From Bogota, it's about 4 hours in a cramped van to Santa Marta, another coastal Colombian city. Santa Marta isn't nearly as pretty as Cartagena, but it is still well traveled by tourists as a popular launching point for bigger and better things. In my case, it would be a four day trek to the remote jungle ruins of the Lost City, something akin to the Colombian equivalent of Machu Picchu. Here are some pics from Santa Marta. Shout out to the sweet old lady who rents out a room in her amazing apartment, which takes up the entire top floor of the building and has a terrace that surrounds it on all sides. Oh, and that private room only costs $10/night. Thanks again Ines!
The lost city trek is a four day trek through the humid mountain jungles outside of Santa Marta. My group included several couples from Europe, and a couple of older guys from Medellin.
Pre-trek prep with our guides.
More cramped vans to the starting point.
A proud Colombian.
The area used to be covered in cocaine/poppy plantations. The camps we used throughout the trek were actually former jungle drug labs.
The area today is inhabited by the Wiwa and Kogui tribes, who, despite the tourist traffic, still live traditional lives as they have for hundreds of years.
This is the start of the laborious, 1200-step climb to the Lost City.
A view of the Lost City. It was built some time around the year 800 by the Tairona people. It likely served as a political and manufacturing hub for the area, up until the Spanish arrived in the 1500s, at which point the city was abandoned.
All in all I enjoyed my first ever multi-day hike. It was moderately difficult in of itself, it was hot and humid throughout, and I was covered in bug bites by the end of it, but it was worth it for the experience.