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A dirt path and traditional Kogi huts in Colombia

Inside Colombia's Incredible Lost City

By Gap 360

Last updated: 13th July 2017

Move over Machu Picchu. There’s a new ancient settlement in town!

Colombia is home to Ciudad Perdida, a stunning lost city that has only recently become a feature on travel bucket lists. Here’s everything you need to know about this incredible slice of the past:

Older than Machu Picchu

Ciudad Perdida predates Peru’s Incan settlement. It was built in around 800 AD – that’s 650 years before Machu Picchu!

Tayrona people

The city was built by the Tayrona People, a tribe that dominated northern Colombia between 200 and 1600 AD. Between 2000 and 8000 people are thought to have lived in the settlement.

Recently rediscovered

The city was lost amongst thick forest and foliage in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains for hundreds of years. It was discovered in the 1970s by treasure hunters, known as huaqueros, who stole anything that they could find. The site is now guarded by super-friendly soldiers!

The tip of the iceberg

Even now, it is thought that only 10% of the site has been uncovered. The rest is still buried in the forest.

Accessible by a 5-day hike.

The Lost City is only accessible by a 5-day hike through forests, rivers and mountains. This hike culminates in climbing the 1200 stone steps that lead to the site itself. This wonder gives a new meaning to the phrase ‘off the beaten track’!

Simply stunning

Ciudad Perdida is breath taking. Catch it at sunrise to see it at its best. The experience of watching the sun climb above the mountains and illuminate this enchanting settlement will stay with you forever.


Interested? Discover Ciudad Perdida for yourself on our fantastic Colombia Lost City Trek and get prepared with everything Matt wishes he’d known before embarking on the trek himself!

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