Would you like to know a little bit about the logistics of the Lost City trek? Let’s see what happens behind the scenes that makes possible this adventure.
Before the trek
The day before the trek they made sure that the pick up for the departure was arranged and clear. We should know what time we will pick us up at our accommodation, if we had to arrive at the office or if they would pick us up on the way to Ciudad Perdida.
Starting the tour
They carried the group’s information on a form. The driver and the guide kept one each. They also sent forms to the indigenous and peasant communities and to the ICANH (Colombian Institute of Anthropology and History) which is in charge of the conservation of the Archaeological Park.
Our guide was very early in the public market of Santa Marta acquiring all the supplies needed for the trek. He took into account the size of the group and our food preferences. All supplies were carried in the same vehicle that transported the group that day.
After having the supplies, the pickup started. Meanwhile, at the office, they were registering everyone’s details to the medical assistance service and reporting to Migración Colombia (Colombia’s immigration office). Well, they do that and more boring office stuff, but quite important as you see.
When we arrived at El Mamey, we had lunch. In the village, we ate lunch in restaurants of the peasant community. There you can leave the luggage you do not need for the trek, it is free of charge and safe. You can pick up your luggage on the last day of the tour.
At this time we could get to know our guide better, who gave us more information about the tour and some recommendations.
During the trek, our cook went ahead of us, he must arrive with enough time to prepare our food. In the old days the cook had to carry everything! They even cooked with wood, for which the cook was also responsible to get. For this reason, even today the cook is called porter. Everyday, both the guide and the cook get up early to have everything ready to start the hike between 6 and 7 AM.
The mules on the trail carry the food to each camp and only carry supplies. Since the price is based on the animal carrying several bundles of food, renting a mule to carry just one backpack, is quite expensive.
Staff and communication
As most guides do not speak English, there is an interpreter who also helps the guide in some cases. For example, if there are tourists who are very far behind, the guide stays with them and the interpreter can go ahead with those who walk faster and do not need as much help.
All camps and companies were connected via walkie-talkie, but since some months ago all camps got internet connection to which staff have access and thus can communicate more quickly and directly with each office in Santa Marta (Tourists have access in two of the three camps).
The staff working on the trail includes people we have not mentioned yet.
At the campsites there are “cabañeros” (managers or owners of the cabin), who manage the accommodations and together with their staff are in charge of organizing and cleaning.
ICANH officials who look after the Lost City ruins, manage the carrying capacity and issue the tickets. In addition, there is a base of the Colombian army in the area.
The last day of the tour
The last day, we end in El Mamey, any extra luggage is picked up at the restaurant where we say goodbye to our adventure with a delicious lunch. A car that is dropping off a group of new trekkers, took us to Santa Marta.
All the people along the Teyuna – Ciudad Perdida trail act as one to make this tour an unforgettable experience. Do not hesitate to book it!
Note: Some details may vary from one tour to another.