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Magdalena

Culture & history

Our most recommended Magdalena Culture & History

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.

Minca: Full-Day Coffee and Cocoa Tour from Santa Marta

2. Minca: Full-Day Coffee and Cocoa Tour from Santa Marta

From Santa Marta, embark on a 45-minute drive through the foothills of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta to find the small town of Minca. In the company of a local guide, take a 2.5-hour nature walk passing waterfalls, natural swimming pools, and scenic views of the surrounding mountains.  The walk ends at a coffee farm, where you will learn about the coffee production process and it’s importance to Colombia’s culture. Enter a bamboo house where you will enjoy a gourmet lunch before learning about cocoa, its production, and derivatives.   At the end of the tour, return transfers will be provided to your hotel in Santa Marta.

Barranquilla: 6-Hour Downtown Tour & River Avenue Boardwalk

3. Barranquilla: 6-Hour Downtown Tour & River Avenue Boardwalk

If you are looking for a quick but fun and quite complete tour around Barranquilla: you are in the right place! Let our guide shows you a part of our Colombian history and diversity and spend 6 hours getting to know its most important spots, its joyful traditions and broaden your ideas of the country. Some of the places you will be visiting are Paseo Bolivar Avenue, the most important highway in the city. San Nicolás Square and its church, which are one of the main spots in the historical center as well as The Customs House Square which is now a cultural center with art exhibitions. Besides, around its historic downtown you will get to the Caribbean Cultural Park and Carnaval museum where you will know more about the cultural roots of Colombia’s Caribbean coast. Walk through the River Avenue boardwalk on the island of La Loma which was built and open to public recently to welcome more visitors to the city, and last but not least visit the Carnival House, the museum that exhibits samples of the famous Carnival of Barranquilla, one of the most visited in the world. You will find photographs, costumes, masks and more. Keep strolling through historical streets and then be our guest at tasting our Caribbean Colombian cuisine with some of the most traditional snacks: Butifarra, a seasoned pork sausage. Kibbes, the famous meat dish from Lebanon with its Colombian stamp. Fritos: all kind of deep-fried snacks made with yucca, corn flour, green plantain, and lots of cheese. All of them tasting experiences with native people so you end up having as many sides as possible of the great city of Barranquilla. With this tour, you will never forget Barranquilla as a city synonymous with culture, tradition, and diversity.

Santa Marta: Old City, Quinta San Pedro, and Taganga’s Bay

4. Santa Marta: Old City, Quinta San Pedro, and Taganga’s Bay

Santa Marta was founded in 1525. It is the oldest city of Colombia, and the second oldest in Latin America. Its colonial houses, streets, natural parks, and bays hold the country and city’s history of indigenous roots and Spanish conquest. In the present time is a sign of the Caribbean joyful traditions. Come with us. If you enjoy discovering the best of the cities, trust us: this tour is perfect for you. Start this full-day tour by meeting the expert local guide who will pick you up from your hotel. Firstly, you will visit the old city’s most emblematic places. Parque de Los Novios, Simón Bolívar Park, and the monument of Santa Marta’s founder Rodrigo Bastidas, among others. Then, you will go to the old city’s main Cathedral and the Tayrona Gold Museum, where the vestiges of the metalwork done by ethnic groups of the region remain and resist the passing of time. Afterward, jump to La Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino, a 17th-century hacienda, which is nowadays one of the most recognized and touristic spots in Santa Marta for being home and death place to Simon Bolivar, the “father of South American independence”. Learn about his life and enjoy its enormous gardens and patios covered by the trees’ shade before going to a whole different place. After having a delicious gastronomic experience, you will be headed to Taganga, a small fishing village surrounded by cliffs on both sides and with great panoramic views of the Caribbean and the imposing mountains of the region. In the end, the guide will take you back to the hotel. Santa Marta is way more than its downtown and you will prove it after this tour that will make you feel you have done it all.

