Colombia’s Lost City: Hiking to Ciudad Perdida

So once you’ve checked off your necessities for Cuidad Perdida and packed as light as possible, it was time to start the hike. I ended up hiking to Cuidad Perdida or The Lost City with Magic Tours. Our guide only spoke Spanish but one of the girls translated for us. He was very knowledgeable.

Hiking to Cuidad Perdida (The Lost City)

Day 1

We left the magic tours office around 9.30am and got to our lunch stop in Machete for about 12.30pm. This was also the starting point of our hike to Cuidad Perdida. We left Machete after lunch in the hot sun and we headed up the mountain. It was about 4 hours until we reached the camp. The camp was right on the river. It had bathrooms and showers along with a line of bunk beds with cooking facilities and tables. There was also a pool which was a nice way to end the day. The pool was freezing because the water comes down from the mountains. Nevertheless it was still a great way to end a hot day.

Hiking to Cuidad Perdida

Day 1 views of the Sierra Nevada mountains

Day 2

We were woken at 5.30am to start the hardest day of the trek. Not only was it long but there was a lot of up hills. We made it to the next camp in 4 hours. This is where we had an early lunch and enjoyed some time in the pool. We were enjoying the luxuries of spending time in the pools, but little did we now the hardest part was still to come. After lunch we started our hike again. This portion was mostly uphill and it was tough. Slow and steady was the key here but even then we needed to take some breaks. The heat and humidity of the rainforest was just draining. For an island girl I thought I would be able to take it but it was tough. The terrain varied from rocky to muddy to lose dirt which made it even tougher. After a few fruit stops, river crossings and climbing over rocks, we made it to our campsite around 4pm. We were spending the night at the final camp before hiking to Cuidad Perdida.

Hiking to Cuidad Perdida

The path less travelled… en route to Cuidad Perdida

 

Hiking to Cuidad Perdida

Indigenous village on the way to The Lost City

Day 3

The day we were all anticipating. The morning we would finally see the Lost City. After climbing over rocks and trees and rivers we made it to the steps. Hundreds of uneven stairs later we reached the walls of the Lost City or Cuidad Perdida. The excitement was real, and we realized how big this place really was. Photos from Google don’t quiet do it justice, you only ever see one shot, “the golf course shot”. There were hundreds of terraces that used to be home to about 2500 indigenous people. It was an impressive site to behold. We sat and took in the view from the top, listening to the stories of tomb raiders and the indigenous tribes. Our reward after all those stairs was a junk food binge. We were given potato chips, pork rinds, brownies, lollipops and chocolates! After we went around another way finding more terraces that were still covered in bush. There was even a family living in this area still and taking care of their land.
We walked back down the stairs and back to camp where we had our lunch and then onwards we went back to the second camp we visited yesterday.

Hiking to Cuidad Perdida

The Lost City still hidden away in the jungle

 

Hiking to Cuidad Perdida

The stairs to the ceremonial terraces of the Lost City

Day 4

Today consisted of a 4 hour hike to the end, we  got up at 5.30am and had breakfast before we started. The goal was to reach Machete by midday for lunch. The promise of fresh clothes and a shower at the end motivated us. The path was the same one we had walked 3 days earlier. At around 11.20am we reached Machete for lunch and a well deserved beer. We boarded our Jeep and sat in silence as we were carried back to town.

Hiking to Cuidad Perdida

On top of the world over looking Cuidad Perdida

I loved my experience with Magic Tours and would definitely recommend them. The food was amazing and I met some cool people. Together we completed a hike that only about 14000 tourists do each year. It was rewarding and definitely felt like a lost city. I didn’t know what to expect other than an epic photo at the end. I was so happy I went for it and braved the Colombian jungle with its bugs and crazy heat to find this special place. Cuidad Perdida is now home to a military base so it is also quite safe. Our guide and cook took very good care of us and we all made it without injury. If you are up for a challenge then it is something I’d recommend.

 

15 Comments

  • Stephanie February 11, 2017 at 12:55 am

    That photo makes it all worth it! I have never done something so adventurous but after not hiking machu picchu due to time restrictions, I regretted it. This sounds like a great opportunity for a wonder hike and life experience.

    Reply
  • Lauren Cocking February 11, 2017 at 1:00 am

    This has given me a ton of inspiration for my trip to Colombia in September! Thanks 🙂

    Reply
  • Bizarre Globe Hopper February 11, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    It looks amazing, thank you for sharing your hike! We couldn’t squeeze Ciudad Perdida into our 4-week itinerary, which means we have to return!

    Reply
  • Raymond Carroll February 12, 2017 at 9:59 am

    Your pics are lovely, especially the last one. I love hiking and have been reading a few posts recently about hiking in Colombia, Bolivia, and Peru. Hiking to Cuidad Perdida sounds interesting. I have heard that Colombia can be quite a dangerous country to visit so I suppose it’s an added bonus being home to a military base also.

    Reply
  • luxurybackpacking | Emma February 12, 2017 at 10:36 am

    I’m planning a trip to South America, and would love to do this! Never knew it existed before I read your post, so glad I came across it! Plus those photos are definitely worth the long hike up!

    Reply
  • neha February 12, 2017 at 11:07 am

    The final scene definitely makes the difficult hike worth it. Isn’t it? I am not sure if I will be able to take such a hike. Hats off to you

    Reply
  • clare February 12, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    I loved this hike it was a great experience. I remember it was so hot and humid and nothing ever dried. The Lost City itself is magical and its great to spend time there and enjoy the views 🙂

    Reply
    • Stace February 12, 2017 at 5:14 pm

      Hahaha yes! Everything was wet! LOL

      Reply
  • LJ Legend February 12, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    Sounds like quite and adventure and lucky that one of your group spoke Spainish. I have never really done something like that before and I would love to try a hike in South America and this is now on the bucket list 🙂

    Reply
  • Sonia February 14, 2017 at 8:01 am

    The view of the mountains looks awesome! I too would love to take a dip after walking for 4 hours. Hiking makes such a fun activity … the peace and quiet at certain locales makes it worth the effort!

    Reply
  • Soraya February 14, 2017 at 10:09 am

    Despite the steep walks up and the early mornings, it sounds like this was well worth the big trek! I love that you say that the images even in Google just doesn’t do this place justice…it sounds amazing and I would love to see this one day. So glad they spoiled you with lots of junk food as a reward for the big trek!

    Reply
  • Michaela Terese Harrison February 16, 2017 at 5:33 am

    Great photos! I could not do this. What a wonderful a experience. It would amazing to see

    Reply
  • Mohit February 16, 2017 at 7:14 am

    Wow …that’s such a beautiful hike …great thatvyou found the hidden gem

    Reply
  • Cory Varga February 27, 2017 at 5:01 am

    Now this hike looks so spectacular :O I mean seriously! Loving those cobblestones which you photographed. My husband and I love travelling together to off the beaten path destinations and we are outdoors people, hence this would be great for us. Thank you for sharing

    Reply
  • Why You Should Visit (& Fall in Love With) Minca, Colombia! May 17, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    […] to La Cuidad Perdida, The Lost City. We didn’t do the hike ourselves, but after reading the Ciudad Perdida guide by Wandering Bajan, we wish we would have! Soon, Minca will be the only gateway, according to a […]

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