A trek through the jungle of northern Colombia to a pre-Conquest site know as "Ciudad Perdida" or Teyuna. Not just an amazing hiking experience, but profound as you consider the regions history. Thanks to all the people of the area for sharing this amazing place with visitors.
From the wikipedia article:
Ciudad Perdida (Spanish for "lost city"; also known as Teyuna and Buritaca-200) is the archaeological site of an ancient city in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta of Colombia, within the jurisdiction of the city of Santa Marta. This city is believed to have been founded about 800 CE. If so, Ciudad Perdida predates Machu Picchu by about 650 years.
Ciudad Perdida consists of a series of 169 terraces carved into the mountainside, a network of tiled roads, and several small circular plazas. The entrance can be accessed only by climbing up 1,200 stone steps through dense jungle.
It's a multi-day hike in, through farmland and villages of the Kogi people, who still hold to a lot of their traditional practices. From what I've gathered, however, they are actively managing the usage of the trail and passage of tourists through the area. You also pass through some pretty incredible lush jungles - hot, steamy, and full of life.
As a lover of archaeology, it's an amazing experience. To imagine what this place must have been like in its prime, when buildings covered the terraces and the paths thronged with people... WOW.
The region has gone through lot in the last 50 years. The area saw a lot of action during the Colombian Conflcts. Cartels, militias, and paramilitaries operated there. There is always so much more going on than one can see or know as a tourist, now matter how curious. And so we need to always approach these activities with humility and respect for those who inhabit these areas, and who live with the history everyday. I've struggled with how to write all this up, and will probably return to and update this post in the future.
Would you like to know more?
More photos in this Google Photos Gallery