Bogotá: Villa de Leyva Full-Day Tour with Lunch

5. Bogotá: Villa de Leyva Full-Day Tour with Lunch

Discover Villa de Leyva on a full-day guided tour. See some of the most well-preserved colonial structures in Colombia, and admire the town's vibrant culture, historical sights, and striking natural beauty. Start your adventure at the breathtaking Sisga Dam. Then, head north to Raquira, a small town known for its traditional pottery. Next, take a short drive to Villa de Leyva’s Square: the largest entirely cobbled square in South America. Visit the Paleontological Museum and marvel at the fossils taken from the valley where Villa de Leyva is located. Learn their fascinating history dating back to the Cretaceous era. Stop for a quick break at a traditional restaurant and enjoy a local breakfast. Once ready, continue towards the hills to the Pozos Azules. Admire the blue-green reflection of the sky in these mineral-rich pools. Next stop: the Terracotta House. See the house made entirely out of clay and famously called "the largest piece of pottery in the world." Take some time to explore the quaint streets at your own pace before stopping once more for a delicious lunch.

From Santa Marta: Marinka Waterfalls 4x4 Tour with Transfer

6. From Santa Marta: Marinka Waterfalls 4x4 Tour with Transfer

From Santa Marta, take a taxi for about 45 minutes through the foothills of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta to find the small town of Minca. In the company of a local guide/driver. From there we will transfer to a 4x4 truck, we will take a trail for 30 minutes, in the middle of the journey you will be able to appreciate the exotic landscape surrounded by fauna and flora, with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. When we get off the truck we must walk approximately 15 minutes to reach the Marinka waterfalls. Being in Marinka waterfalls you will have space and free time to enjoy the spa, where you can bathe in the waterfalls, rest in the famous giant hammocks, take photos and of course enjoy a delicious armuerzo included. You can choose the return with prior notice between 02:00 and 04:00 pm, this will be along the same road to Minca, to transfer again to the taxi that leads us to Santa Marta.

From Santa Marta: Ciudad Perdida 4-day Trek

7. From Santa Marta: Ciudad Perdida 4-day Trek

Explore the scenic backcountry of Colombia on this 4-day trek to the legendary Ciudad Perdida hidden deep in the jungle. On this adventure hike, you'll pass through the beautiful hinterlands, unspoiled waterfalls, and majestic rivers, eventually reaching this amazing archaeological site. Depending on the length of the trek you choose, you’ll have time to visit some local indigenous villages along the way, swim in natural pools. You'll be camping each night in the lush wilderness of the Colombian Jungle.  Itinerary Day 1: Santa Marta – Mamey – 1st Camp (Lunch, Dinner) Your first day begins meeting between 7:30 AM and 8:30 AM to start a 3-hour road trip to a small town called El Mamey. There, you’ll stop for lunch at a local restaurant serving typical Colombian food. After lunch, the first trek begins. You'll have a 4-hour hike to the first campsite. When you reach the camp, you will have dinner and then the whole night to rest from your long day of trekking. Day 2: 1st Camp – Mutanzi – 3rd Camp (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner) Wake up early and eat a quick breakfast before departing around 6 AM for a 2-hour trek to an indigenous village called Mutanzi. You will then walk for about 40 minutes from Mutanzi to the 2nd campsite where a delicious lunch will be served. Finally, rest for a while and get ready for one last 4-hour trek to the 3rd camp where you will dine and rest for the night. Day 3: 3rd Camp – Ciudad Perdida – 2nd Camp (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner) After breakfast, leave camp around 6AM and hike to Ciudad Perdida, which you’ll reach around 7 AM. You'll enter by climbing 1200 stone stairs, and will have two hours to explore the ancient city set in the dense jungle. Your guide will give you a quick tour and be present to answer all of your questions. Afterwards, return to the 3rd campsite where you’ll have lunch and will be able to rest for a while. In the afternoon, get ready for a 4-hour trek back to the 2nd camp, where you’ll have dinner and stay for the night. Day 4: 2nd Camp – Mamey – Santa Marta (Breakfast, Lunch) After breakfast, the longest hike will take place. You will trek for 7-hours (mostly downhill) to El Mamey, where you’ll have lunch, as on Day 1. Your guide will then take you back to your hotel in Santa Marta where you'll arrive mid-afternoon.

