TREKKING TO TEYUNA OF THE TAYRONA INDIGENOUS
In the mountains of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1979, on the edge of the Caribbean Sea, on the north coast of Colombia and 1,200 meters above the upper basin of the Buritaca River, hides the ruins of an ancient indigenous city called Teyuna or also known as «Lost City». Teyuna was an important settlement of the Tayrona indigenous peoples, the dominant ethnic group in this area of the Colombian Caribbean when the Spanish conquerors arrived in the 16th century. It was built in the 9th century and housed more than 3,000 people. The Spanish never conquered this city, but wars and diseases ended the Tayrona, who gradually died out until the city was finally abandoned in the 17th century, fell into oblivion, and the tropical forest appropriated it. For 400 years,
This “Lost City” trek is considered the most beautiful in all of South America and one of the most spectacular in the world. It is an authentic adventure, crossing rivers, climbing mountains, crossing the thick tropical rain forest, passing through some villages of the Koguis and Wiwas indigenous people, who continue to live in a traditional way, until arriving at one of the best preserved pre- Columbian cities of all American continent.
In this 5-day trek we will cover about 50 km (round trip) and at a height between 900 and 1200 m above sea level. Every day we will walk between 4 and 8 hours on a path that will not always be in good condition, and through truly impressive landscapes with an invaluable biological wealth. Also during this tour, we will have the opportunity to get up close to the customs of the locals by having direct contact with these communities who are currently the heirs of the Tayronas indigenous people. During the trek we will sleep in camps, in the middle of the jungle. At the end of the tour we will have the opportunity to rest on the beautiful beaches of the Caribbean and bathe in the crystal clear waters of the Tayrona National Park or take another wonderful trek to the ancient pre-Columbian city of Chairama. The final culmination will be the visit to one of the most beautiful colonial cities in the entire American continent: Cartagena de Indias. Without a doubt this trip is an adventure, a challenge and a gift in itself. Will you give?
DAY 1: DEPARTURE FROM THE BARCELONA FLIGHT / MADRID TO BOGOTÁ
Arrival at the El Dorado airport in Bogotá, reception and transfer by minibus to the Hotel Casa Deco or a similar category, located in the Historic Center of Candelaria.
Hotel accommodation, Bogotá.
DAY 2: BOGOTÁ – CITY TOUR – SANTA MARTA (B)
After breakfast we will visit Bogotá, the capital and the largest city in Colombia (8 million inhabitants). It is a point of convergence for people from all over the country, it is diverse and multicultural and combines modern buildings with others that evoke its colonial past. We will visit the historic center, La Candelaria neighborhood, Chorro de Quevedo, Casa de los Comuneros, Bolívar square, Seventh Avenue and the wonderful Gold Museum. After lunch we will go to El Dorado airport to take a flight to the city from Santa Marta (the flight duration is 1 hour and 30 minutes). Arrival at Simón Bolívar airport and transfer to Boutique Casa Mia hotel or Hilton Garden Inn or similar category hotel.
Accommodation at Hotel Santa María.
DAY 3: SANTA MARTA – EL MAMEY – TREKKING TO TEYUNA (“Ciudad Perdida” – CAMP 1 (B / L / D)
Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
After breakfast, departure from Santa Marta to the Mamey region in a 4×4 jeep (3 hours approx.). After lunch in El Mamey we will start the trekking, from Machete Pelao to the first refuge of «Adán» or «Alfredo». During the tour we will find a natural pool that will provide us with the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and in which we will take a refreshing swim, which will make it more pleasant to continue the walk. The zig zag climb is constant and reaches a height of 640 meters from where you can see a panoramic view of the Caribbean coast and the mountains that surround El Mamey. From the top we descend to the bottom of the valley where camp 1 is located. Fruits and snacks during the tour. The accommodation is very basic and rustic, in hammocks or bunks (subject to availability) and local dinner. Positive drop: 500 meters. Hours: 4-5 hours.
DAY 4: CAMP 1 – MUTANZHI TOWN – MUMAKE – EL PARAÍSO – CAMP 3 (B / L / D)
Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Today awaits us a long and hard day. After breakfast, we will continue the trek from the “Adán” or “Alfredo” refuge to the “El Paraíso” or “Romualdo” refuge. During this tour we enter a true “mountain jungle” and we will ascend to moderate slope (680 meters) and then we will descend to the Buritaca river valley, one of the main river courses in the massif, which flows into the Caribbean. We will pass through the traditional village of the Kogui natives called Mutanzhi.
