Hiking The Lost City Trek Colombia


The Lost City Trek Colombia is among the most mysterious areas of Latin America. It is full of venomous insects and exotic animals, but it is also home to indigenous people. The region has a dark past, but various improvements have turned it into one of the best hikes in that part of the world.

This Trek, also known as La Ciudad Perdida, will challenge you with damp clothes, a lot of heat, waking up early in the morning, and humidity. You will ache, struggle, and sweat on this unique journey. But, hard work will also reward you with some of the most gorgeous views. In this article, we will talk about everything you need to know to complete the Lost City hike in Colombia.

Lost City Trek Colombia Guide


You should bear in mind that this hike is not easy. It is not among the most difficult ones in South America, but it is pretty challenging if you take the humidity, the heat, and the general life in the jungle into account. It is not possible to completely prepare for the humidity, but it is also not recommended to go on this hike unless you have done everything you can to strengthen your body.

This Lost City hikes Colombia will last four to five days, meaning you will hike 30-40 miles. You can even rent mules or motorbikes at some points in case of an emergency. But, if you go on this hike knowing that you will certainly have to use these services, it might mean that you are not ready enough. Bear in mind that this hike is located in the wilderness and that your options are limited.

Besides, there are 1200 steps you should climb before you enter the Lost City itself. They are very steep, narrow, and slippery. However, do not get discouraged. If you prepare your body for strenuous activity and go on various day hikes before attempting this trek, you will complete it without issue. The willingness to explore the environment and experience new things and a positive attitude are crucial to completing this hike.

When to Go

Always consider the weather before booking your trip. This part of Columbia either has a wet or dry season. But, both are very hot and humid. Besides, there can be lots of downpours from May to September.

If hiking during the wet season will not cause you problems, you can have a wonderful time on the Lost City hike in Colombia during this period. But, hiking during the wet season is more challenging so if you think that you are not ready enough for it, you should stick to the dry season.

The Starting Point

Santa Marta, a city located on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, is the starting point for any hiker. You can easily reach it by bus from Cartagena since it is a 4-hour ride. The trek will begin early in the morning, and you will return to the city on your final day.

Most accommodation spots include free luggage space (a locked room to store your stuff), but there are no individual lockers for valuables. This means you will have to find your solution. Getting a separate locker in other hotels in Santa Marta could be a good idea.

Tour Guides

Hiking independently has its advantages, but you need to know that the Lost City Trek can only be done with the help of a tour company. There are several approved companies, so you should choose the one you feel most comfortable with. The companies will provide you with food and accommodation, as well as entry to the Lost City and transport to and from the starting point. It is not possible to do it on your own, and the only means of transport to the Lost City is this multiday hike.

The good news is you don’t need to book weeks in advance, and the tour is usually available even if you do it a few days prior. But, if you know when exactly you will go on this journey, it is a good idea to book in advance. Some tours are guided by indigenous people, but that is not always the case. Going with a tour company that includes people from the indigenous communities is encouraged since they will make you feel at home.


The hike usually lasts for 4 days and 3 nights. Most companies need two days to get to the Lost City. Also, they often spend a few hours among the ruins on the third day before going back to Santa Marta. Here’s a general itinerary which also includes waking up between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. every day:

Day one: Transportation from Santa Marta – up to 5 hours hiking – spending the night on the trail

Day two: Up to 9 hours of hiking – spending the night on the trail

Day three: Up to 2 hours of hiking – a visit to the Lost City area – up to 8 hours of hiking – spending the night on the trail

Day four: Up to 7 hours of hiking – transportation to Santa Marta

Even though the route includes 30-40 miles of hiking, it doesn’t involve high altitudes. The highest points are 2952-3937 feet.

The Trek

Going back on this trek can only be done using the same path. This path is the only one that leads to Lost City, so you will have to take it again on the way back. But, you should look at it from the bright side because you won’t have to climb those stairs again!

You may find walking the same route annoying, but that extra time spent on the Lost City Trek Colombia should be cherished since the Colombian jungle is one of the most important ecological systems in the world. Don’t let these circumstances discourage you because there is certainly a lot to see in the jungle.

It is important to know that there will be several river crossings on the way. You can go barefoot, but it is recommended to get quality waterproof hiking sandals to avoid any injury. These crossings will not give you much trouble, but they will certainly be very fun. Also, they will provide relief from all the heat. Bear in mind that you should always listen to your guide and follow the provided instructions.

There will also be several pools and waterfalls along the Lost City hike in Colombia, and most companies will take you on an afternoon dip. This means you should pack your bikini or swim trunks to fully experience everything this route has to offer.

Accommodation on the Hike


There are plenty of campsites along the trail, and most of them are similar. They include one or two open areas with bunk beds for up to 40 people, a large eating area, and a few showers and toilets. Everything is pretty plain, but it certainly does the job.

But, since there are so many people in one camp, it can feel a bit overcrowded and unorganized. Such conditions mean you should always respect other people’s space. Also, getting a pair of earplugs will come in handy during the nights.

Each camp has a rule of showering before bed, and it is best to keep your stuff in one place because you will get going very early the following morning. Moreover, keep your valuables by your side all the time since there are no special lockers to keep them in.

Most companies will provide you with a blanket every night, and there should be clean sheets as well as a pillow on the bed. However, you should always consult with your tour organizer so you avoid any inconvenience.

Food and Water

Meal portions on this trek are excellent. You will get enough calories, carbs, and protein through food so you can finish the trek. The cooks will provide you with delicious meals shortly after you arrive at the campsite. You will also get sufficient amounts of fresh fruit, as well as desserts.

You won’t have to worry about water on the Lost City Trek Colombia. Your tour company will provide you with enough water which has been purified. It is completely safe to drink – just fill up your bottle and use it as much as you need it.

Equipment Checklist

  • A well-fitted backpack
  • A reusable water bottle
  • Hiking poles
  • Hiking clothes (short and long sleeve shirts, underwear, socks, shorts)
  • Hiking boots
  • Hiking sandals
  • Rain jacket
  • Toiletries
  • Camera
  • Sleeping bag and sleeping pad (if not provided by your company)


The situation in Columbia has majorly improved over the past years. In addition to the beautiful landscape, this wonderful country will keep you safe. However, you may see people with guns along the way. This may surprise you, but you should know that the army is present to show that the route is safe rather than unsafe. This trek has been open since 2005 and has been gaining a lot of popularity since then.

Globo Surf Overview

The Lost City Trek can be your next big adventure. It has a lot to offer, from exotic animals to indigenous culture and amazingly beautiful nature. But, this hike through the jungle is not for everyone since it can get very humid and hot.

If you are physically prepared for such a journey, you will leave with some of the most amazing memories. It is important to know that this 4-day hike can only be done with the help of a tour company, so choose the most appropriate option and start hiking along this gorgeous trail.

More Backpacking/Hiking Reviews:


  1. Experiencing Lost City Trek, theculturetrip.com
Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!