Challenge level: 3 out of 5
|15 November - 23 November 2021||On Sale|
Discover Colombia’s Lost City on this unforgettable trek in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain range.
Our route takes us through rolling forested mountains, dense jungle and alongside the River Andes. Trekking up and down through tropical plantations, our legs will feel the workout and we’ll cool off along the way in natural swim holes and waterfalls.
Camping by night, we'll immerse ourselves in the spontaneous Colombian culture and climb a whopping 1,200 ancient stone steps to the Lost City.
At the end of our challenge, we have the chance to visit one of the gorgeous local coffee plantations and learn how the famous Colombian coffee gets produced, from bean to cup. Then we head back to the beaches of Santa Marta for a day of well-earned rest.
Worried about fundraising? Don’t be…
Trek Colombia 2021 is an Open Challenge, which means you choose how you fund your adventure.
You can self fund and pay the challenge costs yourself without the pressure of a minimum sponsorship target; or you can choose sponsorship and commit to raising a minimum amount for a charity, hospice or animal sanctuary of your choice.
It's your chance to do something amazing for the cause closest to your heart; whether you choose to support your local hospice or animal sanctuary or a national charity.
We first meet at the airport in London and fly together to Bogota in Colombia. We then have a short internal flight and touch down in Santa Marta, where our wonderful local guides meet us. A bus transfer later, we check-in to our hotel in the city.
Sitting on the Northern coast, where the land meets the Caribbean Sea, Santa Marta makes the perfect place to start our adventure. We spend the rest of the morning on a city tour with our local guides. As Colombia’s oldest city and the oldest European-founded town in South America, Santa Marta is rich in history and gives us a great first taste of Colombia’s Spanish colonial heritage.
We return to the hotel for lunch and then you’re free to spend the afternoon as you wish. You can freshen up after our long journey and kick back at the hotel or you can pop your explorer hat back on and wander the streets and beaches some more.
In the evening, we meet back up for our welcome dinner at the hotel and a challenge briefing from our challenge leader.
Now we’ve had our dose of the big city, we wake up bright and early, ready to get lost in nature!
After breakfast at the hotel, we jump in a jeep for a drive along dirt tracks to the small, rural village of El Mamey. Here, we have lunch while our local support team sort the kit for the trek ahead. Then we’re up on our feet and into the wild.
Our first stretch eases us into the trek and although gentle, we walk with little shade until we reach the rainforest. We have a chance to cool off in a natural swim hole along the way.
This refreshes us for a steep climb through the gorgeous tropical rainforest, before descending into a lush valley to our camp. Here, we settle down for dinner and a good night’s rest.
After breakfast at camp, we begin today’s trek with a climb through the heart of the jungle. Listening to the chatter of exotic birds and the hum of insects, we keep our eyes peeled for wildlife. This makes a fantastic distraction for the ache in our thighs and if we’re lucky, we can spot a beautiful array of wildlife, including otters, toucans, frogs, tapirs and even jaguars!
We keep hydrated and happy in the heat, with regular stops for fresh fruit and lunch along the way. Our day ends with a beautiful descent, with well-deserved views over the rolling rainforest. Walking down through charming Kogui villages, with round thatched huts and pockets of land, we also get some insight into the local lifestyle.
Reaching our river-side camp in time for dinner, we finish the day with a dip in the river’s crystalline waters.
Today we enter the Lost City! Waking early, we have breakfast at camp and set off alongside the river. We trek through lush jungle before crossing the river and reaching the ancient flight of stone steps – and you bet we climb them! Ascending 1,200 stairs through dense vegetation, we’re welcomed to the top by the ancient ruins.
Dating back over 2,000 years, the sacred Lost City or Teyuna, in the indigenous language, is home to over two hundred stone structures, amidst sprawling rainforest. We jump on the chance to tour the city and to hear some of the sacred stories from El Mamo, the local spiritual leader.
Then it’s back down we go! After lunch with a gorgeous view of the mountains, we descend to our riverside camp.
Starting with an early breakfast, we follow an easy route through the jungle and reach our night’s camp in time for lunch.
The afternoon is then free for us to soothe our legs in the nearby natural swimming pools. We also have the fab chance to visit a local coffee estate and learn how the famous Colombian coffee is produced.
We’ve made it to our last day in the jungle! This final stretch takes us back through the forest to the trailhead at El Mamey.
Aware that this is our last chance to soak up the sights and sounds of the jungle, we stop to swim at a waterfall and enjoy a picnic lunch.
In the afternoon, we press on and reach the 4 x 4 vehicles that mark our finishing point. Now all there’s left to do is rest our legs on a transfer back to Santa Marta.
