To discover the mysteries of the Mother Mountain Range, also know as » Cuidad Perdido » – The Lost City – and even as Teyuna, you have to penetrate one of the highest massif littorals in the world. There you will find the charm of a millennium culture hidden as an emerald in the forest.
Pre-Hispanic architectures appear, imposing and solitary, fascinating, and intriguing.
The trail leading up to the Lost City, though challenging in a few mountain sections, offers spectacular landscapes to visitors in which, like splashes of color against the bright, nearly fluorescent green of the forest.
You will see the rural and indigenous populations that inhabit the Sierra. Early in the morning and once at the park, the slowly withdrawing mist reveals the ancient remains left by the Tairona on the rugged slopes of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. To discover the mysteries of this intricate network of roads, petroglyphs, canals bridges, and engineering works, which has hidden under a dense tropical forest for more than 500 years. The Lost City is a must who enjoys nature and contact with the history of indigenous ancestors.
“ If there is any territory in these lands…. it seems to be this one… is all crowded with high peaks and streams of very sweet golden waters…’
The Lost City trek and Pre-Hispanic architecture
In the view of the archaeological importance of Cuidad Perdido, the Buritaca 200 Archaeological project was set up in 1976. The project used interdisciplinary approaches involving archaeology, architecture, engineering, paleo-botany, and soil studies and is now cared by the Instituto Colombiano de Antropologia e Historia ICANH to protect and investigate the cultural heritage of the beautiful Sierra.
Archeologists estimate that the city was about ten times larger than Machu Pichu.
In Teyuna park
Teyuna, the Lost City, is an example of society’s fascination with the past, and historical silences in a territory inhabited for thousands of years before the arrival of the first Europeans to this paradise. The park is located to the north side of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, in the upper section of the Buritaca river, between 900 and 1200 meters above sea level and is dated back to 650 after Christ.
The archaeological structures that remain as vestiges of the town extend over 30 hectares located on the crest and slopes of a narrow hill that rises on the south side of the river. The Lost City is surrounded by tropical rainforest with large trees, waterfalls, and beautiful palms that range between 30 and 40 meters high. Before 1580 much of the hillsides were covered by fields of maize, cassava, and beans grown for food.
This part of the Sierra Nevada with high-density forest an not much human presence has a wide variety of wildlife the can be seen in the park, and there are more than 600 species of birds in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.
The Lost City – Butterfly’s in Tayuna, watch this magical video.
What to bring with you trekking to the Lost City
– Functional good walking boots, make sure to bring appropriate gear for trekking,
– mosquito repellent,
– ( a sleeping bag – not needed in the four-day tour, With Wiwa Tours )
– Good rucksack,
– Appropriate clothing for hiking and nights,
– Water bottles.
– a torch,
– extra battery for lamp or camera,
– toilet roll, alcohol disinfectant,
– small tweezer, a straw, small scissors, small sharp knife, if you – stepped in something,
– hand sanitizer/ soap,
– snacks ( sugar and salt )
– book, if you still have energy and light to read,
– Warm jacket, it can get cold in the night, especially in the last Camp,
– slippers, sandals for taking rivers or talking shower,
– shorts, extra socks, remember: once wet stays mostly wet, put your clothing/gear in waterproof bags and then in a rucksack, in this video you can see how it can rain
– Towel, stay dry is vital. Try to keep your body warm and dry when resting,
– long pants, long sleeve shirt, Climalite, Helly Hansen, Berghaus,
– Bring your water purification pills and medication when needed,
– Earplugs, some people snore,
– And do not wear military clothing, because for non-military personnel having in their possession official Colombian military uniforms or equipment is illegal.
The Lost City; short waterfall video
In the morning, we went with two range rovers to a small town called El Mamey in the Tayrona park, on the highway between Guachaca and Buritaca. After lunch, we went as a group hiking to the first Camp in the town that was called Machete Paleo. It is here where the ecological excursion adventures start. At this Camp, we stayed for the night, took a shower, and the kitchen group made us a good meal. It was an early night in bed at 20:00 pm, and it was essential to be good hydrated because the next morning, it will be an early and a long walk to the next Camp. You can do the four days hike and the five days hike. I choose the four days hike, so this one is a bit more intensive; however, it was exciting to do.
