Students explore the how globalisation and travel affects Colombia's wide array of indigenous cultures and what it means for the progression of civilisation. They'll also feel a deep connection to a natural reserve that has been declared the most irreplaceable on earth and discover ways they can help preserve such extraordinary regions.
Where: La Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Magdalena
Duration: 2-6 days
Number of participants: 6-30
Cost: From $199 p/p (price doesn't include international flights)
Language: Spanish or English
UN SDGs covered:
Led by our partners from the Wiwa and Arhuaco communities, students learn a way of life dating back to the 7th century. They will engage in cross-cultural learning experiences and take part in unique weaving classes with the women of the Arhuaco community. Then they cross rivers, sleep in jungle camps and learn about the traditions of the Wiwa community on a 4-day trek to the spellbinding and mystical Lost City
Day 1 - Arrivals
After being picked up from the airport, students meet our partners in the Arhuaco community, taking part in a weaving workshop and spiritual introduction to La Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.
Day 2 - Tubing to a secluded Caribbean beach
After a two-hour bus ride, you'll enter the world's highest coastal mountain range, a place called the Heart of The World due to its extraordinary biodiversity. Just before sunset, we head down the sultry Don Diego river in a kayak or tube to a secluded beach.
Day 3 - Begin a journey to an ancient Lost City
Our local partners pick up the group from your hotel and transport you to the beginning of the 4-day trek. Before beginning this memorable journey, you will discover why indigenous locals claim this mountain range to be sacred and key to maintain the equilibrium of the planet. You'll stay in jungle camps either in bunk beds or hammocks.
Hiking time: 6 hours
Day 4 - Encounter customs & traditions from the past
Hike closer to the mystical ancient city, learning the traditions of the native Kogi and Wiwa communities. Expect to wade through waist heigh rivers, along mountain peaks and alongside towering waterfalls. After hearing mystical stories of the land over dinner, you'll stay in jungle camps either in bunk beds or hammocks.
Hiking time: 10 hours.
Day 5 - Enter the spellbinding Lost City
Today you'll reach Ciudad Perdida, an ancient site shrouded with mist, glory and magic. Bask in your trekking achievement above the clouds and looking into the think jungle atop one of the top platforms. Again, you'll stay in jungle camps either in bunk beds or hammocks.
Hiking time: 6 hours.
Day 6 - Finish the trek & relax on the beach
Your epic journey will come to an end with another adventurous day hiking and, depending on the pace of the group, some free time on the pristine Caribbean beach.
Hiking time: 6 hours.
Day 7 - Departures
We offer one departure time for guests to travel from their eco hotel and to the airport for their connecting flight home.
What we offer
Free teacher places (contact us to find out more)
All meals (we've chosen varied dishes to give a real taste of the Colombian Caribbean)
Accommodation in Santa Marta and on the trek (rooms are shared but privates are available on request and at an extra cost)
All scheduled excursions and activities
Local guides and translators
One Kagumu guide for every 8 students
Two years ago, I met Lucelly Torres, founder of Wirakoku and member of the Arhuaca community, and we agreed to set about creating an experience in Santa Marta that enthralled travelers, explored an ancient way of living and, most importantly, benefitted the local indigenous communities. The aim was to give them a direct say in what type of tourism they would like to be involved in, if indeed they wanted to be part of it. After countless meetings, proposals and visits we created Santa Marta: explore the heart of the world, a trip designed around the notion of sharing ideas and beliefs from a modern civilization to one that dates back to the 7th century. Lucelly personally takes guests back in time and shows how our project aims to empower 60 Arhuaca women to build their own bag weaving businesses, help support families producing cacao and give children an appreciation for a way of life that is slowly disappearing.