Backpacking in Colombia

By | September 26, 2021

According to findjobdescriptions, the Caribbean coast of Colombia offers both challenging hiking to Ciudad Perdida nature experiences in Tayrona, coffee plantations in Minca, historical sights in the city of Medellín and wonderful relaxation on beautiful beaches.

The journey begins in Santa Marta, where you can spend a whole day exploring the city. Then awaits four challenging days of hiking through the lush Colombian rainforest towards the lost city, Ciudad Perdida. You hike on small paths, cross rivers and end the hike by climbing 1,200 steep steps to the lost city. After a hard hike, a few days of relaxation await in the mountain village of Minca. The city is known for its coffee production and pleasant climate. The next stop on the trip is Tayrona National Park which offers fantastic nature and beautiful beaches – a mecca for backpackers.

From Tayrona National Park, the tour then continues towards the beautiful port city of Cartagena. In the old part of the city you will find beautiful, colorful and well-preserved buildings from the colonial era and the city’s 13 km long city walls that were built to keep the pirates out.

The journey ends in Medellín, the city that Pablo Escobar once made the world’s cocaine capital. Fortunately, the city has undergone a fantastic transformation and is today an attractive and safe metropolis that is also known for its street art.

Day 1: Departure from Scandinavia

You leave Scandinavia and arrive in Santa Marta the next day.

Day 2: Arrival in Santa Marta

You will be picked up at the airport and driven to your hostel in Santa Marta.

Day 3: On a voyage of discovery in Santa Marta

During the day you can explore the city on your own.

Day 4: Hike to Ciudad Perdida

See one of Colombia’s hidden treasures: The lost city, Ciudad Perdida! Deep in the mountains of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta are the ruins of one of the largest settlements in Colombia’s prehistory. It is believed that the area has been inhabited since the seventh century, but the ruins that are there now are from the eleventh to the fourteenth century. Here lived the so-called Tayrona people. When the Spaniards came to the country in 1499, they fought the Tayrona people and the city was destroyed when the people were expelled. It was not until the early 1970s that grave robbers found their way to the hidden city and it did not take long before the rumor spread and there was a struggle for taxes. In 1976, the government sent in forces and took over the area. The purpose was that real archaeologists could dig out the area and find the last treasures that were then sent to the country’s museums. You are picked up at the hostel and driven with a four-wheel drive car along winding and bumpy roads to the small town of Mamey. The journey there takes about three hours. After lunch, we enter the jungle in a united troop in the best Indiana Jones style. Rivers must be crossed and steep passages must be climbed, so you must be prepared to get dirty and that hiking is a real challenge. But in the end, a fantastic reward awaits. The first day we walk for three to four hours and reach an altitude of about 520 meters. Along the way, some breaks are also taken so that you can get extra energy for the challenging hike along the Tayrona people’s old paths. When you arrive at the camp, you can relax before a well-deserved candle is served. The camps used are relatively primitive and have shared toilets. There is room for approx. 50 people, so several hiking groups meet here overnight. At night you sleep in bunk beds or in hammocks with mosquito nets. At night the temperature drops to around 18–22 degrees. Hiking time: approx. 3-4 hours

Day 5: Hike to Ciudad Perdida

This day is the most demanding of the trip and you cross the Buritaca River nine times during the day’s hike. Along the way you walk past many small local communities. The lost city of Ciudad Perdida is very sacred to the locals, so it is important that you remember to respect their history, customs and traditions. Always ask before you take pictures and remember to take all the rubbish out of the jungle again. A good lunch is enjoyed along the way and during the breaks fruit is also served, but it can still be a good idea to bring some extra chocolate cakes and other energy-rich snacks. It is a fantastic experience to sleep in the jungle and completely magical to lie and listen to all the animals and insects that come to life at night. It is not difficult to fall asleep in the evening after the day’s hard hike. Hiking time: approx. 8 hours

Day 6: Hike to Ciudad Perdida

Today’s hike starts early in the morning and you climb up 660 meters. The last part of the tour takes place up 1,200 steep steps to the entrance to the lost city. You are rewarded for your efforts when you stand on top of the city and can look out over the dense jungle and the hilly terrain. It is a magical place and for three to four hours you can explore the ruins and learn more about the place’s exciting history. After lunch you start climbing down the same way you came up, through the jungle towards the camp where you spent the night. Hiking time: approx. 7-8 hours

Day 7: From Ciudad Perdida to Minca

After breakfast we continue on foot out of the jungle towards the small town of Mamey, where you go different ways with the group and take a local bus to Minca. Once in Minca, you continue to the hostel where you will spend the night. Hiking time: approx. 7-8 hours

Day 8: On an adventure in Minca

Enjoy your day in Minca. The city is known for its coffee and chocolate production and pleasant climate. You can sit on a swing or lie in a hammock and enjoy the views of the Sierra Nevada mountains. You can also visit the Pozo Azul waterfall where you can take a refreshing dip.

Day 9-11: Tayrona National Park on your own

Tayrona National Park is one of Colombia’s most visited national parks. The park offers beautiful and varied nature with lush rainforests, beautiful beaches and an exciting flora and fauna. In the coming days you can explore the park on your own.

Day 12: Tayrona NP to Cartagena

This day the trip goes to Cartagena. You will be picked up in Tayrona National Park and driven to Santa Marta. From here you take a shuttle bus to Cartagena with room for 15-20 people. The bus journey takes about five hours and on the way you stop at different hotels.

Day 13–14: On an adventure in Cartagena

Cartagena was founded in 1533 and is named after Cartagena in Spain. Cartagena played an important role both politically and economically during the colonial era when the Spaniards expanded their empire in Colombia. To protect the city from pirates, a large fort and a 13 km long city wall were built, which in 1984 became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There is something magical about Cartagena, something you can experience as you walk along the cobbled streets of the older neighborhoods and see the beautiful, colorful and well-preserved colonial-era buildings and churches. For two days you can explore the city and the surrounding sights on your own.

Day 15: Cartagena to Medellín

On this day, the journey continues with a flight to Medellín. The city has been nicknamed “City of Eternal Spring” or “the city of eternal spring” due to the pleasant climate all year round. It is the city of Colombia that has undergone the greatest transformation in the last 25 years. From being one of the most dangerous cities in the world under Pablo Escobar, who made Medellín the world’s cocaine capital in the 80s and 90s to becoming one of the safest cities in Colombia today.

Day 16: On an adventure in Medellín

The whole day can be spent exploring Medellín on your own.

Day 17: Departure from Medellín to Scandinavia.

On this day, it’s time to say goodbye to Colombia. You take yourself to the airport

.Day 18: Arrival in Scandinavia

This day you will come home to Scandinavia. When you get home depends on which airline you fly with.

Overnight stays

Fifteen nights in a hostel / campsite


The hiking trip to the lost city is moderately difficult to difficult and requires relatively good physical shape. You must carry your own pack on the trip, so pack a small backpack and leave excess packing at the restaurant in Mamey where the hike starts. Make sure you talk to the wizard about it.

Backpacking in Colombia