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Santa Marta - Ciudad Perdida (Lost City)

Unforgettable 5-6 day hike to Tayrona Indian ruins dated to the 8th Century, during which you will experience waterfalls, wildlife and gorgeous views. Prices range from 500.000 to 600.000 COP depending on tour. Tours must be arranged through Turcol or Expotur.

History of Ciudad Perdida

Ciudad Perdida (or The Lost City) is Colombia's most prized archaeological wonder.  It was believed to be constructed nearly 600 years prior to Machu Picchu.  It was widely discovered in 1975, though many of Colombia's indigenous tribes have stated that they visited the site regularly prior to its widespread discovery.  The city once housed a population of nearly 10,000 indigenous people, but was abandoned sometime during the Spanish conquest, possibly as a result of new diseases such as small pox and syphilis, brought over by the Spanish.

In 2003, tours to Ciudad Perdida were halted after the ELN kidnapped 8 tourists visiting the Lost City, in exchange for an investigation into human rights abuses.  The hostages were released within 3 months, but tourism activities did not recommence until 2005.  Since that time it has been a popular destination for those in the physical condition to make the 5-6 day 44km mountainous trek.

In an effort to control the negative impacts of uncontrolled tourism, only 2 tour companies have been granted permission to offer tours to the Lost City.  Their contact information is provided below.


Turcol was the first company permitted to bring tourist expeditions into the Lost City, and maintains their status as the official tour provider.  The offer 2 trek options, the 6 day trek which goes and returns along the same route, and a 7 day, more strenuous circular trek.  Both options include a stay of one night in the Lost City.

Turcol guarantees the best price, while posting their 2009 prices of 500.000 COP and 580.000 COP for the two respective tours.  It is highly probably that prices have climbed since then and that all companies have reached a standard agreement on price.

The tour includes:Turcol Contact Information:
  • Transport
  • Lodging in hammocks with mosquito nets
  • Meals and snacks
  • Expert service of local guides
  • Hazard Insurance
Street 13 Race 2 Edificio Bahía
Santa Marta, Magdalena, Colombia
Tel: (57) 5 421 2256, (57) 5 433 3737


Expotur earned the right to provide tours to Ciudad Perdida through its reputation and unwavering commitment to sustainable tourism practices.  They work closely with the local communities to provide jobs for displaced persons who were most effected by Colombia's Armed Conflict and those who seek an alternative to the cultivation of illegal crops.  Expotur offers 5 and 6 day trek options, both returning along the same route in which you came in.  Both treks require 3 days to get to the last city, but the 5 day trek requires that you retrace your steps in 2 days.  They also have assistants who are available to carry gear if you need a short breather or are struggling to keep up with the group.

The tour includes:Turcol Contact Information:
  • Transport
  • Lodging in hammocks with mosquito nets
  • Meals and snacks
  • Expert service of local guides
  • Assistants for carrying gear
  • Medical Insurance

Calle 18- 2A 07
Taganga, Colombia
Tel: (57) 5 421 9577 (Cel) (57) 311 418 2706
Website Espanol :
Website English:
Facebook: Expotur