The lost city of Colombia – Ciudad Perdida

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Parque Tayrona

Discover the Lost City of Cuidad Perdida

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. It is known as La ciudad Perdida, or also called Teyuna by the locals. It was first discovered in 1972, by graverobbers (guaqueros in Spanish). After being looted by a family of three men: a father by the name of Florentino Sepúlvedo and his two sons, Jacobo Sepúlvedo and Julio César Sepúlvedo. One of them may have gotten too excited from all the riches and beauty, however, because word spread very fast. Before they knew it, more and more guaqueros went for the same reason- to claim their “rightful” ownership to the riches.

what to do in colombia
what to do in colombia

More and more graverobbers showed up, and of course their noble personalities did not want to share with the others. This eventually led to gun fights. One of Florentino’s sons, Julio César, actually died in one of those battles. But it didn’t stop these men, as the fighting continued for about seven years more. The guaqueros nicknamed Teyuna, “Infierno Verde” or Green Hell.

Hostage situation on Cuidad Perdida

Moving forward a bit in time, the locals started permitting tours. In about 2003, a group of eight backpackers were 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 gunpoint, to “protect” them. They eventually told the captives who they were, and what they were doing. One of the captives, just 19 years old, made a plan to escape, and succeeded by jumping from a cliff into a river. He survived 12 days alone in the jungle, before getting back to Santa Marta. Four others tried at an attempt after he did, but the military had become much more careful in making sure no one else got away.

They lasted 101 days in captivity before being released. The guerrilla group 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 the situation. It was released in under the title of My Kidnapper in 2010.

A New Beginning

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. Back 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, however, things are improving and it is a wonderful opportunity to experience the culture and nature of Colombia!

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