We woke up at 4;45 am, and we got ready for breakfast. The sunrise this morning was fantastic; the bright colors you see changing every minute, the green looks nearly like fluorescent. De sound of the animals is intriguing to hear; these are the mind-full moments that you realize that the nature in Colombia is beautiful.
“In any activity we undertake, such as felling a tree, hunting an animal, planting, gathering in a harvest or building a house or a bridge, we have to perform pagamento rituals to ask the spiritual owners permission. If we fail to do this, the consequences are very serious: sickness, conflicts, droughts, floods, landslides, or fires.
Our sacred sites cannot disappear. They cannot be violated. Without them, there is no foundation. There are no laws of rules to guide us.»
Amado Villafaña, wíntukua. Source : Museum de Oro, Santa Marta
Waking up in the morning, I experienced that the clothing was still wet, it stays wet, because of the high humidity in the jungle. After our breakfast, we hiked to the next Camp named Paseo Lorenzo. When we arrived there after a long walk in the beautiful mountains, the kitchen group made us popcorn with salt, before having our evening meal. It was this point that I realized that they thought about how to make the nutrition for the group, while dinner was being made they gave us this because the salt was vital after a warm, humid day in the jungle. You need salt and sugar to keep hydrated; if you do not take enough salt and sugar, you will sweat the water out with no effect on your body. The kitchen group was good; they have my compliments. They always run forward in the mountains ahead of the group to make the next meal for the group. Later in the night, we slept in a hammock at camp Paseo Lorenzo. It was finding and turning my way in the hammock, but after a long day hiking in the mountains, I was gone to sleep before I knew it.
Visiting The Lost City, Cuidad Perdido in Teyuna
The next early morning we left the Camp, and we crossed the river, after an hour we came in contact with another Camp close by at the location where we had to cross the river again and go uphill, with many, many steps, after climbing al these steps we arrived at Cuidad Perdido – The Lost City in Teyuna.
It is an excellent experience to come and visit this spiritual and fascinating area. We did a ritual in a group holding hands and to show our respect to this holy ground. The Kogui in our group explained the importance of this. Currently, four different indigenous communities inhabit the Sierra Nevada, Kogui, Wiwa, Arhuaco, and Kankuamo.
I find the architecture amazing and exciting that what was structured so many years ago. First I thought, ok this is it, this is the location, but then we went higher up the hill, and we saw and other path leading higher with many stone steps. I saw that these stones contained enormous amounts of minerals, the sand was colored with shiny particles of a metal sort, the same what I saw later at the beaches of Playa Cinto shining in the sun when we were snorkeling.
Later on, we went higher and saw these foundations and plateaus of architecture, and more in-depth on, local indigenous people were living there. It is fascinating to meet and see other cultures. After we had our lunch and we went back to camp Paseo Lorenzo and then forward to the Camp WiWa passing the Cuidad Peridido route along the way what is being called the Fruit house with a wifi point. At every stopping point, you can buy water or something to eat. The trail is exciting, and it is good to help the local community to buy things along the way. It was on the way back the muscle pain in the legs was start kicking in, and I had some blisters coming up, but the view was magnificent, my mind and body were enjoying the beautiful surrounding of this jungle, and I was even enjoying the rain what was coming down. After this, we had a good dinner and then a good night’s rest in a bed at camp Wiwa.
Waking up the 4th day I was feeling good, I felt my legs that they did some walking and we started walking back again at 5:30 am to reach the village where we would have lunch and transport back to Santa Marta. But before that, it was a long and warm way walking back, climbing two times a mountain and then after a certain point we reached Camp Machette again, from there it is downhill, going downhill is more accessible, but leaving the higher elevations is also getting much warmer to walk, and you feel the climate changing coming running down.
Coming back to El Mamey, the group was happy we had dinner, and we took a shower before entering the jeep back to Santa Marta. The jungle hike was one of the most beautiful ecological experience that I had. I hope you had a pleasure reading this blog, and if you need information, feel free to send me an email.
Wiwa tours do the tours, and I can recommend you them for doing the visit of Cuidad Perdido – The Lost City Tours and visiting Teyuna Park
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