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HomeTours to Central and South AmericaColombiaColombia with Lost City Trek
14 days:

Colombia with Lost City Trek

Highlights of this tour:

City tour in Colombia’s capital Bogotá, the Gold Museum and the view from Mount Monserrate, trekking in the jungle of the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the Lost City, ending up in the beautiful, historic Cartagena.

This package holiday includes the following:

  • Flights from the UK to Bogotá and return from Cartagena
  • 1 domestic flight from Bogotá – Santa Marta
  • Transfers to and from airports (in small international groups)
  • 9 nights at good hotels, including breakfast
  • 3 nights in primitive jungle camps on the Lost City trek, including transport to and from Santa Marta, local English-speaking guide, meals and guided tour at the Lost City
  • Individual tour; however, all excursions are in small, international groups with local, English-speaking guides
  • 24-hour manned emergency telephone throughout the tour
  • ATOL certificate included
  • Departure guarantee – the tour goes ahead regardless of the number of participants
  • You have the option of extending the tour with a beach holiday on Colombia’s Caribbean coast

The following excursion packages are included:

  • Guided tour of Bogotá, including a visit to the Gold Museum and a trip to Mount Monserrate
  • Street food tour in Cartagena
Single supplement (when two or more travelers) £475
Single supplement (when single traveler) £545
Choose this tour because...

Hidden away in Colombia is one of the most exciting pre-Columbian ruins in Latin America, Ciudad Perdida, perhaps better known as the Lost City. On a challenging trek through the jungle of the Sierra Nevada mountains, you will see this magnificent ruin complex with your own eyes.

Your exciting tour of Colombia also takes you to the vibrant capital, Bogotá, which you can experience on foot and from the top of Mount Monserrate.

The tour ends in the fairy-tale city of Cartagena, which, with its beautiful colonial buildings and unique atmosphere, is a great place to round off your holiday.

You have the option of extending the tour with a beach holiday on the Caribbean coast.

Detailed Itinerary
Day 1: Departure from the UK and arrival in Bogotá
Day 1: Departure from the UK and arrival in Bogotá

Upon your arrival at El Dorado Airport in Bogotá, our local partner will be waiting for you. The drive to your hotel, which is located in the old town, La Candelaria, takes around 30–45 minutes, depending on the traffic.

You will be given some practical information about Colombia in general and about your own tour. Feel free to ask as many questions as you like. The guide is there to give you a good start to your holiday.

You have the evening to yourself to relax or to explore the cosy old town. Bear in mind that Bogotá is located at an altitude of 2,600 metres, so take things easy to allow your body to acclimatise.

Overnight stay Hotel BH Bicentenario

Day 2: Guided tour of Bogotá
Day 2: Guided tour of Bogotá

You have the morning to yourself in Bogotá. On Sundays and public holidays, almost 200 km of main road are closed to cars in Bogotá’s city centre, making way for cyclists, skaters and other fitness enthusiasts, and it’s a great way to see a little more of the city. You can choose to purchase an optional bike ride and take part in this event known as Ciclovia, which translated from Spanish means cycle path.

In the afternoon, a guide will show you the city’s major sights. A visit to the Gold Museum, Plaza Bolívar and the Botero Museum gives you an exciting insight into the history of Colombia.

Look forward to one of the highlights of the tour, which is the view of the city from the top of Mount Monserrate, which stands 3,152 metres high. The city tour takes place on foot, but fear not, a cable car takes you to the top of Mount Monserrate!

Please note: Mount Monserrate is a destination popular with the locals – especially on Sundays. So you should reckon on it taking longer to get up and down the mountain.

The following excursion can be purchased from home:

Overnight stay Hotel BH Bicentenario

Day 3: Bogotá on your own
Day 3: Bogotá on your own

Today, nothing specific is planned for you. You can explore the city on your own or purchase an extra excursion from home.

Bogotá has much to offer. Head off on adventure in the small streets of La Candelaria and visit the Paloquemao market, one of Bogotá’s oldest markets, selling flowers, exotic fruit, vegetables and much more besides.

You could also take a taxi to the modern part of Bogotá where you will find department stores and lots of shops and restaurants. There are countless possibilities!

The following excursion can be purchased from home:

Overnight stay Hotel BH Bicentenario

Day 4: Flight from Bogotá to Santa Marta
Day 4: Flight from Bogotá to Santa Marta

Today, the tour heads for Santa Marta, which enjoys a scenic location on the Caribbean coast at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. You will be picked up from your hotel and driven to the airport. The flight takes about 1.5 hours.

Santa Marta is one of the oldest Spanish cities in South America. It was founded in 1525. Santa Marta is where Simón Bolívar spent his last days in 1830. More recently, football player Carlos Valderrama, better known as El Pibe, has also put Santa Marta on the world map.

