Note: During the Lost City Trek, if a group is 6 people or more, an English translator will be included as part of the cost. If a group is less than 6 people (which is rare), an English translator can be added for roughly $150 USD.
Discover the Caribbean and its surroundings on this amazing 14-day package. Explore Cartagena, the ‘Pearl of the Caribbean’, and the nearby Totumo Volcano. Then, travel to Santa Marta for a challenging but invigorating 5-day trek to the famous Lost City. Finally, discover the deserted beaches and scenic landscapes of La Guajira desert on a 3-day excursion that will take you to some of the country’s most pristine beaches.
Day by Day Itinerary:
Day 1: Cartagena Arrival Transfer In
As you arrive in Cartagena, you will be picked up at the airport for your arrival transfer to your accommodation. Then, have the rest of the day at leisure to relax and taste some delicious Colombian food on your own. Overnight in Cartagena.
Day 2: Cartagena Free Day (B)
After breakfast, enjoy a day at leisure to explore this wonderful city that combines an impressive mix of modern and colonial architecture. Walk along the city walls and visit San Felipe de Barajas, a fortress built to defend the city, and the monastery and church of La Candelaria on the La Popa hill. Walk around the city centre and take in the amazing vibe of this city. Go salsa dancing at night in one of the many bars or just relax to prepare to tomorrow's adventure. Overnight in Cartagena.
Day 3: Totumo Volcano Tour (B/L)
After breakfast, at around 8:30 you will be picked-up from your accommodation and transferred to the famous Totumo Volcano. The minerals in the mud are said to have therapeutic qualities - whether the Volcano will actually cure your ailments is unclear, but it definitely makes your skin feel great. Climb up and inside this small volcano and jump into the natural mud that lies within to enjoy a relaxing and hilarious experience swimming with your tour mates. After the mud bath, travel to Manzanillo del Mar for a dip in the beautiful Caribbean Sea before enjoying a delicious lunch on the beach. After having some time to relax and digest, you will be transferred back to your hostel in Cartagena. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure. Overnight in Cartagena.
Day 4: Cartagena to Santa Marta (B)
Today, you will be picked-up from your accommodation at around 10:30 to travel from Cartagena to the oldest surviving city in the Americas, Santa Marta. Check-in into your new accommodation and relax to get ready for the following days filled with adventure. Overnight in Santa Marta.
Day 5: Santa Marta - Lost City Trek Starting Point - Camp 1 (L/D)
Depart between 9:00 and 10:00 am from the door of your hostel by 4x4 vehicle for a 3-hour trip to reach the Mamey region. Here we will have a light lunch before beginning your exciting trek into one of the largest pre-Columbian towns in Latin America, once inhabited by the Tayrona civilization around the 11th to 14th century. Get ready for a 7-kilometer trek through the jungle passing by several natural pools where you can take a refreshing swim before reaching the first camp where you will set up your hammocks for the night, have dinner and get a good night’s sleep.
(7-kilometer trek; 4 hours approx.)
Day 6: Camp 1 - Camp 3 (B/L/D)
Wake up for an early breakfast before departing on your 15-kilometer trek at 8:00 am. Walk through the indigenous Kogi village of Mutanshi to learn about local life in the jungle and the native inhabitants who live here. During the day you will meet indigenous families in their native lands and cross the river Buritaca several times refreshing yourself in the cool waters. During rainy season water levels can reach up to 1 meter deep. So today, please plan to wear water shoes or hiking sandals with good straps and be prepared to get wet. Snack on fresh fruits during the trek before reaching the third camp. Get settled in, have dinner and sleep here overnight in your hammocks.
(15-kilometer trek; 8 hours approx.)
Day 7: Camp 3 - Lost City - Camp 2 (B/L/D)
Enjoy breakfast listening to the sounds of the jungle come awake and be ready to depart at 7:00 am for a 6-kilometer trek en route to the mysterious site of Ciudad Perdida, with its steep and mossy 1,200 steps that take you uphill to reach this ancient site. Nestled on the slopes of the Rio Buritaca river valley, the site overlooks the region from 1,300 meters above sea level. Here you will have magnificent views overlooking the dense jungle and rugged terrain. Walk among the 170 stone terraces and endless staircases that cover the approximately 2 square kilometers that was once the largest Tayrona city and major economic and political center. This will give you a better understanding on how large and spectacular this site really is. After the site visit we will return to the third camp for lunch. Then go back to the camp 2 and have dinner as we reminisce on the magical experience of discovering the Lost City in the jungle.
