Discover a Lost City
Have you any of you travelers heard of the lost city of Colombia? The one in Peru, Machu Picchu, is quite famous. But not many know of La Ciudad Perdida of Colombia; and that’s because it’s still being discovered!
There is an ancient city in Colombia located in the Sierra Nevada, in Northern Colombia. Known as La ciudad Perdida, or also called Teyuna by the locals, was first discovered in 1972, by graverobbers (guaqueros in Spanish). It was originally looted by a family of 3 men, a father by the name of Florentino Sepúlvedo, and his two sons named Jacobo Sepúlvedo and Julio César Sepúlvedo. One of them may have gotten too excited from all the riches and beauty, because word spread very fast. Before they knew it, more and more guaqueros went for the same reason- to go gain their “rightful” means to riches.
More and more graverobbers showed up, and of course their noble personalities did not want to share with the others. So this eventually led to gun fights; naturally. One of
Florentino’s sons, Julio César, actually died in one of these battles. But it didn’t stop these men; the fighting continued for about 7 years more. The guaqueros nicknamed Teyuna “Infierno Verde” or Green Hell.
Moving forward a bit in time, the locals started permitting tours. In about 2003, a group of 8 backpackers where kidnapped by a rebel group by the name of National Liberation Army, or ELN, a group that had been at war for over 40 years at this time. The rebel group pretended to be military, waking them up from their tents at gun point, to “protect” them. They eventually told the captives who they were, and what they were doing. One of the captives, at the age of 19, made a plan to escape, and succeeded by jumped from a cliff into a river. He survived 12 days alone in the jungle, before getting back to Santa Marta. 4 others tried at an attempt after he did, put the military had become much more careful to make sure no one else got away.
They lasted 101 days in captivity before being released. The guerrilla actually kept them well fed, and didn’t physically harm them. They only wanted the government to do an investigation on the human rights going on at this time. A year after being released, one of the captors reached out to one of the captives, Mark Henderson, and they decided to make a movie out of it. It was released in 2010, and they called it My Kidnapper.
In 2005 they reopened the city for tours; but now with extra protection. From then, to this day, not another incident has happened. There are options of doing the trek in 3, 4, 5, or 6 days. There are now 5 or 6 different tour companies that offer their services, but they all share the same camps within the trail. In 2014 there were many reviews and comments saying that the camp conditions were horrible, and that a few tourists actually came down with diseases because of the poor conditions. Now in 2016, things are improving, and it is becoming a wonderful option to get involved in the culture and nature of Colombia!