NEED TO KNOW
LOCATION Ciudad Perdida is hidden in the Sierra Nevada inland from Santa Marta, northern Colombia
VISITORS PER YEAR
Fewer than 3,000
Jan: 79°F (26°C); Apr: 82°F (28°C); Jul: 79°F (26°C); Oct: 73°F (23°C)
Older by centuries than Machu Picchu, South America’s northernmost archaeological site has only recently reopened to the public after intermittent warfare in the region between the government and guerrilla fighters.
Ciudad Perdida, whose origins are unknown, is made up of 169 intricate terraces carved into a mountain, a baffling maze of interconnecting roads, and circular plazas with an entrance that can be reached only after climbing over 1,200 stone steps in the heart of the jungle. The grueling but infinitely rewarding journey averages five days, and is one of the last of its kind in South America.
Getting There and Around Ciudad Perdida is a 12-mile (20-km) trek from a trail leading from the region of Mamey in Santa Marta. There are no roads or any other means of transportation.
When to Go The best time to visit the Sierra Nevada region is Dec–Feb, when there is very little rainfall and less humidity.