This was a last minute decision. I had never heard of the Lost City, or la Ciudad Perdida, but after waiting in Cartagena for 4 days while my laptop was supposed to be getting fixed (it didn’t), and as the surf forecast showed no swell, I felt that my Colombian experience had to get more exciting.
This 5-day trek was only the second one I did on this trip, after Mount Rinjany in Indonesia back in May, and it was a highlight. La Ciudad Perdida, in the jungle of the Sierra Nevada, is a site that was inhabited by the Tayrona civilization as early as 650 AD.
I often wondered since I started traveling if I would ever come across Indigenous people living without any obvious influence from the outside world. After trekking to la Cuidad Perdida, I am pretty sure that I did. From their traditional clothing to the huts they live in, the food they eat and their spiritual beliefs and rituals, everything I was able to observe seemed to be as it would have been hundreds of years ago. Crossing them on the narrow path through the jungle seemed surreal.
What contributed to this experience being so fantastic was also the group of people I did it with. It had the perfect mix of characters, of all ages and origins, with everyone having a constant smile on their face, being so aware that we were pretty lucky to be there.
I think I met some of the happiest travellers of my trip there. A 63 year old farmer from Switzerland who was traveling overseas for the first time in maybe 40 years, with his two daughters. Watching him jumping in every river we crossed, with a Tarzan-like scream, hearing him whistle every morning as we all packed our bags, or saying frequently “If paradise really exists, it must look like this”, was just awesome.
Finally, the guides did all they could to make us have the time of our lives, not in a “These are my clients, I better do a good job” way, but rather in a way that seemed like we were their friends and they wanted to show us a good time.
It was just perfect.