We had a wonderful hike to The Lost City (Ciudad Perdida). It took us 6 days. (The stronger young people did it in four!) The kilometers were not so man, just 23 km each way. But it was up and down, or rather up, up, up, up and down and it was steep. The first day for some reason felt hardest. The fourth day we reached la ciudad perdida, an enormous area of ruins from around 700 - 800 AD. It was 3 km wide. The engineering was excellent. It must have been a highly developed civilization. The priests was the upper class and lived well from the supplies from the people living around. Only the fundaments of the houses are there today, probably there has been wooden houses upon them.
The Spanyards never penetrated so far into the country, but their viruses did, and people who had fled from the conquestadors still died in numbers. The four tribes of Indians who live in the area today all claim to be descendants from the old civilization, but nobody knows for sure.
The lost city was discovered in 1973 and then raided for gold. After a year or so the government moved in and the ruins were excavated. In 1981 it was opened for tourism. After the kidnapping of some tourists by ENL (guerillas) in 2003, Colombia got a bad reputation. But the military has since cleared the area and are stationed just above the lost city and are around along the paths. Now a lot of tourists come here, but still this is a lot more off the beaten track than Machu Pitchu, and from what people tell us, takes more effort to reach.
At the time of writing the cost is 600.000 COP per person, including everything. It is worth it. See our picture section.