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Santa Marta: Multi-Day Trek to The Lost City

1. Santa Marta: Multi-Day Trek to The Lost City

Embrace your inner explorer with a multi-day trek through the jungle from Santa Marta to the Lost City. Follow an experienced professional guide through the Colombian jungle, learning about the flora and fauna as you go. Encounter the archaeological site of an ancient city in Santa Marta's Sierra Nevada, believed to have been founded around 800 CE, some 650 years earlier than Machu Picchu. Choose between a 4,5 or 6-day trek. See a series of 169 terraces carved into the mountainside, a network of tiled roads, and several small circular plazas. Access the entrance by climbing up 1,200 stone steps through dense jungle. 4 or 5-Day Trek Day 1 - The adventure to the Lost City starts around 9:30 AM with a 3-hour drive by 4WD to El Mamey, a place where you will have lunch and begin the trek in search for the sacred place of the Tayronas. The first day will consist of a smooth walk of about 4 hours (approximately 7.6 km). Stop at the Lookout Las Tres Cruces for a snack and taste delicious fruits. Relax at some natural pools and waterfalls to refresh before arriving at the first camp in the end of the afternoon. Dinner and overnight stay. Day 2 - The day begins with a nice breakfast early in the morning, before you start to walk towards the Wiwa camp. This is located by the riverside of Buritaca River, where you can enjoy a refreshing bath, rest and have lunch. From there, follow the adventure into the jungle where you will find plenty of houses that form part of a Kogui indigenous village called Mutanyi. Continue the trek until reaching the camp where you will rest for the second day. The whole trek consists of about 7 hours or 14.7 KM, mostly uphill with some downhill while enjoying the rich biodiversity of the place. Dinner and overnight. Day 3 - Very early in the day you will be served breakfast before starting the trek towards the highlight of the trip. Climb up 1,200 steps in a trail constructed by Tayrona people to reach the stunning Lost City, surrounded by a deep, vast and mythical jungle. Your guide will show you everything related to this magical place full of relics and ancestral stories and you can spend the morning enjoying the landscapes & taking pictures. Finally, you will start trekking back to the same camp that you left in the morning. Have lunch before continuing towards the Wiwa camp where you will spend the night. Again, this will be around a 7 hours day trek but only with 6 KM of uphill and downhill tracks. Dinner and overnight. Day 4 - You will have an early breakfast before beginning the 2-hour walk towards the camp where you spent the first night. When arriving, the group will be divided between the people who are doing the 4 or 5-day tour. For the people who are on the last day, you will have a short rest accompanied by fruit and water before continuing the trekking for another 4-hours until reaching El Mamey where you will have lunch and hop in a 4 WD jeep that will take you back to Santa Marta. For the people who decided on the 5-day tour, you will be served lunch and spend the rest of the day relaxing at the camp where you can observe the views, relax and interact with others before spending the night. Dinner and overnight. Day 5 - The last day begins with the breakfast before walking to El Mamey, place where you will have lunch and the 4 WD jeep will take you back to Santa Marta. 6-Day Trek Day 1 - The adventure to the Lost City starts around 9:30 where a 4 WD jeep will take you on a 3-hour drive to El Mamey, a place where you will have lunch and begin the trek in search for the sacred place of the Tayronas. The first day will consist of a smooth walk of about 4 hours walking for 7.6 KM where we will stop at the Lookout Las Tres Cruces to have a snack and taste delicious fruits and at some natural pools & waterfalls to relax and refresh before arriving at the first camp in the end of the afternoon. Dinner and overnight. Day 2 - The day begins with a nice breakfast early in the morning, before you start to walk towards a indigenous reserve where you will have the opportunity to learn about the Wiwas & Koguis cultures. You will spend the day in the second camp enjoying the river and the cultural exchange. The whole trek consists of only 3 hours in relatively smooth terrain. Dinner and overnight. Day 3 - You will begin the descent towards the Buritaca river valley after breakfast, where during the tour, you will find some indigenous housing that forms a small community known as the Mutanyi. From there, you will continue on the path to the next camp. In that journey, enjoy a bath in one of the rivers, learn about the flora and fauna and have some breaks to rest up. The whole trek consists of 5 hours, with some ups and downs. At night enjoy stories and adventures narrated by the guides in the camp. Dinner and overnight. Day 4 - Very early in the day, you will be served breakfast before starting the trek towards the highlight of the trip. You will climb up 1,200 steps in a trail constructed by Tayrona people to reach the stunning Lost City, surrounded by a deep, vast and mythical jungle. Your guide will show you everything related to this magical place full of relics and ancestral stories and you can spend the morning enjoying the landscapes & taking pictures. Finally, you will start trekking back to the same camp left in the morning to have lunch to continue towards the camp where you will spend the night. This will be around a 7 hours day trek but only with 6 KM of uphill and downhill tracks. Dinner and overnight.  Day 5 - After breakfast, begin the journey towards Santa Marta. This will be a 2-hour trek to the camp where you will be served lunch and spend the rest of the day chilling at the as you observe the views, relax and interact with others before spending the night. Dinner and overnight.  Day 6 - The last day begins with the breakfast before walking to El Mamey, place where we will have lunch and the 4 WD jeep will take you back to Santa Marta.

