Day 36: The trek to Ciudad Perdida (The lost city)

Friday, May 3rd, 2019.

Day 7 of Colombian Caribbean Highlights by Bamba adventures

Todays itinerary:

Day 3: El Paraiso Camp – Lost City – Second Overnight Camp(B/L/D)

Enjoy breakfast listening to the sounds of the jungle come awake and be ready to depart at 7:00 am for a 6-kilometer trek en route to the mysterious site of Ciudad Perdida with its 1,200 steep and mossy steps, that take you uphill to reach this ancient site.

Nestled on the slopes of the Rio Buritaca river valley, the site overlooks the region from 1,300 meters above sea level. Here you will have magnificent views overlooking the dense jungle and rugged terrain.

Walk among the 170 stone terraces and endless staircases that cover the approximately 2 square kilometers that was once the largest Tayrona city and major economic and political center. This will give you a better understanding on how large and spectacular this site really is.

After the site visit we will return to the third camp for lunch.

Then go back to the camp 2 and have dinner as you reminisce on the magical experience of discovering the Lost City in the jungle.

(6-kilometer trek; 7 hours approx.)”

Wake up time 05:00 am. Again the alarm at 04:10 am. wtf?!

I get up at 05:00 am.

At 05:30 am breakfast again. Our second guide, fernet, is ready with strong coffee. Today there is no marmelade, but suero costeño. A kind of sour cream.

We start to walk at 06:00 am to go up 1.300 steps to la Ciudad Perdida. Indigenous kids play with the travel agents books.

First we have to cross a river. It is not deep, shoes of cross, shoes on. I get used to it.

Then the stairs. First are very short, then comfortable. I stop counting at 4xx. One break. Cisar says 10 % done.

We are up quite fast. Due to humidity everybody is super wet.

Through dense rainforest.

I swim.

At the entrance we all get a pass to the lost city. Doesnot contain a lot of useful information, instead of the walking routes.

All handwrists survived the last days, nobody checks them.

We are all gathering and Cisar starts explanations.

La Ciudad Perdida is an ancient city in north colombia of the tribe of Tairona.

It is believed that the city, named “Teyuna” by the indigenous, was founded around 800 bC and abondoned shortly after the appearance of the spanish due to epidemies (brought by the spanish).

The city may have had up to 8.000 inhabitants of the tribe Tairona. It consists of 169 stone terraces over an area of 2 km2. Some had houses on it, some were used for agrculture or ceremonial purposes. They are connected with stonern roads.

Only a third of the city is digged out, most is still covered by nature. Indigenous prevent further digging to prevent tomb raiding.

Members of the local indigenous tribes stated that they always had knowledge of the city and they regularely visited for ceremonys, but in the wartime between government and FARC this was rebel territory. They plundered the graves for gold and planted marihuana on the terraces for financing the war.

Later government started to protect and excarve the city. Indigenous permitted for a time tourism, and permanently tourism and helicopter landings (except military).

Since 2004 there is tourism again.Now everybody has to hike with a tourguid 57 km up and down, price is standardized, 8 eur go to local indigenous.

They want tourism there to be visible and have a chance to enforce their rights, mainly against illegal settlers.

We walk through the city. Cisar points out some spot and picture places.

The house of the shaman is smoking … he is in an intense meeting and has no time for us. It smells somehow sweet.

Then we get ready to down again. Going down, we see how steep the stairs partly are.

Another river crossing back …

We get lunch at the camp, where we slept last night, collect our, now totally dry, clothes from the lines in the sun, have a short swim and continue up- and downhill to the next camp for the night.

The we walk on. It is very humid. The only dry people are the indigenous.

The rainforest is super nice.

The path is good to walk. A little bit dusty.

As we arrive in the camp we play qwirkeln

And after dinner, as it gets dark, we lock for spiders and frogs:

The night is full of frogs, looking noisily for mating partners ….

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