Ciudad Perdida Travel Guide

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Ciudad Perdida Overview

Ciudad Perdida or Lost City is an archaeological site in Colombian Sierra Nevada that was discovered in 1972 by the treasure hunters. Although local tribes used to visit this sacred site regularly they kept it as a secret to protect the artifacts. It was founded by the Tyrona tribe almost 650 years before Machu Picchu who abandoned the site after Spanish conquest. The city was believed to be the central part the ancient civilization around that area and had 169 terraces built in the mountain along the river Buritaca. There are at least 26 smaller ruins found around Lost City that are still hidden and buried deep in the forest.

The area was frequented by the looters and kidnappers in early 2000 but around 2005 the Colombian army took over this area making it safe for the tourists. However, a trip to the Lost City is only permitted with a guide. There is a handful of tour companies that offers Lost City treks which is about 45 km round trip from the nearest town Machete (El Mamey). The treks can be done in 4, 5 or 6 days depending on one’s stamina. The route is moderately difficult with the continuous ascents and descents in the hot and humid weather. Occasional rain in the afternoon makes the trail very slippery so it is advised to start early and reach the camp while it’s still dry.