The Lost City or not?

Trip Start Oct 06, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Colombia  ,
Friday, January 21, 2005

Me and my travel buddies since Panama have made it further North-East along the Carribean coast. We plan to stay a few days at La Casa de Felipe in the small fishing and "tourist" village of Taganga, just a few kilometers outside the city of Santa Marta. Mainly to relax and spend some quality time on the beach. I am surprised I'm still not tired of beaches, as there's been a lot of them lately. A huge amount of my time in Costa Rica and Panama was spent in or around beach towns. We are also here to find out more about the six days round trip hike to Ciudad Perdida, known as The Lost City in English. It wasn't rediscovered before 1975, and used to be a center of the ancient Tayrona culture, located in the mountainous jungle of Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. The hike isn't nearly as famous as the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu in Peru, but is often mentioned in the same breath among those who really know the continent. It's supposed to be spectacular, with very few tourists making the trip. However I am not that keen to do the hike now. Not that I don't want to, I would love to one day, but kind of decided to try and do the six days Roraima hike in Venezuela before I left Seattle. It's another truly spectacular hike, and I cannot be bothered to do both of them in such a short time period. It's not an easy decision, but in the end I decide to skip the Ciudad Perdida hike. Ben and Steve also have to skip the hike due to pre-booked flights and timing. So Lisa, the Belfast girl, end up being the only one who doesn't chicken out. That's our girl!

Taganga end up being a pleasant village to spend a few days, it kind of reminds me of a Greek fishing village due to the setting and surrounding vegetation. We join Laurel, a Kiwi girl who is also doing the Ciudad Perdida hike, and all go on a day trip to Tayrona National Park, a few hours further east along the coast. You are dropped off at the park entrance and have to hike for one hour through jungle and down to the sea. And what do we find? What about the ultimate Caribbean paradise. The place is unbelievable, but I am not going to waste anymore cheesy words describing the place. Have a look at the pictures instead.

So it is at the French/Colombian owned La Casa de Felipe we all split up after a month of traveling together. Ben flies to Bogotá for a couple of days before returning to Costa Rica in order to meet friends. Lisa sets off on the Ciudad Perdida hike, while Steve and I spend a day in the city of Santa Marta before going back to Cartagena for a few days. Steve will fly to Quito in Ecuador from Cartagena, while I still have to sort out my plans. I think I'll head for Cali, the third largest city in Colombia, after the capital Bogotá and Medellin.

In order to make this blog entry a tiny bit longer, I have a suggestion. Travelpod just introduced a new Guestbook feature where you can post feedback, send greetings etc. So what about a greeting or two? Or even better, tell us about your own South American adventures. Where should I go next? Any places I shouldn't miss? Absolute must sees/do's? Send me on a mission. And if you haven't been to South America, tell us about your other travels, a funny story or what about your most perfect day ever. Anything will do actually.
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