Colombia:From glacial lagoons to the keepers of the lost city

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Varied hiking trip between Andes, coastal rainforest and colonial flair.

The all-terrain vehicle rumbles along the gravel road, before us opens up an enchanting panorama of the Sugar Loaf and the Devil’s Pulpit. Behind us a dense cloud of dust. Full of anticipation we reach the starting point of our upcoming hike. We lace up our mountain boots again and hike along the babbling mountain stream and past the impressive Frailejones, the Colombian national flower, into the El Cocuy National Park.

Colombia’s culture and vibrant history in picturesque form

Have you always wanted to take a trip through time? Then you are exactly right here. Stroll through the streets of Villa de Leyva, Barichara and Cartagena, which seem to have fallen out of time. Whitewashed facades, terracotta-colored roof tiles and a horse and cart on the cobblestones: the perfect scenery.

Trekking from El Cocuy National Park to the lost city in the coastal rainforest

Countless adventurers went in search of the legendary Eldorado. You too follow the trail and hike along the mythical Laguna Guatavita. With a detour to the El Cocuy National Park, you follow the call of sharp-edged rock giants, deep blue mountain lakes and dreamlike valleys to the trekking Mecca of the country. The contrast to the barren mountain world is offered by the extraordinary trekking to Ciudad Perdida, which was only discovered in 1975. Join us on a hiking tour in Colombia that will captivate your senses.

Travel Program

Departure for South America with arrival in the evening in the Colombian capital Bogota (2640 m). You will be met and taken to your accommodation. Overnight at hotel.

Hotel Casa Deco

After an invigorating breakfast, go on an extraordinary tour of discovery through Bogota. Discover artistic graffiti and learn more about the city’s street art life by bike and on foot. Of course, the historic buildings should not be missing either. The crowning glory of the day is the magnificent view from the local mountain, Monserrate (3150 m). Overnight stay as the day before.

Hotel Casa Deco

You leave the bustling capital and drive to the picturesque Laguna Guatavita (3000 m), where the legendary Eldorado is said to be located. Can you see the glittering gold at the bottom of the lagoon? After a short hike you continue north to the colonial gem of Villa de Leyva (2150 m). Overnight at hotel. (walking time approx. 2 hours). (journey time approx. 4 hours, 200 km).

Hotel & Spa Gethsemane

You have the opportunity to explore the colonial pearl on your own. Enchanting photo opportunities await you with whitewashed houses and artistic balconies. In the late morning you will then continue your journey in the direction of the Sierra Nevada del Cocuy, where you will arrive in the evening in the small town of El Cocuy (2750 m). Overnight stay in a guest house. (journey time approx. 7.5 hours, 290 km).

After a hearty breakfast, the hiking boots are laced. First, the off-road vehicles take you to the starting point (3800 m) of today’s hike. During the ascent you walk in the paramo grass landscape typical of the Andes. With the Mahoma waiting as a worthwhile destination is a panoramic mountain par excellence with fantastic 360° views. Enjoy the grandiose panorama of the Cocuy massif that opens up to you. Overnight stay as the day before. (walking time approx. 4 hours, 350 m↑↓). (journey time approx. 2 hours, 40 km).

The day starts very early and you first drive to the La Esperanza sector at around 3700 m, where you arrive in time for sunrise. You hike through the valley of the Frailejones, which is dominated by the daisy family that gives it its name. You pass the Lagoon Grande (4500 m) and continue hiking up to the glacier of the Pico Concavo (4700 m). You dismount and drive back to El Cocuy. Overnight stay as the day before. (Walking time approx. 9 hours, 1030 m↑↓, 18 km). (journey time approx. 2 hours, 40 km).

The final prank in the national park El Cocuy is on the program. With the off-road vehicles we go to the Los Ritas Cubas sector up to the Kanwara mountain hut (4000 m). You lace up your boots and start the ascent to the glacier edge (5000 m) of Ritacuba Blanco, which forms the roof of the mountain range at 5410 m. You enjoy the fantastic panorama that is offered to you and then start the way back to the mountain hut. Return to El Couy. Overnight stay as the day before. (Walking time approx. 7-8 hours, 1040 m↑↓, 14 km). (journey time approx. 2.5 hours, 60 km).

You leave the Colombian Eldorado of trekkers and go on a varied journey to Barichara (1280 m). The small town, a tranquil jewel, was declared a national cultural heritage site in 1978 and will enchant you with its charm. Overnight stay in a guest house. (journey time approx. 9 hours, 300 km).

Hotel Mission Santa Barbara

After an invigorating breakfast, you will set out on the royal road (Camino Real) to Guane, which was laid out in the 18th century at the behest of a German settler. After a stroll through the picturesque Guane, we return to Barichara with a typical chiva. The afternoon is at your leisure. Stroll through Barichara and enjoy a delicious coffee or the local speciality: hormigas culonas (roasted ants). Also a detour to San Gil, for example to do an optional rafting or paragliding excursion. Overnight stay as the day before. (Walking time approx. 2 hours, 60 m↓, 6 km).

Hotel Mission Santa Barbara

You leave the film-rich town and first drive to a lookout point from where you have a breathtaking view of the Chicamocha Canyon. The journey then continues to Bucaramanga, where you check in at the airport and fly to Santa Marta on the Caribbean coast. A short drive then brings you to Taganga, a pretty fishing village in a bay. Overnight stay in the guest house. (journey time approx. 3.5 hours, 130 km).

