The Ciudad Perdida trek or the Lost City trek in Colombia is probably one of the toughest hikes I’ve completed. When I started planning my adventure it was very hard to find informative resources about what to pack for the Ciudad Perdida trek. Even though it was challenging it was well worth it in the end. The Lost City trek is still pretty quiet, but will probably get busier within the coming years
Ciudad Perdida Tour Companies
I had a hard time finding the best local company to do the trek with, after reading a few blog posts and reaching out to the hostel I was staying at I opted to book my Lost City trek with Magic Tours Colombia. The Ciudad Perdida trek price was about $320usd. You can browse TripAdvisor to find reviews of other tour companies but the most popular seem to be Expotur and Magic Tours, both are around the same price. Both companies offer tours in English and Spanish. We ended up with a guide who only spoke Spanish but luckily we had a translator hiking with us. It really wasn’t a big deal doing the tour with a Spanish guide, it really helped us pick up on the language faster.
What’s Included in your Lost City Trek Tour
Magic tours was an excellent company to trek with, they also contribute to the indigenous tribe within the area. The tour price included accommodation, transport and food, medical assistance and travel insurance, and of course our guide.
What to Expect on the Ciudad Perdida Trek (The Lost City Trek)
There are a few different options when booking the Lost City trek, you can opt for a 4 day tour, 5 days or even 6 days. Most people manage the 4 day trek with no issues.
The accommodation along the Ciudad Perdida trek in basic. There are rows of bunk beds which you will share with your tour group, separated by mosquito nets. Some camps have the option of sleeping in hammocks as well.
You will be hiking up to 8 hours a day. There will be steep uphill’s and downhills, so if you have any serious knee injuries then you may want to think about this or bring a hiking pole with you.
The Lost City trek has some exposed portions where you will be hiking in the sun for a bit, the trek is very hot. When you reach the shaded portions it becomes very humid. Make sure you are prepared for that as it really takes a toll on your body as well.
The Lost City trek has limited accessibility once you reach a certain point, which means that if you cannot finish the trek the only way to get out is to hike until horses can be provided from a camp, or until the motorcycles can make it up the road.
You will also be expected to carry your own bags up the mountain, so pack what you can manage and bring a good hiking backpack. These are the harsh realities of trekking to Ciudad Perdida. If you are physically fit then you will be able to manage the hike. Do not be put off by the warnings, the reward at the end of the hike is well worth it. There were many portions of the hike where we walked on our own, so it is definitely not overly crowded.
What to Pack for the Ciudad Perdida Trek
As stated before there are steep uphills and downhills on this trek and you are required to carry your own bags. Trust me, pack as light as possible to make it easier on yourself. I moved a lot of unnecessary items to a smaller pack that I had and used my Osprey Sirrus 36 for the hike as it was the most comfortable bag I had. I packed fresh hiking clothes for each day but honestly, it was unnecessary. The jungle was so hot that within ten minutes your clothes were soaked through. Nothing dries in the humidity so don’t expect to be dry for the majority of this hike. Make sure your bag is waterproof or that you have a rain cover for it, you may experience a downpour at some point on your trek and you want to keep everything in your bag dry. The only one good thing was the showers at each camp which were basic but refreshing. This allowed you to change into something cozy for bed before putting on your wet hiking clothes in the morning.
Ciudad Perdida Packing List
1. Good Quality Hiking Boots
This is non-negotiable. Some people wore sneakers which were fine to a certain extent until you reach a muddy area and then your feet would be wet and muddy for the rest of the day. Buy a nice pair of waterproof hiking boots for your Ciudad Perdida hike.
2. Hiking Pants
If you really hate bugs then opt for a long pair of hiking pants, if you’d rather brave the bugs then opt for a shorter pair. I just wore some gym shorts as I didn’t have these hiking pants yet. If you are doing the 4 day hike, just take one pair and wear them everyday. Everyone will be doing that, no judgement.
There are many rivers and pools to swim in at some of the village stops. Don’t forget your swimsuit, it’s a great way to refresh yourself before continuing the hike.
4. Quick Dry Shirt
These are the perfect tops for hiking in the jungle. Take two of these shirts, you can alternate them each day. You may even be able to rinse them in the river to clean them.
5. Hiking Socks
Please don’t do like me and forget to bring more than one pair of proper hiking socks. I wore the same wet smelly socks for 4 days and it was awful. By the time I got to the hostel after the trek I just threw them away. Bring at least 2 pairs.
Sports bras and underwear, do not forget them.
I didn’t bring a hoodie with me which was a mistake, it got a bit cooler in the evenings or even just bring a long sleeve t-shirt for the nighttime or a sweatshirt.
8. Toothbrush & Toothpaste, soap and shampoo/ conditioner if necessary
You will definitely be able to wash your hair in the showers at camp in the evenings, so don’t forget shampoo and condition in small bottles or skip the plastic and opt for a shampoo bar!. These toothbrushes are great as well!
Some mornings we were up quite early. Lights in the camps also go off quite early so make sure you have a lamp if you need to look for something in your bags in the evenings etc.
10. Bug Spray
Mosquitos in Colombia are the size of flies, pack strong bug spray they are pretty vicious.
11. Sunblock and/or Hat
I usually don’t wear sunblock but a hat was perfect to keep the sun off my face all day in those exposed areas of the Lost City trek.
12. Sleeping Bag Liner
This was my luxury item and it was so worth it. The beds do not smell the greatest and I didn’t really want to put my head on pillow so I had my mum sew me a simple sleeping bag liner which I slept in the entire trip.
Pain killers are a must have. Do not forget plasters in case of blisters, allergy medication and even some anti-diarrheal, you never know.
14. Toilet Paper & Purell
15. Water bottle
Do not miss out on capturing those epic views and Ciudad Perdida. This is Jason’s favorite camera.
Also you can check out these hostels in Colombia for the best recommendations!
Is there anything else you would add to the Ciudad Perdida packing list? Let us know in the comments!