Explore the Andes to the Caribbean and enjoy the Lost City Trek in Colombia to Teyuna. Explore vast jungle landscapes and local communities plus Bogota & Cartagena.
Explore Colombia’s towering Andean mountains, unspoiled Caribbean coast, vast jungle landscapes and communities, hidden archaeological ruins and cobbled colonial cities on this carefully crafted itinerary.
Following an in-depth research trip to Colombia, Adventurous Ewe have pulled together this unique itinerary in order to showcase the highlights and history of this incredible country. As a quick snapshot you’ll journey through the following amazing landscapes and encounter some remarkable Colombian people, traditions and communities including the very special Kogi people of the Sierra Nevada….
Acclimatise to the Colombian warmth with a trek surrounded by cloud forest and soaring mountain-scapes. This small town is renowned the ecological capital of Colombia.
The Lost City Trek in Colombia:
Wade through rivers, cool off under waterfalls, learn the traditions of the indigenous communities that still live there before climbing the steep staircase to discover the pre-Hispanic Lost City and the myths and legends behind it. One of the most important archaeological sites in Colombia.
Time to relax on soak up the picture perfect views of the Caribbean Coast in your family run eco-retreat nestled on the coast near Tayrona Park.
Explore this superbly preserved city lying within an impressive 13km of centuries-old colonial stone walls. Cartagena’s Old Town is a Unesco World Heritage Site. Located on the Colombian Caribbean coast, is without a doubt an unequaled destination that shelters years of fascinating history and colourful vibrancy.
An engaging and vibrant capital nestled between Andean peaks and steeped with both ancient and modern history. Tour through markets, museums and the city’s cultural epicentre, La Candelaria.
This itinerary packs in some of the best experiences that Colombia has to offer. From it’s vast unspoilt landscapes, epic jungle & coastal adventures, meaningful treks & indigenous encounters through to a greater understanding of their recent & ancient history and fascinating cultures.
We truly love this country and can’t wait to share this incredible experience to explore the Andes to the Caribbean & Lost City Trek in Colombia with you.
Explore the Andes to the Caribbean & Lost City Trek in Colombia itinerary
Day 1: Flight from UK to Bogotá and to Santa Marta, Colombia
Day 2: Bogotá to Santa Marta (approx 1hr 30mins flight) and on to Minca
Welcome to Colombia. On arrival at Santa Marta airport you will have a private transfer to your colonial style and recently renovated hotel in the remote mountain village of Minca. It’s time to relax in the company of hundreds of hummingbirds that visit the hotel balcony, marvel at the impressive view of the mountains of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta before your expedition briefing. Dinner is at your own expense so you can order either national or international cuisine from the hotel’s restaurant.
Day 3: Half day trek in Minca and transfer to Santa Marta
Enjoy an early morning coffee and breakfast in the peaceful surrounds of the cloud forest. With being 660 metres above sea level, Minca will ease you into the heat of Colombia with it’s cooler mountain temperatures. This is the ideal setting for your first hike in this breath-taking country. Escorted by your Local Guide, you will walk amongst nature and the rolling hills of the Sierra Nevada. At the top you’ll be rewarded with some wonderful views of the mountains, Minca, Santa Marta and the coastline in the distance whilst listening to the chatter of a wide array of bird life in the trees. During the afternoon you will have a short transfer to Santa Marta, South America’s oldest European-founded town and the second-most-important colonial city on Colombia’s Caribbean coast. There’s time to wander the streets and visit the myriad of market stalls or walk along the coastline, before preparing your kit for the Lost City Trek and enjoying an evening meal. The group will eat out at a local restaurant and you have the freedom to order what you wish.
Day 4: The Lost City Trek – day one
Duration: Santa Marta – El Mamey (3 hour transfer); El Mamey to Camp 1 (4 hour trek)
Following breakfast you climb onboard a 4WD for a bumpy yet picturesque journey through the jungle to reach the start of your trek to the Lost City of Teyuna. After a freshly home-cooked lunch your 7.6km trekking journey starts through the small village of El Mamey and into the jungle alongside the Buritaca River. You will pass through farmland used for growing coffee or raising cattle and get a glimpse into daily life in the small communities en route. Climbing on this part of the trek can be challenging as the route progresses uphill from the riverbed and through the humid jungle. Halfway along the trek you will make a welcomed stop at the 3 Cruces viewpoint, where you can enjoy delicious fresh fruits and take in the incredible view. Continuing on through deep gorges in the path carved out by the rainy season, you will arrive in camp where you can cool off with a swim in the river before dinner. You will sleep in bunk beds under mosquito nets and enjoy a well deserved rest after your first day in the jungle.
Day 5: The Lost City Trek – day two
Duration: approx 8 – 9 hours trekking
Today will see you venture further into the jungle en route to Ciudad Perdida. Be prepared – today is a tough portion of the trek with a lot of steep views. Your route takes you to Cabaña Wiwa, where you can enjoy a refreshing swim in the Buritaca River while you wait for lunch. Your adventure continues into the Sierra Nevada, bordering Mutanyi, an indigenous Kogui village. Walking alongside this amazing village of circular thatched huts, you will learn about local life in the jungle and the native inhabitants who live here. Women and children may emerge from their huts and go about their daily life as piglets snuffle around in the mud. Continuing through the dense jungle you will have a chance to snack on fresh fruits before reaching the third camp. Get settled in, have dinner and sleep here overnight in bunk beds covered with mosquito nets.