After learning a little about the local lifestyle and traditions, we will continue our trek. Along the way, we will continue to meet other traditional indigenous Koguis and Wiwas families who live in the middle of the jungle. We will cross the Buritaca river by a suspension bridge and we will also enjoy its refreshing waters. Then we will start a steep climb (1 hour) until we reach a height from where we will get excellent views of the surrounding landscape. From the top we will ascend through a spectacular forest until we return to the bank of the Buritaca river and cross it again. We will continue upstream until we reach the refuge where we will spend the night. Fruits and snacks during the tour. The accommodation is very basic and rustic, in hammocks or bunks (subject to availability) and local dinner. Positive drop: 700 meters. Hours: 6-7 hours. Distance 15 kms.
DAY 5: CAMP 3 – TEYUNA – EL PARAÍSO – MUMAKE – CAMP 2 (B / L / D)
Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
After having a very early breakfast (around 5 in the morning) we will continue our walk. We will start the day with a flanking on a rock passage that requires caution (slippery), followed by a step that forces us to cross the Buritaca river with the water at knee level. We immediately face a short but steep climb, always through an increasingly overwhelming and remote forest area. Along the way we find some indigenous communities again, and when we reach a beautiful meadow we will begin a progressive descent to find the Buritaca river, which we will constantly cross (about 6 times), for which it is recommended to use a Fixed footwear that can get wet and is suitable for walking on the rocky surface. The point of ascent to the Lost City appears almost hidden. We will climb a narrow staircase of 1,200 stone steps, most of them slippery, which starts from one of the banks of the Buritaca river and is lost up the mountain through a tunnel of vegetation. The excitement, and also the fatigue due to the explosive rise, increase even more after 30 minutes, when finding the first terraces that make up the mythical setting of Ciudad Perdida. From this moment on, we will travel back in time and go back more than 1,000 years in history to visit one of the most important archaeological complexes on the American continent, with an architecture based on elaborate terraces, with an enigmatic layout and with a design without the same, never before seen in any ancient city of Pre-Columbian America. Although the archaeological work in “Ciudad Perdida” has been very intense for more than 30 years, it is estimated that only 10% of the site has been excavated and studied. During all that time, archaeologists have brought to light more than 200 structures including houses of various sizes, paved roads and stairways, terraces, squares, ceremonial precincts, canals, and warehouses. Between the 12th and 15th centuries, the Tayronas built extensive networks of stone paths that connected them to irrigation channels, cultivation terraces and water canalization systems. Tayrona society was highly hierarchical, with specialized political and religious leaders, potters, goldsmiths, and stone sculptors, and even had warrior elite.
After spending the morning enjoying this archaeological site and its surroundings, we will return to camp 3 for lunch and continue the same way back until we reach camp 2, located at the foot of the “Mumake” pass. In short, it will be a demanding day when combining a wild route and a long distance, although the advantage is that we already know the itinerary and can dose the forces. Fruits and snacks during the tour. The accommodation is very basic and rustic, in hammocks or bunks (subject to availability) and local dinner. Positive drop: 800 meters. Hours: 7-8 hours. Distance 16 kms.
DAY 6: CAMP 2 – ADÁN – CAMP 1 (B / L / D)
Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
After an early breakfast and first thing in the morning, we will take the way back to camp 1. We will ascend again to the edge that marks the division between the Buritaca river valley and the Mamey valley, the natural border that separates the indigenous territory from the peasant colonization zone. We will descend to the camp “Adán” or “Alfredo” (480 m). Fruits and snacks during the tour. The accommodation is very basic and rustic, in hammocks or bunks (subject to availability) and local dinner. Positive drop: 500 meters. Hours: 5 hours. Distance 7 kms.
DAY 7: CAMP 1 – EL MAMEY – TAYRONA NATIONAL PARK (B / L)
Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
After breakfast we will continue the way back to the point where our trekking began. Along the way we will find rivers and waterfalls which will allow us to take a bath to minimize high temperatures. We will finally arrive at Mamey where we will have lunch. Positive difference: 200 meters. Hours: 4 hours. Distance 6 kms. Then the 4×4 jeep will pick us up to take us to the spectacular and wonderful Tayrona National Park.
