Trek Andes mountains and Caribbean jungle
Come face to face with extraordinary cultures old and new. Discover towering Andean peaks and unique tropical ecosystems before stepping back into the 7th century with a memorable 4-day hike to an ancient Lost City.
Location: Antioquia & La Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta
Duration: 11 days
Number of participants: 9 max
Level of difficulty: 2.5/5 (moderate to challenging)
Cost: From $1825 USD p/p*
Dates: All year round (See below for specific dates)
Carbon emissions: 271kg of CO2e p/p - we offset 100% of these emissions plus your journey here! See below for more details.
Flights: Find flights HERE.
During this unique adventure, you will explore unblemished Andean forests and towering peaks, diving into crystal clear rivers along the way. You experience traditional Colombian life by staying with local and ultra-friendly families in their own homes. You'll then take a short flight to the tallest coastal mountain range on earth - La Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Here, you'll tackle one of the continent's finest treks and discover an ancient Lost City shrouded in mist and mystery.
"An enriching, inspiring and hugely enjoyable journey filled with adventure and culture. Extremely knowledgeable and engaging local guides ensured we learned lots along the way too. A truly unforgettable experience!"
Review submitted 3 Mar 2020
"The Kagumu team is doing something incredible there. Our trip was so much more than a trip. I feel like I gained a real insight into Colombia and its wonderful people."
Review submitted 8 Mar 2020
Itinerary (10 days)
Day 1 - Arrivals
We offer two private transfer times upon arrival. Depending on arrival times, we offer a historical walking tour of the city. You can visit the poignant Memory Museum and ride the award-winning cable car. Dinner with the group.
Day 2 - Hiking unblemished Andean forests
After a hearty breakfast, we travel to the start of our Andean mountain trek. You'll set off on paths rarely walked by visitors, passing towering sage-green peaks and entering a whole new world of fauna and flora. After lunch, you will continue your trek and can cool off under a waterfall and swim in the Santo Domingo river. Overnight stay in an eco lodge.
Time: 8 hours
Day 3 - Swimming in rivers & under waterfalls
Another hearty breakfast sets us up for another day of trekking through peaceful mountains and countryside as we head toward Rio Melcocho. Once again you will get to enjoy a swim in one of the clearest rivers in Antioquia. The afternoon also includes a stunning walk in a canyon where 8 new species of plants and animals have just been recently discovered. Overnight stay in an eco lodge.
Time: 6 hours
Day 4 - Witness a unique high-altitude ecosystem
Put your senses to the test by smelling, feeling and tasting different tropical fruits and aromatic plants before discovering how artisanal cacao is roasted and ground. We will have the opportunity to taste the cacao fruit in its different states. After lunch, set off towards a valley of waterfalls and streams of Las Aguadas before experiencing the healing power of nature with a chocolate spa session. Overnight in Medellin.
Distance: 9 km
Time: 6 hours
Day 5 - Medellin to Santa Marta
Feel a drastic change in pace, in time, in culture as you fly 1hr to the Caribbean coast and the enthralling Santa Marta. Enjoy a free evening exploring the charming Parque de Los Novios, where you will encounter a wide array of street music and a sultry Caribbean vibe.
Day 6 - 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 7 - 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 8 - 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 9 - 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 10 - Departures
We offer one departure time for guests to travel from their eco hotel and to the airport for their connecting flight home.
What is included
What's not included
How you will travel responsibly
Things to know:
This trip is for adventure travellers who want to travel with new people, explore new cultures, discover new ecosystems and travel in a responsible way. The group will be a maximum of 9 people.
You will receive a travel visa which will cover your stay in Colombia.
During the trekking trip in the Antioquia Andes mountains, you will stay in basic farms with local families. During the Lost City trek you will stay in jungle camps in hammocks or bunk beds. Otherwise you will stay in 3 star + hotels in shared twin or triple bedrooms. Single rooms are available upon request and at an extra cost and subject to availability.
You will encounter a variety of climates. In Medellin the temperature is a steady 27 degrees °C and its dry seasons are: September to February and May to July. Temperatures will increase slightly while on the first trek in San Francisco. Santa Marta’s climate is much more tropical and can hit 31 degrees °C during the day. Dry season is usually January to April.
We offer a wide range of food options from local Colombian soups, coffee and fruit juices to ecological lunches wrapped in leaves. We can adjust the food options to any requirements or allergies you may have.
During the Antioquia trek we hire well-looked-after mules that will carry your luggage, leaving you to enjoy the journey without this concern. For the Lost City Trek you can leave your big suitcases in the hotel before the trek and collect them afterwards. You will need to take your own small backpack on the Lost City Trek so pack well! You will be revisiting a couple of camps on the way so you can leave any dirty clothes and pick them up on the return journey. Note: we can offer extra assistance with transporting small bags for those needing special assistance due to health reasons.
Level of the trekking:
You don't need to have any previous trekking experience to enjoy this trip. However, we do recommend that you are in good physical shape and that you are ready for an adventure where unexpected things might happen.
We have worked out this trip generates an average of 271kg of CO2e per person. This includes all the carbon equivalent emissions (CO2e) from your trip including accommodation, food, transport, guides, and staff operations.
Extra potential CO2e emissions from your journey to and from Santa Marta.
New York - Medellin - 521kg (round trip)
Panama - Medellin - 256kg (round trip)
Miami - Medellin - 307kg (round trip)
You can read more about how we measure our carbon emissions by reading our climate action policy here.
Two years ago, Kagumu founder Simon Willis met Lucelly Torres, founder of Wirakoku and member of the Arhuaca community, and they 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 the local community 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 they created a trip designed around the notion of sharing ideas and beliefs from a modern civilization to one that dates back to the 7th century.