Camp. The nickname for this camp is vista hermosa or beautiful views, sit back and soak them in.
Lost City Trek – Day 4
Day 6 Gotsezhi Village/Santa Marta (1B, 1L)
Head across grassy hills and gentle streams to reach the Gotsezhi Wiwa indigenous community. Enjoy a G Adventures-supported lunch prepared by women from the community. Learn about Wiwa customs on a village visit and then lounge in a hammock by the river or opt to explore nearby waterfalls. In the afternoon, return to Santa Marta for a well deserved night in a hotel.
Lost City Trek – Day 5
Wiwa Community Visit & Lunch
4×4 (2.00-2.50 hours)
Day 7 Santa Marta (1B)
Depart at any time.