The adventure travel experts at Wanderlust Magazine have been busy picking their top 50 best new trips for 2014. We are delighted that Explore’s Trek to the Lost City tour to Colombia has made it on to this exciting list of holiday options. Flick through the February 2014 issue of the magazine to see full details.
So what’s new?
Our new trekking trip in Colombia is a real adventure – something that’s getting harder and harder to find on our small blue planet. Wading through rivers, crossing handing bridges, trekking along little-used paths through the jungle and spending the night in basic shelters with a simple hammock or bunk bed to sleep in, the goal is to reach Ciudad Perdida – an ancient ‘lost city’ built by the Tayrona people in the 11th-14th centuries.
Often compared to Peru’s Machu Picchu, Ciudad Perdida was once home a large population. 16th century Spanish explorers brought diseases with them to which the Tayrona people had no immunity and no medicine to cure. Many died; those that didn’t abandoned the city, leaving it to the ravages of the jungle vegetation. Knowledge of the site slipped from all memory and it was only re-discovered in 1975 by treasure hunters looking for gold.
Unlike Machu Picchu, the only way to reach Ciudad Perdida is on foot (unless you have a helicopter of course), so the site receives only a handful of visitors each year. The challenge of walking through jungle-clad mountainous (sometimes muddy) terrain is a lure for trekkers who want to get truly off the beaten track. Five days of trekking will take you there and back again. On the fourth day of the trek, an early start takes you to a set of 1,200 steep steps. Climbing to the top, the site is finally revealed in all its glory. Around 80 circular raised platforms perch on a rocky pinnacle. Each platform marks the spot where a wooden Tayrona home once stood. Mountains and jungle stretch as far as the eye can see in all directions. Parts of the site are still quite over-grown, adding to the air of isolation and mystery.
For full details of this exciting trek, go to the walking-in-colombia tour page.