Hotel Bahia Taganga

In the morning you first drive to Machetepelao (approx. 3 hours). From here the trek through the coastal rainforest to the Lost City begins. Get ready for an unforgettable 4-day trek that will take you deeper and deeper into the almost untouched jungle through exotic flora and fauna, over hanging bridges and past rushing waterfalls. The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is the highest coastal mountain range in the world From the highest point, the Pico Bolivar at 5775 m, to the sea it is just 42 km as the crow flies. The Sierra Nevada includes all vegetation and climatic zones occurring on this earth. These include tropical cloud forest, humid and less humid foothill forests, humid montane forest, rain tundra, and perennial snow. The area, which is extremely rich in species, inspires scientists, nature lovers, Hikers and mountaineers alike interested. The Sierra is home to various Indian groups, such as the Arhuacos and Kogis, some of whom still live here without contact to modern civilization. 2 nights in simple camps.
(Walking time day 1 approx. 3 hours, 50 m↑↓, 8 km). (Walking time day 2 approx. 8 hours, 300 m↑↓, 15 km).

Simple camps

The third trekking day brings you to the lost city in the early morning where you will witness the magical moment of sunrise over the ruins. The Ciudad Perdida is one of the most outstanding archaeological sites on the continent. It lies at an altitude of approx. 900 – 1300 m, in the middle of dense jungle. Most of the city was built between the 11th and 16th centuries. This is the former center of the Tairona indigenous people, who spread out more than 200 terraced settlement centers across the Sierra Nevada at this time and connected them with an elaborate network of paths. The ancestors of the Indians still living in this area were highly developed, which they also expressed in their handicrafts. Fine gold jewelry and painstakingly crafted ceramics can be admired today mainly in the Gold Museum in Bogota. Overnight in simple camp. (Walking time approx. 4 hours, 1200 m↑↓, 9 km).

Simple camps

The last stage of the day takes you back to the starting point of the trek. From here, an all-terrain vehicle will take you back down to the Caribbean coast. After the exertion of the trekking tour, it’s now time for pure relaxation in the Tayrona National Park. Overnight in a lodge. (Walking time approx. 7 hours, 300 m↓, 16 km).

El Quetzal Dorado Lodge

During an easy hike today you will explore the beautiful Tayrona National Park. Through dense jungle to the white, palm-fringed Caribbean beaches of Arrecifes. Enjoy the scenery, which probably comes pretty close to the idea of ​​​​paradise. At Cabo San Juan del Guia there is also the opportunity to snorkel later. Overnight stay as the day before. (walking time approx. 3 hours).

El Quetzal Dorado Lodge

You leave the paradisiacal gem and drive along the Caribbean coast to the culmination of this Colombia trip. Cartagena, the pearl of the Caribbean awaits you. From the La Popa Monastery, you can first enjoy a breathtaking view over the entire city. From there, continue to the largest fort built by the Spanish in South America: Castillo San Felipe de Barajas. You will visit the fortress including some tunnels and the statue of Don Blas de Lezo. Then it’s back to the city center to see the main sights, such as the official entrance to the walled city with the clock tower (Torre del Reloj). Behind is the monument of Don Pedro de Heredia, founder of Cartagena de Indias (1533). You stroll through the narrow, colorful streets; past wonderful squares, parks and churches. And along the way you will learn more about the founding of Cartagena and the interesting stories full of legends and pirates. In the evening, let the trip to Colombia end on the historic ramparts in the Cafe del Mar with a delicious cocktail. Overnight at hotel. (journey time approx. 5 hours, 270 km).

Bantu By Faranda Boutique

After breakfast, you’ll have the opportunity to continue exploring Colombia’s colonial gem on your own and soak up Cartagena’s incomparable charm. Depending on the departure time, you will be taken to the airport and begin your journey home.

Still not tired of the beauty of Colombia? How about a swim on the beautiful Caribbean islands of the Islas del Rosario . We would be happy to send you an offer.

Arrival in Germany.

Included meals: B=breakfast; L=lunch; D=dinner

What's Included

Services included in the prices:

  • English speaking tour guide
  • Domestic flight Bucaramanga – Santa Marta
  • All trips in private vehicles
  • All entries according to the program
  • 7 nights : Hotel in a double room
  • 4 nights : guest house in a double room
  • 3 nights : hut in the MBZ (shared bathroom)
  • 2 nights : Lodge in a double room
  • Meals: 16× F , 4× M , 6× M (LB) , 4× A

Not included:

  • Any required rapid PCR or antigen tests; meals and drinks not mentioned; Airport taxes in the destination country (approx. US$ 31); optional excursions; tips; personal
  • Scheduled flight from/to Frankfurt (other departure airports on request) to Bogota and back from Cartagena with KLM or another airline in economy class
  • Personal clothing

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» Additional dates available upon request
» Rates may vary from July 26th to 31th for the national holidays

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Deposit for reservations: — USD (– EUR) ✓ Full payment 40 days before. No refund if you cancel less than 30 days!

Places: 🟢 *Available
Trip-code: Number ►COL-
Duration: 18 days
Participants: Minimal: 4 Maximal: 12
Members: We don’t have an open group to join – We can open a new group – Contact us!
Country / Location: Colombia
Mountain Guide: Eric Albino Lliuya
Other dates / additional info: Contact us!

3% early bird discount when booking 6 months prior to departure 2023

Legend Booking-information:
EZZ Single room supplement
🟢 On this trip, places are still available.
🟡 On this trip, only a few places left.
🔴 This trip is sold out / closed.

Eric Raul Albino Lliuya

Expert guide certified by AGOMP
General Sales Manager of Peru Expeditions

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