Santa Marta Street Food Tour

8. Santa Marta Street Food Tour

Be picked up at 10:00 AM to head to Santa Marta's historical center and ride in the car to the most delicious places to taste local gastronomy. You will start with a stop to taste envueltos and the exquisite sauces that always join these recipes. There you will taste the typical Costeño cheese the best complement for yucca. You will continue to a hot spot of street food next to Santa Marta’s Cathedral. There you will be able to taste many foods offered and combine them with a delicious tropical fruit beverage. You will be surprised by the fruit offered at this place because for sure you’ll get to know some that you didn’t even know existed. Finally, you will end with one of the most iconic recipes of the Caribbean Coast, the Shrimp Ceviche. You will go to the best place in Santa Marta to eat this dish, where you can even upgrade it with delicious suggestions like avocado, octopus, or stingray. After this tasty experience, go back to your hotel.

From Bogota: Zipaquirá Salt Cathedral & Villa de Leyva Tour

9. From Bogota: Zipaquirá Salt Cathedral & Villa de Leyva Tour

Begin your tour with hotel pick-up in the morning and a scenic drive out to Villa de Leyva. On the way, enjoy the delicious staple of arepas, corn cakes that are often grilled or fried. Upon arrival in Villa de Leyva, step out and walk through the ancient streets lined with colonial-style houses that have remained mostly untouched since their construction. Founded in 1572, Villa de Leyva is famous for its cobblestone square Plaza Mayor, which at 150,695 square feet is the largest in Colombia. Learn about the history of the charming town from your guide before moving on. Head next to Zipaquira, where you will wander below ground into an enormous salt mine. Your guide will teach you about the history of salt and salt mining as you explore the beautifully lit cavern, eventually reaching the salt cathedral. The church was originally built in 1932 as a place for miners to offer daily prayers and was inaugurated in 1954. Today it is a fully functional church with a weekly service held on Sundays. Spend time in the unique cathedral before returning to the surface and heading back to Bogota.

From Bogotá: Private Tour to Villa de Leyva

10. From Bogotá: Private Tour to Villa de Leyva

Benefit from pick-up at your accommodation in Bogotá and drive to the historic town of Villa de Leyva, approximately 4 hours from the city center. Explore the colonial buildings on foot on arrival. Go to the main square (Plaza Mayor), thought to be the largest cobbled square in South America. we will visit the emblematic and traditional chocolate museum where you can taste a delicious chocolate. You will have a tour of a wonderful vineyard called ain karim ending with a wine tasting. Then we will go to have lunch in a nearby artisan village called raquira where you can see all kinds of typical handicrafts of the region.

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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.

I did an amazing food tour of Santa Marta with Álvaro! He is very knowledgeable and let me in on the secrets of his city, its culture, the different parts of the city and the highlights of the city. Together we tried the local snacks at the Gar kitchens, in fancy restaurants (great salad!) and in cafés. We ate egg specialties, drank local juices and sampled snacks at famous restaurants and on the beach in Santa Marta. I got a very good insight into the food and life culture of Colombia and I am totally enthusiastic! Many thanks Álvaro for this great experience!

Maravillosa experiencia, nos recogieron en punto en nuestro hotel, nuestra guía Jules es una chica muy cordial pero sobretodo muy preparada y conocedora de la historia de Colombia. Nos mantuvo muy entretenidos todo el camino, contandonos muchos detalles y curiosidades de cada lugar que visitamos. El conductor John también fue muy amable. Recomiendo mucho este tour.

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.

Alvaro was an awesome tour guide. He knew all the ins and outs of the city and was an excellent guide. Would definitely recommend him to all that want to see the inner city of Santa Marta and try the great food.