Accommodation at Tayrona Paradise Hotel or Eco Hotel Casa Barlovento.
DAY 8: TAYRONA NATIONAL PARK (D)
Free day to rest and enjoy the exuberant nature that surrounds us and the Caribbean beaches. Possibility of visiting Tayrona National Park (optional, check price), a wonderful stretch of beach with crystal clear waters on a jungle background. It is a protected area near the highest coastal mountains in the world and that has the most beautiful beaches in the Colombian Caribbean. To reach these coves you have to cross a large coastal jungle, and at all times the itinerary runs through areas that require attention because of the mud, the roots of the trees and some rocky (slippery) passages. For those who are more fit and are not very tired, we propose a wonderful trekking to the pre-Hispanic settlement of Chairama. We will start our walk through the entrance to the Tayrona National Park in El Zaíno. We will enter the jungle until we reach the coast.
From here you face a demanding and spectacular ascent with the reward of discovering a small town from pre-Columbian times, which is called Pueblito or Chairama, which undoubtedly has a direct relationship with the Lost City. From here we will continue our way inland and progressively moving away from the coast and until leaving the park through the town of Calabazo, from here we will return to our hotel with a contracted transport at the agreed time. Positive drop: 700 meters. Hours: 7-8 hours. Distance 20 kms. The other option is to stay at the hotel resting and enjoying its pools and Los Naranjos beach.
Accommodation at Tayrona Paradise Hotel or Eco Hotel Casa Barlovento
DAY 9: TAYRONA NATIONAL PARK – SANTA MARTA – CARTAGENA DE INDIAS (B)
After breakfast we will go to the city of Santa Marta to take a bus to Cartagena, the journey time will be 4 hours and 30 minutes (Optional flight from Simón Bolívar airport – El Dorado Bogotá – Rafael Núñez airport in Cartagena). Arrival at noon to the city of Cartagena and transfer to the hotel. The city of Cartagena has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984 and was founded in 1533 by Pedro de Heredia. It preserves the colonial architecture of its buildings and the most complete set of fortifications in South America. It is a city to visit at night and during the day. Cartagena de Indias is one of the most beautiful and best preserved cities in America. We will visit the historic center, the Clock Tower, the Plaza de los Coches, the Palace of the Inquisition, Plaza de la Aduana, plaza and church Santo Domingo,
Accommodation at the Hotel Puertas de Cartagena or Hotel Casa Real Cartagena.
DAY 10: CARTAGENA DE INDIAS – BOGOTÁ – INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT
After breakfast we will visit the Cerro de la Popa and the Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, the most important fortification erected by the Spanish on the American continent in the 17th century. We will finish our tour of the city visiting the Popa Convent and church. After lunch we will go to the Rafael Núñez airport, to take a flight to the city of Bogotá and to connect later with the International flight.
End of the program.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to the pandemic situation by COVID-19, this trip will be subject to possible restrictions and / or prohibitions on entering the country.
- Teyuna Trekking: 5 days / 4 nights on a private tour (full board and accommodation in community camps, with hammocks and / or bunk beds and shared bathrooms)
- All transfers: airport in Bogotá, Cartagena de Indias, Santa Marta, and from the beginning and end of the trek to the Eco Lodge in Tayrona National Park.
- Bus from Santa Marta to Cartagena de Indias
- Tourist hotel category in: Bogotá (1 night), Santa Marta (1 night), Cartagena de Indias (1 night) and in the Tayrona National Park area (2 nights) with breakfast.
- Guided tours of the historical centers and income to the museums and cultural centers in Bogotá and Cartagena de Indias.
- Professional local tourism guide, collaborator of X-plore
- Local guide during the trekking
- Activities mentioned in the program
- Permits and tickets
- First aid kit
- International and domestic flights
- Colombian visa
- Tips and personal expenses
- Drinks and meals not indicated as “INCLUDED”
- Travel insurance
- Excess luggage
- Clothing / individual equipment, backpacks, clothing, etc. (contact us for advice)
- Anything not specified in the “INCLUDED” section.
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