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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Extra Items I Recommend for the Lost City Trek:
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 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!.
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.
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!
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