Santa Marta has a pleasant centre with beautiful, colourful colonial buildings, and you will find good restaurants and cosy cafes.

The following excursion can be purchased from home:

Overnight stay La Calzada del Santo

Day 5: Santa Marta – Lost City trek
Day 5: Santa Marta – Lost City trek

Today, the tour to the Lost City gets under way, allowing you to unleash the Indiana Jones in you, as this tour is a small expedition on foot through the  dense jungle the Sierra Nevada mountains. Rivers have to be crossed and you will be trekking in high temperatures in high humidity. The trek, which is around 50 km long, and takes 4 days, and you will be staying in primitive camps along the way. Your able guide will lead you and your group to the impressive ruins of Ciudad Perdida, better known as the Lost City. We guarantee it will be challenging, and we also guarantee that it’s worth all the effort – it might even be the best memory you take home with you from Colombia.

The Lost City was built by the Tayrona people in around 800 AD. It is thought to have been abandoned at around the same time that the Spanish colonists arrived in Colombia. What makes the Lost City so special is that it was not found until the 1970s, when it was rediscovered by treasure hunters.

After breakfast, you will be picked up from the hotel and driven by 4WD along bumpy roads to the small town of Mamey, where the trek starts. The drive takes around 2.5 hours. Lunch is served in Mamey before you start your hike through the lush jungle towards the first camp, located at an altitude of 520 metres. There is time to relax before dinner is served.

Distance: Approx. 8 km

Hike duration: around 5 hours

Overnight stay Jungle camp on the Lost City trek

Day 6: Lost City trek
Day 6: Lost City trek

This is the most demanding day of the trek. You will cross the Buritaca River nine times! Lunch is served along the way, and snacks and fresh fruit are also provided to replenish your energy.

Even though it gets hot and sweaty, there’s plenty of time to enjoy the beautiful scenery you are walking through. You pass several local villages on the trek. Remember to respect the people who live here and always ask for their permission before taking pictures.

On your arrival at the camp, you can enjoy a refreshing dip in the river or relax before dinner is served. We almost guarantee you’ll fall asleep early tonight after a hard day in the jungle.

Distance: Approx. 14 km

Hike duration: around 8 hours

Overnight stay Jungle camp on the Lost City trek

Day 7: Lost City Trek
Day 7: Lost City Trek

Today’s trek starts early with an ascent of approx. 660 vertical metres. The last stretch of the way into the Lost city is via a steep staircase with 1,200 steps of all different shapes and sizes. The climb is hard, but when you reach the top, you can give yourself a pat on the back and be enthralled by the impressive sight that greets you. This 35-hectare area is made up of a complex system of buildings, roads and stairways, connected by more than 150 terraces, squares and stone roads, scattered up and down the mountainsides. From the top, you’ll enjoy great views over the dense jungle and the impressive ruins complex.
Your guide will give you an exciting insight into the Lost City’s history, and you also have time on your own to explore this magical place in the heart of Sierra Nevada’s jungle.

There is only one way into the Lost City and one way out. After spending around 3–4 hours at the ruins, you return along the same road that you came from and head for the camp where you spend the night in the jungle for the last time. There is nothing quite like lying and listening to the sounds of the jungle when night falls. The jungle animals and insects wake up just as the sun goes down. It’s fascinating to lie and listen, barely able to keep your eyes open after a long day, having enjoyed the experience of a lifetime in presence of history.

Distance: Approx. 15 km

Hike duration: around 9 hours

Overnight stay Jungle camp on the Lost City trek

Day 8: Lost City trek – Santa Marta
Day 8: Lost City trek – Santa Marta

After breakfast, you walk back to the small town of Mamey, where a hearty lunch is served. From here, you will be driven back to your hotel in Santa Marta in a 4WD. You will probably then choose to enjoy a relaxing evening with a long, hot bath, a nice meal, a well-deserved “I did it” beer and then a soft bed to sleep in.

Distance: Approx. 13 km

Hike duration: around 6 hours

Overnight stay La Calzada del Santo

Day 9: Santa Marta on your own
Day 9: Santa Marta on your own

You have the day to yourself in Santa Marta. You can explore the city on your own or purchase a guided tour of the city from home. You can also purchase a tour to the nearby Tayrona National Park, which boasts unique flora and fauna and some of the most beautiful beaches in Colombia.

You can also purchase the following excursions from home:

Overnight stay La Calzada del Santo

Day 10: Santa Marta – Cartagena – street food tour
Day 10: Santa Marta – Cartagena – street food tour

After breakfast, it is time to bid Santa Marta farewell. A minibus will pick you up from the hotel and drive you to your hotel in Cartagena. There will be stops at several hotels on the way. The drive to Cartagena takes around 5 hours.