Day 6: Lost City Trek – day three
Duration: approx 8 – 9 hours trekking
Very early in the morning you will have breakfast and begin the 2km journey towards Teyuna Ciudad Perdida. Climbing 1200 moss covered steps that will lead you to this majestic stone settlement in which you’ll walk among the 170 stone terraces where the dwellings of the ancient Tayronas rested. To give you a better understanding on how large and spectacular this site really is, this was once the largest Tayrona city and major economic and political center. Surrounded by a magical forest with its unique flora and fauna, this is a truly amazing place to explore. Walking around the city you’ll witness different views and landscapes that go from fantastic sunny gaps in the middle of the jungle to cloud forest covered by stunning vegetation. Your Local Guide will explain the history of the Lost City and what is known of its origins. It’s estimated that only 10% of the site has been discovered. You may even meet the Mamo, leader and protector of Mother Nature, and witness the Kogui community going about their daily lives who are now living in the City. Following the Lost City visit, it’s then time to return to Camp 3 for some food before making the long trek back through the jungle to Camp 2, thankfully most of it is downhill.
Day 7: Lost City Trek – day four and on to the Caribbean Coast
Duration: approx 6 hours trekking and 4WD transfer to Palomino (1 hour)
Your adventure in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is coming to an end. After breakfast you will head back along the same path through dense green jungle, pass by banana trees, Kogui communities and grasslands. Stop at Adán Camp for a dip in the cool river and some fresh fruit and snacks before another 4 hours winding your way back to El Mamey. Here you will enjoy a freshly cooked meal, rest those weary legs and recall the incredible journey you’ve just completed. A token cold drink (or beer) is always a great accompaniment with your lunch. Then it’s back in the 4WD for your transfer to the Caribbean Coast for some well deserved R&R after your adventure in the depths of the jungle. You will be staying at a family run eco-retreat nestled near Tayrona Park and directly on the picture perfect Caribbean coast. The family are a mix for urban and Kogui culture of the La Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Tonight you can order off the menu to reward yourself with the meal of your choice and go to sleep with the tranquil sounds of the ocean. This is a very welcomed treat after your Lost City Trek and a real hidden gem on the beautiful Colombian coast.
Day 8: Caribbean Coast to Cartagena (approx 6 hours)
After a leisurely breakfast and some free time lapping up all the goodness this tranquil eco-retreat offers together with wanders along the beach or in the forest, we say goodbye and make our way to the colourful city of Cartegena. Enroute you will pass other coastal villages along the Caribbean, drive across the newly opened Pumarejo bridge (Dec 2019) at 2,250 meters (7,380 ft) which is the longest road bridge in Colombia, pass through the bustling Barranquilla and on through barrios before reaching ‘the Jewel of the Indies’, Cartagena. Cartagena de Indias as it’s known, brings together perfectly preserved colonial architecture, picturesque cobbled streets, a maze of boutique cafes, bars and restaurants, epic history and a photographic dream location. The city’s beaches beckon, inviting you to unwind and enjoy yourself in the refreshing breeze and warm waters of the Caribbean Sea.
Day 9: Free day in Cartagena
Simply relax and enjoy a Colombian coffee or explore Cartagena’s architectural & cultural heritage and learn more about the historic influences of this vibrant city. Framed by its stunning bay, Cartagena de Indias is one of the most beautiful, well-preserved cities in the Americas. We highly recommend taking your time to wander around Cartagena’s Old Town, a Unesco World Heritage Site, and discover the maze of cobbled alleys filled with boutique bars, restaurants and specialty shops. There are also a number of ancient churches and popular monuments that you can visit, such as the monument dedicated to India Catalina, los Zapatos Viejos, and los Pegasos. Highlights include the San Pedro Claver Church, the Palace of the Inquisition and an evening cocktail at Café del Mar to watch the Caribbean sunset.
In addition to the hundreds of years of history behind the impressive 13km of centuries-old colonial stone walls, you can explore the Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas, a magnificent castle dating back to the 17th century and located in a strategic position on the Hill of San Lázaro, dominating approaches to the city by land or sea. There is much more to this diverse and beautiful place than simply the iconic walled city. Check out the hipster-approved locales filled with bars and street-art to glamorous beachfront zones, Cartagena has a neighbourhood to suit all tastes. It’s raw beauty, superb food, vibrant nightlife and historical significance make this city a must see highlight of Colombia.
Day 10: Cartagena to Bogotá and return flight home
Following an early breakfast you will leave the Caribbean coast and fly inland to the vibrant capital city of Colombia, Bogotá. The bustling cradle of Colombia and third-highest capital city in the world. We’ll take the opportunity to explore the highlights of Bogotá with a City Tour including Paloquemao Market, La Candelaria Historic District, the Gold Museum and the Botero Museum. Then it’s time to leave this extraordinary country
Day 11: Arrive back in the UK
Arrive back home Explore the Andes to the Caribbean & Lost City Trek in Colombia filled with a huge sense of achievement, incredible memories, a greater understanding of this amazing country and with new found friends. You’ll share stories and experiences of a lifetime for many years to come.