What to Pack for La Ciudad Perdida Lost City Trek

What to Pack for La Ciudad Perdida Lost City Trek


The trek to the Ciudad Perdida, or Lost City Trek, in northern Colombia is an incredible hike.  It is not an easy walk though, and involves steep climbs and descents, two river crossings and hoards of mosquitos.  Here is a handy guide of what to pack for La Ciudad Perdida Trek to help you prepare, and handle it like a pro!

I recommend Wiwa Tours for the trek, I went with them and had a great time, learning a lot about the indigenous communities as well as the nature along the way.

Read more about my experience on the Lost City Trek to Ciudad Perdida

The Lost City Trek Ciudad Perdida Colombia
The Lost City Trek in Colombia – worth it for this view!

Santa Marta is a great base before the trek, and most tour companies leave from there, although some arrange pick up from Palomino too.  In Santa Marta I stayed at the Dreamer Hostel, and loved it!  The staff were friendly, the food was good, and the swimming pool was a godsend in the hot weather.

Check rates for the Dreamer Hostel on booking.com or hostelworld.com

What to bring on the Lost City Trek:

The important thing is to pack light.  You will be carrying all your own gear, so leave your big backpack at the hostel, or at your tour company’s office.  This is the list recommended by Wiwa Tours, plus some extras that I found very useful:

Small day pack

Comfort is key here, make sure that the straps don’t rub, and try not to over-pack.  Keep everything inside a plastic bag or two to keep it dry from the rain.

Comfortable hiking shoes

I had my Salomon hiking boots which I was glad of.  When it rained it got slippy, but if it is the dry season you may be ok with comfortable trainers/sneakers.

Sandals for crossing rivers

Flip flops are not good enough, you need straps or water shoes that won’t slip off in the water.

Several pairs of socks

Comfortable, and dry – you will be glad of them I promise!


There are swimming spots at each camp, so don’t forget your swimsuit!  There is nothing better than cooling off in the water after a sweaty hike.


Lightweight and small towels are soooo useful for trekking!  I took a Microfibre travel towel which was perfect for this.

Comfortable clothing for daily walking

Shorts or leggings, and t-shirts that ideally cover your shoulders to shield you from the sun, and protect your shoulders from rubbing against the day pack.




It may not be the height of fashion, but a headlamp is super useful for going to the bathroom.  Otherwise the light on your phone should be fine.

Insect repellent

You. need. this.  There are a lot of mosquitoes in the Colombian jungle, and even more at the Lost City itself.  Apply regularly, and wear long trousers in the Lost City if you can.

Water bottle 

I recommend 2 litres of water to begin with.  I had my LifeStraw Go Water Bottle with me, so I could also fill up at the rivers if needed.

Warm sleeping clothes

And dry!  It does get surprisingly chilly at night.  I did the Lost City Trek in June, and was glad of long trousers & a sweater in the evenings.

Personal hygiene products

Bring biodegradable shampoo & soap if you can, for example this Sea To Summit Trek and Travel Liquid Soap – Conditioning Shampoo.  Don’t forget toothpaste, toothbrush, hairbrush etc.

Personal medication if needed

The basics, plasters, paracetamol, I also took earplugs too as I’m a light sleeper!

The Lost City Trek Ciudad Perdida Colombia
On my trek to the Ciudad Perdida we met the Shaman

Extra Items I Recommend for the Lost City Trek:


Toilet roll

Luckily I had some tissues with me, as not many of the toilets along the way had paper.  Also if you are caught unawares along the trail and have to answer the call of nature, toilet paper is much better than leaves!

Rain jacket or poncho

In rainy season, you will need it – or worst case scenario a black bin bag with a hole for your head

Complete set of clean dry clothes for evening

This is really a personal choice, but I was very glad to be dry after a hot sweaty day, and when my previous day’s clothes were still damp!

Long Trousers

Long trousers were great for evenings, when it gets cool, and for inside Ciudad Perdida as there are even more mosquitoes there than on the trail.

Bite relief cream

You will get bitten by mosquitoes, so some cream or spray to help reduce itching will help a lot!.

Inflatable pillow

No pillows are provided in the camps, so you can either roll up some dry clothes for a pillow, or take an inflatable travel pillow.

Portable charger

There are no electricity points after the first camp, so a portable charger is great for keeping your phone & camera charged.

Something to think about…

Bear in mind whatever you wear during the day will be drenched in sweat when you arrive at camp – and won’t dry in time for the next day. I would recommend at least 3 sets of clothes – one to wear the first day, your evening clothes and a dry set to wear the next day. If it is sunny, the wet set will usually dry during the second day, and will be ready to wear again on the third day when your second set can dry. I actually took 5 tshirts and sets of underwear, and was glad to start each day at least semi clean!  I had 2 pairs of shorts, a pair of trousers for the evenings & the Lost city, and clean socks for each day.

What do you think of this list, have I missed anything?  Please let me know if you recommend any other essential items for the Lost City Trek!

Prepare for your trek to la Ciudad Perdiada with these top picks from Amazon:

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The Lost City Trek to La Ciudad Perdida in Colombiais an awesome hike. Here are some packing tips & essential & recommended items for what to take with youYou may also like:

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12 thoughts on “What to Pack for La Ciudad Perdida Lost City Trek

  1. Thanks so much for the tips. I am doing the Ciudad Perdida Trek (and Salkantay Trek to Machu Pichu in Peru) this October and your post gives me an idea of what to pack.

  2. I’ll definitely be checking out Wiwa Tours! Thanks for the suggestion. Repellent sounds like a must but relief cream is something I often forget. thanks for sharing these awesome suggestions. Happy travels 🙂

  3. What a great looking hike. I would love to get out the cities and explore the Colombia countryside. Great tips too. I have forgotten bug spray on way too many hikes, only to come to regret it each and every time!

  4. Yes the right list. Insect repellents and bite relief creams are the first ones to go in to my pack. 🙂 I have such small kits ready for different kinds of travels.

  5. Usually, I wouldn’t read a packing list for a trip I’m not planning but this was an intriguing read. Love your practical and personal points. Dry clothes, strategies for staying warm and comfortable, all great tips.

  6. This looks like a great hike! You offer great tips on what to pack and why to bring specific things along. Great tip on managing those mosquitoes and the sun. Would some type of netting been helpful? You make it easy on packing just right and not overpacking.

  7. I have never attempted anything even remotely like this and is sure feels overwhelming. This is so much info, it would be a lifesaver when planing this type of adventure!

  8. I need to use these packing tips for all my trips, except perhaps, I wouldn’t need the headlamp in Paris. It sounds like a challenging trek and I look forward to reading more about it.

  9. In January I was walking in thongs, the recommended foot ware for the tour, thong caught some water, I slipped and fractured my ankle. I say NOPE to things now always. Def invest in some good hiking shoes. Great list!

  10. Packing light is definitely a good idea for a trip like this but, by the time you’ve covered all your essentials, it’s surprising how the amount of kit you already have seems to escalate! There is some really helpful advice here, though – thank you!

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