You will stay in Cartagena’s charming old historic district, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Behind the thick city walls, you will find beautiful colourful colonial houses, smiling ladies selling fruit and a mass of travellers on foot or in horse-drawn carriages exploring the cosy narrow streets.

In the afternoon, you will go on a 2-hour street food tour in Cartagena, when your guide will introduce you to the array of delicious specialities served in the city’s streets and alleyways. These are specialities that visitors often avoid for the simple reason that they don’t know what they are. Look forward to experiencing and enjoying a taste of Cartagena just like the locals do.

Overnight stay Hotel Don Pedro de Heredia

Day 11: Cartagena on your own
Day 11: Cartagena on your own

You have the day on your own to explore Cartagena, a veritable melting pot of cultures from Colombia’s indigenous population as well as the Spanish and the Africans.

With an average temperature of 30 degrees all year round, you may find yourself making a beeline for a shady spot on a bench in Bolívar Park, overlooking the beautiful Santa Catalina Cathedral. Or perhaps you would like to go shopping at some of the many exclusive shops with air conditioning.

You also have the opportunity to visit the small, UNESCO-listed town of Palenque de San Basilio, the first free town founded by the African slaves that managed to escape from the Spanish colonial power.

In the afternoon, you can go on a guided tour and see the impressive fort of Castillo San Felipe de Barajas.

Enjoy dinner at one of the many restaurants on the city’s large squares or on the roof terraces overlooking the city roofs.

You can also purchase the following excursions from home:

Overnight stay Hotel Don Pedro de Heredia

Day 12: Cartagena on your own
Day 12: Cartagena on your own

You have the day to yourself in Cartagena. If you’ve not yet had your fill of beautiful colonial buildings, we highly recommend a walk in the Getsemani district. 15–20 years ago, this area of Cartagena was not somewhere you went. This was where the poor people lived, and the area attracted both whores and pickpockets. Today, Getsemani has become the hip district with small shops where local artists sell their art, trendy cafés and coffee shops. Visit Plaza Trinidad and enjoy the unique atmosphere here in the afternoon, when it buzzes with life.

You can also purchase the following excursions from home.

Overnight stay Hotel Don Pedro de Heredia

Day 13: Departure from Cartagena
Day 13: Departure from Cartagena

The time has come to say goodbye to Colombia, so enjoy your last morning in Cartagena.
You will be picked up from your hotel and driven to the airport. The time of this depends on when your overseas flight leaves.  The drive to the airport takes around 30 minutes.

Day 14: Arrival in the UK
Day 14: Arrival in the UK

You land in the UK after an eventful tour of Colombia.

Combination options after your tour
Beach Holiday Extension on the island of Mucura, 3 nights
Beach Holiday Extension on the island of Mucura, 3 nights

Price:
Per person in double room: + £760
Per child u/12 years: + £440
Single room supplement: + £660

Off the Caribbean coast lies the idyllic little coral island of Mucura. The island is part of the San Bernardo archipelago, which became part of the Rosario Islands National Park in 1996 to protect the unique marine life and coral reefs in the area. The name of the national park was changed to Rosario and San Bernardo National Park and it covers an area of around 1,200 km2.

It takes around 2 hours to sail out to the island from Cartagena, and you will be warmly welcomed by the staff at the cosy little hotel, Punta Faro.

Punta Faro is quite unlike other hotels. There are no keys to the rooms and there is no music or entertainment, just the sound of the waves and the breeze.

This hotel is for those wishing to relax and enjoy the scenic surroundings above and under the water.

It is possible to purchase extra nights at the hotel if you wish to enjoy more days of relaxation.

Please note: The prices do not apply in the period from 26 December – 15 January, or during Easter. Inquire with us regarding the price if you are travelling in this period.

Overnight stay Punta Faro

Beach Holiday Extension at Barú, 2 nights
Beach Holiday Extension at Barú, 2 nights

Price:
Per person in double room: + £450
Per child u/12 years: + £220
Single room supplement: + £360

After travelling around Colombia and all the exciting things you have seen and done, we recommend rounding off the tour with a relaxing beach holiday. The beaches outside Cartagena are not particularly good, but a mere 1.5-hour drive south of Cartagena on the Barú peninsula, you will find fabulous Caribbean beaches where you can relax and take a dip in the warm turquoise waters.

Decameron is a fabulous all-inclusive resort offering lots of activities for children and adults alike. The resort is set on its own with a private beach and is surrounded by unspoilt nature.

It is possible to purchase extra nights at the resort if you wish to enjoy more days of relaxation.

Please note: The prices do not apply in the period from 26 December – 12 January, or during Easter. Inquire with us regarding the price if you are travelling in this period.

Overnight stay Decameron Barú

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