Santa Marta: 5 Days to Discover the Lost City

2. Santa Marta: 5 Days to Discover the Lost City

Day one:  Depart Santa Marta at 9:30 AM and drive approximately 2.5 hours to the region of Mamey. Have lunch here. Walk approximately for 3 hours until the first station, known in the region as Cabañas de Adam. See the Honduras creek, which is a beautiful natural pool. Dinner will be served at 6:30 PM. Sleep in hammocks with mosquito nets.  Day Two:  Breakfast will be at 7:00 AM. Depart 8:00 AM to Cabañas de Adam or Cabaña Alfredo and walk for approximately 4 hours until you reach the second station Cabaña de Turcol or Sierra Tour. Here, be treated to a typical lunch of the region. Visit the Mutanyi indigenous village, a wonderful place to take photos with the indigenous people and interact with their culture. See the fabulous waters of the Buritaca River. Dinner will be served at 6:00 PM and sleep tonight in beds or hammocks with mosquito nets.  Day Three:  Breakfast will be at 7:00 AM and depart at 8:00 AM. Walk for approximately 4.5 hours. Cross by the calm waters of the Buritaca River for lunch. The third station, known as Cabaña de Romualdo, is home of the respected Mamo Indígina. Learn from your guide about the indigenous culture. Dinner will be served at 6:00 PM and sleep tonight in beds or hammocks with mosquito nets.  Day Four:  Breakfast will be at 6:00 AM and depart at 7:00 AM. Trek to the Lost City. Hike for 1 hour to the archaeological site. Your guide will provide information about the site during a 3-hour tour. Be sure to take photographs here. Return to the Cabaña de Romualdo from the Lost City trek and arrive around 12:00 PM for lunch. Begin the descent to station number two, Cabaña de Adam or Cabaña de Alfredo and arrive around 4:00 PM. Dinner will be served at 6:00 PM and sleep tonight in beds or hammocks with mosquito nets.  Day Five:  Breakfast will be at 5:30 AM and depart at 6:30 AM. Hike from the second station Cabaña de Adam or Cabaña de Alfredo to the Mamey region, which is approximately 6 hours. Arrive around 1:00 PM and enjoy lunch in the Mamey region. Return to Santa Marta by car for5:00 PM. 

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What people are saying about Magdalena

The hike was aboslutely amazing. Our tour guide Luis and assistant Tatiana were great, they put a lot of effort to make us all happy and make the trek enjoyable. The food was absolutely amazing and it was great to get the fruits and refreshments on our way in between the camps. Also, many thanks to Luis to organise the cakes for the Birthdays guys - it was so lovely of him. Luis was super knowledgable and accommodating towards everyone’s pace of walk what I really appreciated. Overall, great experience- many thanks for your hard work Luis and Tatiana! We booked 5 days trek but I’d recommend to book 4 as on day 4 you’d spend half a day in a camp and there is not much do other than river swim. (which you would have done already earlier on) We came back on day 4 in the end and majority of peope do 4 days.

You should not miss this tour. It is a tough journey, but it is well worth it. Make sure you have good running shoes (half high), a good backpack and possibly sticks for support. The guide Magely was very good as was the translator Sebastián.