Colombia's Lost City to the Caribbean
One of the unique pleasures of travelling is getting to a place before everyone else. When you make the trek to Colombia’s Ciudad Perdida, that pleasure is all yours. Bunk up for the night in hammocks in small local communities before braving the jungles in search of Teyuna, a lost city that predates Machu Picchu. Later, explore the northern coast in Cartagena, visit rural villages near Taganga, and explore Tayrona National Park. It’s the Great Outdoors, with a Caribbean twist.
5-day trek to the Lost City. City tour in Cartagena. Minca excursion (full-day). Tayrona National Park. Hike with indigenous guide (5 hrs). All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Relax to the Caribbean rhythms on the coast, meet the locals and learn about coffee in Minca, indulge in fresh seafood and Colombian specialties, climb 1,200 steps to reach the Lost City of Teyuna, enjoy spectacular jungle scenery, watch hummingbirds in the trees from the comfort of a hammock.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
Group Leader Description
All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders, a G Adventures representative, or an expedition team. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it’s the best of both worlds.
Group Size Notes
Max 16, avg 12
13 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 5 dinners
Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other’s company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. Please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.
Private van, public bus, 4×4, walking
We believe solo travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and solo travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Hotels/guesthouses (10 nts), camping (4 nts).
For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier and contact us as soon as possible. If you have a pre-booked transfer, and you have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:
Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office Quito, Ecuador
During office hours (Weekdays 9am-6pm Local Time)
From outside Ecuador: +593 2250 6610
After hours Emergency number
From outside Ecuador: +593 999 506 000
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
What to Take
Most people automatically assume that the weather is hot in South America, but because of the higher altitude in the Andes, the temperature can feel quite cold, especially at night.
Remember that although near the Equator, the higher altitude on some parts of the trip make for cool evenings and you will need a warm sweater or pullover. It’s best to layer clothes rather than bring a heavy parka so that you can take layers off.
- Passport (with photocopies)
- Travel insurance (with photocopies)
- Airline tickets (with photocopies)
- Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
- G Adventures vouchers and dossier
- Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
- Camera and film,
- Reading/writing material
- Cover for backpacks
- Pocket knife
- Fleece top
- Windproof/waterproof jacket
- Small towel and swim wear
- 4 shirts/t-shirts
- Sun hat
- 1 pair of shorts
- 2 pairs of long trousers
- 1 pair hiking pants/track pants
- Money belt
- Hiking boots/ sturdy walking shoes
- Sport sandals
- Sun block
- Toiletries (biodegradable)
- Watch or alarm clock
- Water bottle
- First-aid kit(should contain lip salve, Aspirin, Band Aids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder, extra prescription drugs you may be taking.)
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
Visas and Entry Requirements
All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. IT’S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO HAVE THE CORRECT TRAVEL DOCUMENTATION.
PLEASE NOTE – Canadian citizens must pay a reciprocity fee of 171,000 Colombian Pesos (about 75 CAD) per person when entering Colombia by air. This fee is valid for a single entry into the country.
It is payable by international credit card or CASH. If made in cash, the payment must be in Colombian pesos. A dedicated counter will be available to Canadian citizens who must pay the reciprocity fee before proceeding to immigration control.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances. Visa cards are the most widely accepted cards. While ATMs are widely available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Latin America. Check with your bank. You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies. Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of US dollar cash, travellers cheques and cards is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.
CURRENCY EXCHANGE TIP: Please be advised that slightly torn notes, notes that have been heavily marked or are faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denominations lower than 100USD (or equivalent).
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an ‘emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
It is customary in Latin America to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is an expected – though not compulsory – component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $5-10 USD per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture.
Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures Chief Experience Officer (CEO) did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $20-25 USD per person, per week can be used.
Please see the itinerary for information on optional activities, descriptions and estimated pricing.
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.
Safety and Security
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it deemed necessary, due to safety concerns. Your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy and explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards), have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk. Read more about travel safety for ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling.
Trip Specific Safety
Please take care when wandering about the main cities on your own, as pickpockets and purse-snatchers are common. Be safe and leave your passport, credit cards, traveller’s cheques and cash you don’t need in the hotel’s safety deposit box. Most Colombianos are honest and genuinely helpful and friendly, but be safe and enjoy the city!
Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that an average level of fitness and mobility is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our leaders work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day’s activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.
Please note that all passengers traveling to Antarctica are required to fill out this questionnaire.
The medical questionnaire can be found online at www.gadventures.com/medical-form.
