Tag Archives: Santa Marta

Ciudad Perdida, Colombia – The Lost City

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.

In the small town of Machete where you start and end your trek, is a pool hall, bar, and butcher shop all in one.  We played some Tejo there on our way back, but passed on the meat.
In the small town of Machete where you start and end your trek, is a pool hall, bar, and butcher shop all in one. We played some Tejo there on our way back, but passed on the meat.
Tucking into bed the night before Ciudad Perdida.
Tucking into bed the night before Ciudad Perdida.
The morning before hiking to Ciudad Perdida, we ate breakfast in the dark - early.
The morning before hiking to Ciudad Perdida, we ate breakfast in the dark – early.
Sign reads: The first of many, many rocks.
Sign reads: The first of many, many rocks.
1200 steep rock steps lead to the Lost City.
1200 steep rock steps lead to the Lost City.
They built  their homes on these rock circles.  The bigger the circle, the bigger the family.
They built their homes on these rock circles. The bigger the circle, the bigger the family.
You're going to see a lot of rocks.
You’re going to see a lot of rocks.
It's a big rock . . . shaped like a frog.  The Tayrona worshipped it.
It’s a big rock . . . shaped like a frog. The Tayrona worshipped it.
Lots of rock walls. Amazing landscapers.
Lots of rock walls. Amazing landscapers.
Our guide Carlos sits on the sacred throne.
Our guide Carlos sits on the sacred throne.
Tools for grinding grain and corn were made out of, you guessed it, rocks.
Tools for grinding grain and corn were made out of, you guessed it, rocks.
Maps, also made out of . . . yes, rock!
Maps, also made out of . . . yes, rock!
The white dots are cattle grazing on the hill side.
The white dots are cattle grazing on the hill side.
Ciudad Perdida stretches out below.  It extends beyond that terrace and down both sides of the mountain and up behind where the picture was taken from.
Ciudad Perdida stretches out below. It extends beyond that terrace and down both sides of the mountain and up behind where the picture was taken from.
Pictured from one of the higher terraces at Ciudad Perdida.
Pictured from one of the higher terraces at Ciudad Perdida.
Yes, it did feel that good!
Yes, it did feel that good!

Dave

Descending the 1200 steps.
Descending the 1200 steps.
This is one of the lower terraces.
This is one of the lower terraces.

First stream crossing

It does feel good to be on top!
It does feel good to be on top!
A settlement of the Tayrona we passed on the hike.  The huts are made of mud with thatched roofs.
A settlement of the Tayrona we passed on the hike. The huts are made of mud with thatched roofs.
From a high ridge, you can see the valleys and mountains beyond mountains.  Montanas.
From a high ridge, you can see the valleys and mountains beyond mountains. Montanas.
Mas mantanas.
Mas mantanas.
Keep your eyes open for huts and locals.
Keep your eyes open for huts and locals.
This was the camp for our first night.  Hammocks are close enough to cuddle.
This was the camp for our first night. Hammocks are close enough to cuddle.
Typical dirt path through the jungle.
Typical dirt path through the jungle.

Looking up the stream Lost City high above the valley Lost City in the Mountains Lost City Rises

This throne is big, though the people were small.
This throne is big, though the people were small.

Lost City

A map of the region is carved on this rock.
A map of the region is carved on this rock.

Military guard the Lost City More rock walls Orange Coloured Tree Over the Ridge Path joining family circles Path leading higher Paths between terraces People gather at the top of the Lost City River Crossing Rock circles everywhere Rock paths Rock terraces Rocks in the water Rocks used as tools Side profile of ancient rock wall Slow stepper Soldiers guard Ciudad Perdida Steep Rock Path Stone steps Stone wall Sunshine at Ciudad Perdida Terraces connected by paths

This large frog shaped boulder was worshipped by the people who inhabited this ancient city.
This large frog shaped boulder was worshipped by the people who inhabited this ancient city.

The Main Meeting Area at the Lost City Thousands of steps have passed Throne at the Lost City Tiered rock wall Tools made of rock Wide stone path connects to upper city View of Lost City from Above View of the valley View of the river Walking bridge with hikers Still water runs deep View from Ciudad Perdida Swimming in the pool of a waterfall

Here are a few good articles for more info:
https://adinaontheroad.wordpress.com/2013/06/30/la-ciudad-perdida-trek-the-lost-city-colombia/comment-page-1/

http://tradingvoyageur.com/travel-blog/hiking-to-ciudad-perdida-the-lost-city-of-colombia/

http://grattanmaslin.blogspot.ca/2013/07/ciudad-perdida-lost-city-in-colombia.html

http://sotcblog.com/2013/02/27/first-time-trek-ciudad-perdida/

 

Taganga and Santa Marta

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.

Breakfast and Olympic hockey wins for these Canadians!
Breakfast and Olympic hockey wins for these Canadians!
Watching Olympic hockey at the Dropbear.  Found the inscriptions on the wall pretty amusing too.
Watching Olympic hockey at the Dropbear. Found the inscriptions on the wall pretty amusing too.
Beer bonging at the Full Moon Party!
Beer bonging at the Full Moon Party!
Met Janine at Dropbear.  Turns out she knows a good friend of mine from Salmon Arm.  Let's drink to that!
Met Janine at Dropbear. Turns out she knows a good friend of mine from Salmon Arm. Let’s drink to that!
So funny!
So funny!
Old boats on the beach make an interesting statement, don't you think?
Old boats on the beach make an interesting statement, don’t you think?
Let's hit the high seas . . .
Let’s hit the high seas . . .
Blue sky and warm sand.  (View from my beach chair.)
Blue sky and warm sand. (View from my beach chair.)
Taganga at dusk from Babaganoush.  Eat there!
Taganga at dusk from Babaganoush. Eat there!

Bahia Concha and a Family Visit

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!

This little guy was full of smiles and assigned to be our server.
This little guy was full of smiles and assigned to be our server.

King del Casa
King del Casa
Our jokes are pretty funny in Spanish ;)
Our jokes are pretty funny in Spanish ;)
The kids were all lined up on the floor in the hall while  they ate.  Nice & quiet :)
The kids were all lined up on the floor in the hall while they ate. Nice & quiet :)
Cove for swimming  a short walk from Bahia Concha.
Cove for swimming a short walk from Bahia Concha.
This is a hidden cove where we swam with some Colombian kids and watched them jump off the 7m cliff.
This is a hidden cove where we swam with some Colombian kids and watched them jump off the 7m cliff.
Clear blue sky at Bahia Concha.  Had some fresh pineapple and napped in hammocks in the shade.
Clear blue sky at Bahia Concha. Had some fresh pineapple and napped in hammocks in the shade.
Yes, shade is necessary if you're on the beach longer than an hour.
Yes, shade is necessary if you’re on the beach longer than an hour.
This was the first old abandoned boat I saw, but not the last.
This was the first old abandoned boat I saw, but not the last.
White sand, white guy!  It was the first beach day!
White sand, white guy! It was the first beach day!