As the 2nd largest city in Colombia, Medellin is big and busy. We found it to be extremely clean, organized, and safe.
Originally, we had planned to party all weekend. On the Friday night we went to Lleras which was busy and fun. That was it for that weekend though as we discovered the election on Sunday meant no alcohol sales until Monday morning. We ended up going to an interesting live music and visual arts show in a small theatre on Saturday night.
Ciudad Perdida was one of the highlights of our trip and I highly recommend it to people who enjoy a good 4 to 5 day hike. We had great weather with no rain, which meant hot afternoons. In the mornings, we were up around 5am to be on the trail by 6am. This was to avoid the heat and catch the sun rise. Although hiking in the heat was hard work, the waterfall swimming pools at the end of every day (except the last) were a magnificent reward. Amazing water and then catch some rays in the sun.
The camps were very basic as were the meals. Two of the three nights, we slept in hammocks. Much better than the ground, but very difficult to get a consistent sleep; an experience nonetheless.
There are many amazing views along the way as you climb up and down mountain ridges and across streams in the valleys. Occasionally you’ll meet some indigenous folks along the path who still live their lives off the land in the mountains.
Ciudad Perdida itself is amazing, set in a stunning mountain landscape with a waterfall flowing not far away. The photos can not do justice to this amazing ancient city. It’s very spread out, so you cannot capture the scope of it in a picture.
There are several tour companies that supposedly all charge the same, 600,000 COP. That covers everything; transport, park entrance, food, and a place to sleep. There are 4, 5, & 6 day options, but it’s very reasonable to do it in 4 days. You don’t need to book in advance really from what we could tell. Day before is what we did.
Sorry about the order of the images, way too time consuming to sort in WordPress.
Here are a few good articles for more info:
Taganga is a small town on a beautiful bay a 10 minute drive from Santa Marta. Some people we met said it reminded them of Koh Tao in Thailand. We say, “No way!” It’s still a nice change of pace from Santa Marta and you can stay at a hostel on the beach and sit in the sun and drink for no mucho dinero. Our favourite experience in Taganga was Babaganoush! It’s an open air restaurant located on the top floor of a building. It has an amazing view of the bay which is perfect at sunset. The food is beyond amazing! The beef carpaccio was delicious and a generous serving. The Fillet Mignon was perfect and also a good size. It was so damn good, we went back for more a few days later. There are several options on the menu which I’m sure are also delicious. You will thank yourself for finding Babaganoush!
In Santa Marta, we ate at a tasty Mexican restaurante next to La Brisa Loca and drank at Charlie’s Bar (say Hi to Charlie for me) and La Brisa Loca.
On one of our first days in Santa Marta, we decided to dig into the local culture. For a reasonable fee, a local guide agreed to show us a secluded swimming spot near Bahia Concha, the beach itself, and include a typical Colombian lunch with his family in a suburb of Santa Marta. The lunch might have been the most interesting part of the day. There were 11 people, including 6 kids, living in a 600 square foot, 3 room house, with concrete floors. They had electricity and running water, albeit they said it hadn’t been installed for their neighbourhood until 10 years ago. Very welcoming and friendly folks!