Ciudad Perdida in Colombia

Lonely Planet Travel Editor Tom Hall is on a mission to discover 52 of the most awe-inspiring places to visit across the world. This week Tom unleashes his inner Indiana Jones in Colombia...

Ciudad Perdida, Colombia

It’s the stuff of a conquistador’s dream: Colombia’s Ciudad Perdida (Lost City) is located deep in the rainforest where roads have yet to reach and access is strictly on foot. Getting here requires a six-day journey, much of it a three-day uphill slog through steaming vegetation. Sleeping is in hammocks slung from mighty trees.

Few are disappointed on arrival at the Lost City, high on a ridge in the Rio Buritaca Valley. It is a well-preserved, alluringly overgrown settlement, built between the 11th and 14th centuries, long since deserted and reclaimed by the forest. The wooden houses of the Tayrona, the people who lived here, may be gone but the stone terraces and other remains give a clear insight as to what life would have been like.

Planning your trip to Ciudad Perdida

This is one adventure that should top your list when the region around the Lost City stabilises. Treks (around £150 for four days) can be booked in the town of Santa Marta, 20 miles from Ciudad Perdida and include gear, guides, porters and cooks.

Further information on Colombia

Keep an eye on the Foreign & Commonwealth Office advice for Colombia. The best place for up to date information about the country is Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree.

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