Ciudad Perdida: Trek Skill Level

January 14, 2013 | By | 7 Replies More

The Lost City

Are you looking for a sense of an Indiana Jones style adventure? Well then… get ready to bust out your brim hat and whip to embark on an adventure to see beautiful ruins in the jungles of Colombia.

Trekking to The Lost City, most known as Ciudad Perdida or Teyuna by it’s local name, is an exhilarating journey worth exploring. The city is believed to be founded in 700 AD which is actually older than Macchu Picchu. Ciudad Perdida was rediscovered in 1975. The local indigenous people in the area had known about the site, but kept it a secret in fear of attracting crowds which could disrupt the indigenous population. It opened up for tourism in 1982.

In 2011, I hiked 5 days in the Colombian jungle to see the ruins for myself. I learned about this archeological site from a backpacker I met after hiking Machu Picchu years ago.

I found the trail to be moderate to tough at certain points. If I can share any comparison to my skill level, I can run a 15 minute mile. I don’t exercise everyday and I stuff myself with coffee and donuts. I’m kidding. If you are out of shape it may be possible to do this trek, but you might struggle. I didn’t train, but it might not be a bad idea to practice hiking for 4 – 5 hours a day.

The route is a about 39.2 km which is about 24.35 miles back and forth. There were a lot of up and downhills, crossing streams, and scrambling rocks. It rained everyday and I slid in mud and donkey shit many times. Luckily, I was able to take a shower at base camp the first night and bathe in the rivers the rest of the trek. The footings of the rocks can be slippery so you have to be careful. Bring hiking sticks or find a tree branch you can use to keep your balance during river crossings and while going downhill.

I hiked an average of 3 to 4 hours a day, but on the fifth day I hiked 9 hours. I had to get up an hour earlier to start hiking before sunrise because I was the slowest one in the group.

The journey was a personally rewarding experience. This hike was a blast and I highly recommended it.

Hiking skill level
Moderate to difficult

How many days
The trek can be done in 4, 5, or 6 days depending on your fitness level.

How much
600,000 COP I paid $250 USD.

How to get there
Get to Santa Marta or Taganga. I went with Magic Tours, but there are several tour companies that are authorized to lead groups to the ruins.

  • Have you been to Ciudad Perdida? How was your experience?
  • What are some of your favorite ruins you’ve visited and why?

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Category: Things to do

Comments (7)

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  1. Callie says:

    I loved this trek!! One of the best things I did on my South America trip by far. It kicked my ass though :)
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  2. Rashad says:

    Very helpful, thanks! How would you compare this trek to the 4 day Inca Trail hike to Machu Pichu in terms of difficulty?
    Thanks!

    • Mig says:

      The Inca Trail has different challenges such as dealing with altitude and walking on uneven rock surfaces. Ciudad Perdida was slippery on mud hills. If I remember from my hike years ago, the days were longer on hiking to Macchu Picchu.

      • Rashad says:

        Thank you! So if you had to rate difficulty from 1-10, you would rate them similar but different? Or one higher than the other? I absolutely loved the Inca Trail, but I’m not in the best shape so it was definitely difficult at times. Also I was a little intimated by accounts of the Ciudad Perdida trek that made it sound more “dangerous” – scaling walls sideways “like crabs” over a large drop using only hands and feet; steep rock climbs; etc. I am a bit scared of heights so don’t want to put myself in a situation where I freak out and turn back! Although with Machu Picchu I was fine throughout.
        Thanks again!!

        • Mig says:

          I think the altitude made Inca Trail harder. It was difficult for me to breathe during Dead Woman’s pass and I arrived a few days before hiking to acclimatize.

          I created these videos of Ciudad Perdida so you can have an idea of what to expect if you decide to hike. There were more stunning views in Macchu Picchu, but the Lost City was underdeveloped which made it exciting. See videos here. http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8C013268B18C2754 Hope you get a chance to see Ciudad Perdida!

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