Hiking to the lost city of the Tairona people
There are at least a dozen lost cities in the world, but Teyuna, the “Ciudad Perdida” of the Tairona people is probably the most famous one and the one most worthy of the name. The ruins of the archaeological site are located in the middle of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, a gigantic mountain range recognized by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve. The Kogui, the Arzario, the Wiwa, and the Ika, the last indigenous people of this area of Colombia, live inside the natural park. The landscape and the spectacular sight of the Ciudad Perdida are definitely worth the incredibly long 5 days hike.
That's right: the only way to reach Teyuna is with a guided hike in small groups of 2 – 6 people. Although the first part of the route can be traveled by horse (at a higher price), the rest of the path is so steep that it is accessible only on foot. The hike starts from the town of Santa Marta, the capital of the department of Magdalena and the oldest inhabited village in Colombia (founded in 1525). After just a couple of hours drive, you get to tiny outpost at the entrance of the park, where the guides and the porters of food (… yes you understood right!) get the rest of the equipment ready...
A FIVE DAYS HIKE IN THE TROPICAL FOREST
When the jeep starts again, the hike begins! Get ready for five days of hiking along a small path covered by vegetation. It goes up and down, you climb trunks, you cross rivers, you meet natives who chew on coca leaves, and hear strange bird noises, never heard before. During the day the humidity is suffocating, at night the temperature drop will force you to grab all the available blankets. But all this effort will be rewarded by the magic of an ancient place, a place that has lost none of its original charm. Not even the presence of some guards or the passage of the few tourists will break the spell. Try to enter the coordinates of the Ciudad Perdida (11°2′16.79″N 73°55′30.69″W) on Google Maps to get a visual of what you have just read. Happy walk!