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your leader, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency evacuation and repatriation. A minimum coverage of USD200,000 is required. G Adventures can provide you with the appropriate coverage. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Some tours include adventure activities that require extra coverage (e.g. crampon use); please review your itinerary and make sure that you are covered for all included activities. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation
The Planeterra Foundation planeterra.org is a Canadian non-profit organization that helps empower local people to develop their communities, conserve their cultures, and create humane and supportive systems for their endeavours. Planeterra provides capacity building and catalyst grants to get community social enterprises off the ground. These businesses address local challenges by providing benefits for indigenous people, empowering marginalized women, and granting disadvantaged youth access to education, employment, and brighter futures. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating programs into G Adventures’ itineraries globally.
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G Adventures’ Dollar-a-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar for every day you are on trip. 100% of these donations go directly to support community development projects worldwide that are implemented by Planeterra.
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You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.
Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides
PRODUCT_LINE: SMSM, ID: 23220
Day 1 Santa Marta
Arrive at any time.
Day 2 Santa Marta/Adán Camp (1B, 1L, 1D)
Transfer to Machete Pelao, where the trek to the Lost City of Teyuna begins. Trek for 4-5 hrs each day through farmland, steamy jungle, and rural Kogi communities. Get a glimpse into the local way of life in the remote river valleys of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Lost City Trek Day 1
Day 3 Adán Camp/ Wiwa Camp (1B, 1L, 1D)
The route starts along the Buritaca River, taking you further into the vivid green jungle past small villages en route to the camp for the evening. After a long day of trekking, enjoy a refreshing dip in one of the natural swimming pools.
Lost City Trek Day 2
Day 4 Wiwa Camp /Teyuna Paraiso Camp (1B, 1L, 1D)
Continue trekking along the route to the Ciudad Perdida. Today is a tough portion of the trek with a lot of steep inclines, make sure to rest and take in the beautiful views.
Lost City Trek Day 3
Day 5 Teyuna Paraiso Camp/ Wiwa Camp (1B, 1L, 1D)
Get started early to climb the 1,200 steps up to the Lost City. The view of the surrounding Sierra Nevada Mountains makes it well worth the hike. Explore the Lost City and learn what is known of its origins from the indigenous guide, before making the descent back to Wiwa Camp for the night.
Lost City Trek Day 4
Day 6 Wiwa Camp /Santa Marta (1B, 1L)
In the morning, take in your last views of the jungle as you trek back to Machete Pelao. Transfer to Santa Marta where the rest of the day is yours to relax.
Lost City Trek Day 5
Day 7 Santa Marta/Cartagena
Drive down the coast to Cartagena and start exploring this charming city.
Day 8 Cartagena (1B)
Enjoy a free day exploring all Cartagena has to offer. Opt to enjoy the beautiful coast or explore the charming colonial city.
Day 9 Cartagena (1B)
Enjoy a city tour, visiting the colonial walled city and fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy free time to take in the Caribbean vibe of the city and beach.
Cartagena City Tour
Day 10 Cartagena/Santa Marta (1B)
Travel by bus to Santa Marta with free time to explore this beautiful coastal city.
Please note hot water is uncommon in the Caribbean region of Colombia. Showers are likely to only have cold water while visiting this area.
Day 11 Santa Marta/Taganga (1B, 1L)
Journey into the hills around Minca and hike to a beautiful waterfall. Take a tour of a coffee farm, learn about chocolate preparation and indulge in a local lunch. Continue to Taganga, a perfect base for exploring nearby Tayrona National Park.
Head downhill in a 4×4 on a jungle road, take in the scenery and hold on tight, it can be a bumpy ride.
Day 12 Taganga (1B)
Spend the day exploring Taganga. Opt for more active options like snorkelling or hiking or hit one of the beaches and relax in a hammock.
Day 13 Taganga/Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona (1B, 1L, 1D)
Head into Tayrona National Park for a moderate hike with a local guide. This is a perfect opportunity to experience nature and learn a little more about the rich, natural diversity of northern Colombia. Stay in a lodge close to the park.
Please note that Tayrona National Park is usually closed during the month of February. The indigenous groups in the area believe that mother nature needs a month of rest, and maintenance to the park is done during this time. If your trip falls in February, you will visit Taironaka Park, to learn more about the local Kogi people and their cultural practices.
Tayrona National Park Excursion
Day 14 Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona/Santa Marta (1B)
Return to Santa Marta for an optional evening out on the town.
Day 15 Santa Marta (1B)
Depart at any time.