person from Slovenia (Karin)

Trekking to the Lost City

Karin's goosebump moment

Trekking to the ‘Lost City’ in Colombia – Karin’s goosebump moment

(text video)


“Hello! I am Karin and I come from Slovenia. My goosebump moment happened a few months ago when I was doing a 4-day trekking to the ‘Lost City’ in Colombia, which is a place built by the Tayrona people more than 1,000 years ago and which is hidden deep in the jungle of the “Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta” mountains. After a rather difficult trekking, I reached my destination very early in the morning. Once I arrived there, I could feel real peace, serenity, and excitement at the same time as I could feel that I was in a truly majestic place and the fact that I was there all by myself, so far from civilization and my home contributed additionally to the excitement. So, yes, that was my goosebump moment. Thank so much for listening.”

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One of the wonders of Colombia

The ‘Lost City’ in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is a magnificent archaeological treasure and one of the wonders found in the department of Magdalena in Colombia.

Buritaca-200 or the ‘Lost City’ was discovered in 1976 by a team of archaeologists from the Colombian Institute of Anthropology headed by Gilberto Cadavid and restored almost in its entirety.

Archaeological investigations at the site seem to indicate that this settlement was founded around 800 AD and abandoned sometime between 1550 and 1600 AD. Eleven other settlements were detected in the surrounding area, and archaeological excavations have been carried out at some of these sites.

The city is known as ‘Teyuna’ by the indigenous people of the area and therefore, its compound name: ‘Lost City’-Teyuna Archaeological Park, although within the nomenclature of archaeological sites for the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta it is also known as Buritaca-200.

The site comprises a complex system of constructions, cobblestone roads, stairways and walls intercommunicated by a series of terraces and platforms on which the ceremonial centers, houses and food storage sites were built. It occupies an area of approximately 200 hectares, about 2 square kilometers.

What to do in the ‘Lost City’?

‘Lost City’ is an archaeological complex with 216 terraces, 211 of which are circular. To get to this treasure of the Tayrones you must walk a long, but spectacular road that runs through the valley of the Buritaca River.

You will cross rivers and streams, the climate is tropical rainforest, some areas will be slippery with muddy mud and sometimes there may be rains that were not predicted.

It’s an almost 50 km walk. There are several tours that you can choose according to your physical condition, the days you want to walk, and the daily hours will depend on it. There are from 4 to 6 days and the tours of the trails can start from El Mamey or Teyuna.

For example, the 4-day tour consists of 2 days uphill and 2 days downhill. On the 3rd day you arrive at the ‘Lost City’ and hike through the entire archaeological zone.

In the 5-day tour you have time to enjoy more of the nature of the tour, and the 6-day tour is recommended for people who are not in good physical condition and want to go slower or simply want to enjoy more of the environment.

History of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta

The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is a coastal mountain range located in northern Colombia that is itself an isolated system of the Andes on the Caribbean coast of Colombia. It rises steeply from the shores of the Caribbean Sea to reach snow-capped peaks.

The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is part of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta National Natural Park and the Tayrona National Natural Park, which are administered by the Ministry of the Environment. It is located between the departments of Magdalena, La Guajira and Cesar, in the Colombian Caribbean.

Because it is a mountain of more than 5,000 meters high, the climate goes from warm dry to perpetual snow. Likewise, the climate of the entire region is determined by the trade winds and the elevation with respect to sea level. Therefore, the temperature ranges from 30 °C in the lower part of the park to 0 °C in the highest peaks of the Sierra.

UNESCO declared it a Biosphere Reserve in 1979, given the network of ecosystems that harbor innumerable life forms and are home to several indigenous communities.

More about the ‘Lost City’ in Colombia:

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