Tonight, we toast our achievement with a celebration dinner and enjoy a good night’s sleep in a hotel.
Today is free to spend as you wish. With an array of sandy bays and a city full of souvenirs to explore, you can relax and wander to your heart’s content.
Please note that your lunch and dinner on this free day aren’t included, to give you maximum flexibility.
This morning, we have some more time to spend in Santa Marta and you make your own lunch arrangements, before we meet in the afternoon.
Together, we transfer to the Santa Marta airport and fly to Bogota. Then we bid Colombia a fond farewell and jet back to the UK on an overnight flight. Upon touching down in London in the morning, we part ways at the airport and you make your own way home.
Pay your registration fee and your challenge costs yourself.
Pay the balance
Pay your registration fee and raise the minimum target for your chosen charity.
Minimum sponsorship target
Trek Colombia is not designed for Olympic athletes – it is designed for people looking for an amazing goal to train and get fit for. A number of the people who will take part in this trek will have a low level of fitness when they sign up.
This challenge is the perfect motivation to get fit, while exploring one of the world's most beautiful countries and supporting the charity of your choice.
We do strongly recommend you train for the trek and we'll send you a fantastic training plan once you sign up. This training plan builds up as time goes on, so you'll be ready and raring to go by the time we jet to Colombia!
Please don't be! The majority of people will sign up on their own and our Dream Challenges are renowned for the amazing camaraderie and life long friendships made as our groups take on these incredible feats together.
Once you've signed up for the challenge, we'll send you a link to a private Facebook group for everyone registered for Trek Colombia 2021.
Please feel free to use this space to swap questions, advice and updates with your fellow trekkers on your training and fundraising. You may also want to reach out to your fellow participants in this group to see if there's anyone in your local area you can meet up to train and fundraise with.
Absolutely not! One of the amazing things about the challenge is that people of all ages will come together to do something very special. Everyone who is at least 18 years old by the challenge date is more than welcome to join this awesome trek in Colombia.
You will of course need a pair of walking boots. We will supply you with a comprehensive list of everything you will need to take on the event well before your departure date.
We stay in a range of awesome accommodation on this trek on a twin-sharing basis, including three-star class hotels and comfortable jungle camps.
All camping equipment, including bedding, is provided and already set up for us upon our arrival at each camp.
Yes of course! If you wish to extend your stay in Colombia, you will need to come out of our group flights.
We are also delighted to say that we will be offering a relaxing extension package soon. We will let you know as soon as we have finalised the arrangements for this.
If you just want to extend your flight without partaking in the optional extension package, simply get in touch and we can find flight options for you.
Please let us know if you decide to do this at least 14 weeks before our departure date.
Your registration fee of £299 per person is used to administer the challenge and secure your seats with the airline.
Your challenge costs of £1,875 (ie. 50% of the fundraising target if you choose the Sponsorship option) cover:
*Please note, your lunch and dinner on Days 7 and 8 are not included in your challenge costs, to allow for maximum flexibility on your free days.
In addition to paying your registration fee (£299) and either paying your challenge costs or raising the minimum sponsorship target, you'll need to budget for your:
The group size for this challenge is likely to be around 30 people.
You will need to take out your own personal travel insurance covering health, accident, loss and repatriation. Dream Challenges has a recommended policy that provides appropriate cover for this type of activity. We will send you the details once you have registered. You can, however, take out your own insurance, providing it covers you for a charity trek in Colombia.
Currently, GB citizens don't require a visa to enter Colombia, but we'll let you know if this changes.
The Dream Challenges team are here to help you achieve your challenge and will support you all the way. We are on hand from the minute you sign up to answer any questions that you may have about your training or the challenge itself.
Once you have registered, we will send you a realistic training programme to help you get fit for the challenge. The programme builds up gradually as the event gets closer.
During the trek, we'll have two qualified doctors accompanying the group from the get go and at all times throughout the challenge, along with a team of experienced challenge guides and porters.
Porters and mules will carry your luggage, food and water, so you will only need to carry a small day pack, containing essential accessories and equipment.
Please note that our local ground agent in Columbia has confirmed that the mules are very well treated.
We’ll have an event leader, plus two qualified event doctors, who will be with you the whole time.
As we're not medically trained, we're afraid we can't offer you advice on this. We recommend you contact your GP or your local travel clinic, who will have the latest travel health advice.
We also recommend you visit the NHS Fit for Travel website here, to keep up to date with current travel health news and advice on staying healthy abroad.
NHS Fit for Travel website: https://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/home