How fit do you need to be for Ciudad Perdida
Replies: 12 - Last Post: Dec 9, 2012 7:36 PM Last Post By: carafa
Dec 2, 2012 7:08 AM
How fit do you need to be for Ciudad PerdidaI am just planning my itinerary for Colombia and hoping to go to Cartagena and spend a few days in Capurgana. I am also thinking of doing the five day Ciudad Perdida trek as it sounds beautiful, however I have not been exercising or hiking very much lately also my companion is a smoker. My question is how fit does one need to be for this? Would it just be very difficult considering what I have just said - we have not done any trekking in over a year but would love to do this one.
Many thanks for any advise.
Dec 2, 2012 7:38 AM
1In my group there were a German guy over 60 and a Aussi guy over 80 (!!!), they had no problem, but they both had been active for whole life. In fact they were faster than me well kept of diet a coke and rum, if the former fat me can do it and together with those old guys so can you.
But it's though exercise when the trail is muddy.
Dec 2, 2012 5:54 PM
2It´s really hard to gauge someone else´s fitness level, but the Lost City hike isn´t as hard as Machu Pichu or some other high altitude South America hikes. I found it not too hard, but I was in very good shape at the time. I did it 3 years ago, and I hear they´ve reduced the number of days since (my tour was 6 days), but if you have the choice - go for a tour that does the trip in more days, like 6 days would be best if it´s still offered, or 5 days over a 4 day trip.
More days means it´ll be less distance per day to hike, and thus easier.
Dec 2, 2012 6:45 PM
Dec 3, 2012 6:33 AM
Dec 3, 2012 3:24 PM
5I did the 4 day option about a week ago. I'm not really too fit, smoking too much, and found it reasonably difficult. The mud is the killer - when you get mud around your ankles, try to wipe it off in the river asap, as you'll end up with heaps of bites (like me). Also, take good shoes - I did the trek with those flimsy five-finger shoes and they were great on the first day, but by day 4 my calves were in serious pain (but it did save my knees). Bring repellent with DEET - I bought local stuff which was pretty much useless. Also bring some money, as there are some little shops along the way.
Dec 3, 2012 4:02 PM
Dec 3, 2012 9:52 PM
Dec 4, 2012 4:26 AM
Dec 4, 2012 7:58 AM
9I did this trek summer of 2008, middle-aged, active/decent condition, smoker too, but nothing can really physically prepare you for this unless you're doing extreme trekking on a regular basis. It's probably the greatest challenge and accomplishment of all my travels, and I'd do it again!!!
A lot has changed over the last four years, including more companies offering the tour because it's gotten so popular. I went with Turcol (the original company) and was quite pleased. I did the 6-day trek, and would pay extra to go/stay longer on a next time, but it seems that 5 or 4 day tours are now the norm.
This forum has consistently read like groups are departing daily. It would be worth waiting to go with a smaller group but that's also no guarantee based on reports of being told one thing and getting another. We had a group of 8 with 2 guides, but also had to share some trail facilities coming/going with groups of 20+.
Trail conditions vary, but as mentioned - mud is an issue whether getting bogged down or slippery conditions in some areas that are almost vertical. I stopped counting how many times I fell the first couple of days. Steps up to the city are also very slippery - more so when coming down. The multiple river crossings can be quite the challenge depending upon rain and water levels. The Buritaca was very high on our way up, so our guide opted out of the river crossings for crawling/sliding along a very steep stretch of bank with only limbs and vines for clinging to. IT WAS AMAZING!!!
As for the heights, there's a section right after Camp #2 that requires creeping along a narrow ledge for a short distance; you can't really see how far the drop is to the river because of all the jungle growth below. It's also just beyond this there's the elevated cable car crossing for when the river is too high. Not sure if they still even use it, but it shows up in a lot of trek pictures.
Also if you've looked at many photos, you'll notice people wearing all different kinds of footwear. I wore closed-toe TEVAS but honestly don't know that there's anything ideal. Take along some moleskin and antibiotic ointment. No matter what kind of shoes you wear, feet are constantly wet and blisters are inevitable.
Even within our smaller group, we had a "pace setter" that you'd have thought the Lost City was on fire and we were racing to put it out!!! She was always far ahead, always wanting to take-off the minute everyone else caught up, one of those... She was ending a 6-month trek that had included numerous SA treks; thought this one was easier without the altitude breathing problems but that the trail conditions were by far the worst! By end of the trip, I'm sure I wasn't the only one smuggly happy to see her feet swollen and covered with infected blisters, too! :D
Dec 6, 2012 1:40 AM
I believe the route of the trek has changed since you did in 2008 and thus why it is now shorter and done in 4 days.
Only one person in my group of 9 got blisters,
In relation to Kaybee's question of what company. I am sorry I cannot remember the name of my company I went with last year.
Dec 6, 2012 6:38 AM
Dec 9, 2012 7:36 PM
12It is nowhere near as bad as everyone says.
I wrote a review about this a few months ago. I would highly recommend the 4 day option.... even if you don't think you are that fit. Even with the 4 days.... it is NOT 4 days.
Day 1 - jeep meets you in Santa Marta around 10:00 am. You get in a jeep for a couple of hours and stop and have lunch. You hike, for about 3 hours, then stop.
Day 2- is a long ish day. You hike all day, but still have several stops for lunch and water.
Day 3 - you walk up to the Lost city and back down. Stay overnight at one of the camps.
Day 4. You are back, finished the hike with a beer in had by noon.
so, not 4 days at all, not even close.
You can get really sweaty, and bitten....but it's really not that bad!
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