I'm planning to travel to Colombia in September/October and would like to see the Lost City. Is the trekking trail the only way to get there? And what kind of equipment is needed?
I travelled here just under 18 months ago and at that stage there were 2 ways in and that was on foot or by helicopter. Helicopter is obviously very expensive!!!
When I trekked up there was only the govt. tourist operator but that was changing and more operators where organising treks and the price was becoming more competitive. No equipment is neccessary, you just need good sturdy shoes (that can handle a lot of mud and water) and warm clothes for night time and lightweight clothing that you will just get saturated in from the humidity during the day. Mosquito repellent is a MUST. Hammocks and blankets are supplied for sleeping and all meals although it is advisable to take some snacks. A headlight torch is very handy. There are showers and toilets along the way so it is not primitive. Water is gathered from the fresh rivers and waterfalls along the way so there is no need to buy water purifying tablets.
The experience is fantastic and the walk is a much as a highlight as the lost city itself.
You will see local kids at the villages who will expect treats. Wrather than contributing to rotting their teeth with sweets I suggest you have some educational tools like pencils and colouring in books etc to hand out (should you wish).
I heard on the grape vine on my return that you can actually return via a different route wrather than in and out the same way. about 10 years ago
I just returned from Colombia and did the trek. There are currently four operators that will take you on the trek (helicopters are no longer an option). You have a choice of doing it in 4, 5, or 6 days. I signed up for 5 but switched to the 4 as it was less difficult than I had imagined. The guides told us that on August 1st, 2013, the companies would be merging into one company, but still would be operating out of their individual offices.
I agree with the response above in regards to equipment. I brought one outfit to hike in (shorts and tank top), one outfit to sleep in (long pants, long sleeve shirt), clean socks for each day, sturdy shoes, shower stuff, BUG SPRAY, swimming suit (there are lots of swimming opportunities), headlamp or flashlight (most of the camps don't have electricity), camera, and a deck of cards (this is a must)!!!
Also, there is less and less interaction now between the tourists and the Kogi people... Hopefully this will change again by the time you go! almost 6 years ago
We went in 2012 and totally agree with the other posters! The trek is awesome - just bring wet clothes (for trekking in) and dry clothes (for sleeping in) bring a tiny bag if possible! There is some fantastic insect repellent in Colombia called Nopikex. It is a black waxy soap that you rub on with wet hands and it stays on all day while hiking and you can buy it at the supermarket.
We tried a few insect repellents out and here was what we thought of them all: http://fivepointfive.org/natural-mosquito-repellent-does-it-work-we-test-7-kinds-of-repellent/
Anyway my main tips would be, pack super light, bring a kindle if you have one and bring something for the Kogi kids in exchange for taking their photos - we spent one night with some of the kids and they are sooo gorgeous!
We had plenty of time and did 6 nights - which meant we could spend an extra day chilling at the top camp by the river. It is so lovely up there and it is the same price whether you do 4, 5 or 6 nights. over 5 years ago