Walking in Colombia
Colombia doesn’t readily spring to mind as a trekking destination but for those looking for routes truly off the beaten track, it’s an excellent choice. One of the most exciting trekking options is the trek through the jungle-clad mountains to Ciudad Perdida (the Lost City) – considered by many to be on a par with Peru’s Machu Picchu (but without the crowds). The ruins are located in the jungle-clad mountains of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. The only way to reach them is either by helicopter or several days’ trekking.
Built around 800AD, Ciudad Perdida was the main settlement of the Tayrona tribe; it was home to several thousand people. When the Spanish explorers arrived in the 16th century, they brought diseases to which the Tayrona had no immunity and no medicine to cure. A large proportion of the population died and the survivors abandoned their home, leaving it to be covered by rampant jungle vegetation. The city lay hidden for centuries and was only rediscovered in 1975. After a period of plundering of gold and other treasures from the city, the Colombian government took control of the site to ensure its preservation for the future. Today, only a handful of certified operators are allowed to guide clients to the site.