(6-kilometer trek; 7 hours approx.)
Day 8: Camp 2 - Camp 1 (B/L/D)
Have an early breakfast today at 6:30am and hit the trail by 7:00am for a 10-kilometer return trek to camp 1 crossing back over the Buritaca River and passing through the indigenous community of Mutanshi along the way. Enjoy the fresh jungle air and spectacular scenery as you make your way to camp where you will get settled in, have dinner and get a good night’s rest.
(10-kilometer trek; 4 hours approx.)
Day 9: Camp 1 - El Mamey - Santa Marta (B/L)
Trek back another 7 kilometers today as you make your way back to the starting point of your trek in Mamey region where you will have lunch. Then take a van back to the coastal town of Santa Marta arriving around 5:00pm to rest up from your challenging trek and enjoy the amenities of civilization. Reminisce about your trek with friends and compare photos. Don’t forget to head over to the beach for a refreshing swim. Overnight in Santa Marta.
(7-kilometer trek; 4 hours approx.)
Day 10: Santa Marta to Riohacha
Today, you will be picked-up from your accommodation at around 10:00 to travel from Riohacha, the starting point of your tour to Punta Gallinas and Cabo de la Vela. Check-in into your new accommodation and relax to get ready for the following days filled with adventure. Overnight in Riohacha.
Day 11: Riohacha to Cabo de la Vela (L/D)
At around 8:00am, you will be picked-up from your accommodation in Riohacha to begin your trip towards Cabo de la Vela. Along the way, visit Uribia, also known as the indigenous capital of La Guajira, famous for the indigenous market of Wayuu handicrafts and clothing, and Manaure salt mines, famous for the huge flocks of flamingoes present during the rainy season. Upon arrival to Cabo de la Vela, enjoy a delicious typical lunch before continuing your visit to Pilon de Azucar beach and onto the lighthouse for a fantastic sunset. Dinner and overnight in Cabo de la Vela on traditional Hammocks.
Day 12: Cabo de la Vela to Punta Gallinas (B/L/D)
After a delicious breakfast, it is time to continue your trip towards Punta Gallinas, a desert landscape of huge bays and empty beaches. Along the way, visit Parque Eólico “Jepirachi” (Wind Park) to take some pictures, and then keep going through the deserted way through Puerto Bolivar and Portete Bay, before reaching Pusheo for some delicious lunch. Continue your trip to the Dunes, Taroa beach and the lighthouse of Punta Gallinas. Dinner and overnight in Punta Gallinas on traditional Hammocks.
NOTE: In case of bad weather, today's route and mode of transportation are subject to change.
Day 13: Punta Gallinas to Riohacha (B/L)
After breakfast, travel back to Uribia by boat and visit the beaches of Playa Hondita and Playa Honda. After enjoying lunch in Uribia, get on board of the van to return to Riohacha, where you will spend the night.
Day 14: Riohacha to Santa Marta
Today, you will be picked up from your accommodation in Riohacha to be transferred back to Santa Marta. Choose to be dropped off at the bus terminal or airport to continue your travels. If you prefer you can book extra nights at the Santa Marta hostel to enjoy more days in the Caribbean.
*Please note that your flight today must depart no earlier than 5:00pm in order to reach the airport on time.
Additional Information for the Lost City Trek:
Physical Requirements: If you exercise regularly and enjoy nature, then the path to the Lost City is an exceptional experience that you should add to your list of adventures. For those concerned about their physical condition, most days consist of about 7-8 kilometers trekking through challenging trails that are often steep, slippery and muddy, including forging the Buritaca River. During the dry season, the water may be knee high while water levels may increase to chest-height with strong currents during the rainy season. We recommend bringing a reliable pair of trekking shoes.
WHAT TO BRING: small or medium backpack (pack as lightly as possible), trekking boots and sandals/tennis shoes, hiking poles (optional), personal medication & toiletries, swimsuit, sunscreen & insect repellent, warm layers for night, torch/headlamp/flashlight, rain poncho, waterproof bags for clothes & camera, basic first aid supplies, water bottle/water purification tablets, camera.
*Please note that the Lost City tour does not operate during September due to Spiritual Cleansing Rituals in the indigenous communities.
*Please note that the region has a humid and rainy temperate climate with cold nights of 16 - 18° C.
*The itinerary may vary according to climatic conditions, river levels and availability at the campsites.