The ruined metropolis sits dramatically atop a mountain ridge at an elevation of between 950 and 1,300 meters.
In Machete Pelao the highway ends. The automobile turns round. From that small city within the mountainous inside of the Caribbean coast of Colombia, you possibly can solely proceed on foot or on the again of a mule. Who desires to find Teyuna, the ruined metropolis of the Tairona Indians deep within the jungle, it’s essential to stroll 4 days by way of the “inexperienced hell”.
That is what the treasure hunters used to name the jungle in Sierra Nevada, close to Santa Marta, the place mosquitoes transmitted yellow fever and stalked snakes, scorpions, and jaguars. And that’s solely about 25 kilometers to the Misplaced Metropolis.
By way of subtropical cloud forest, the path follows muddy trails and wobbly suspension bridges, by way of mountain streams. “It is exhausting, but additionally a blessing,” says Marco Pollone. In Peru you too can get to Machu Picchu by prepare, bus and cable automobile. Greater than 1,000,000 vacationers go to the well-known ruins of the Inca metropolis in regular years.
The stroll to Teyuna, the second largest pre-Columbian website in Latin America, is often carried out by solely about 25,000 individuals a 12 months, says the information. That’s the reason Anina Gengenbacher and Johanna Fritz are additionally on this tour. For the 2 German buddies, the commotion round Machu Picchu was an excessive amount of. On their journey to South America they have been on the lookout for “Indiana Jones-style journey sensations” with out mass tourism.
Free from the guerrilla
The warmth within the jungle is brutal. The excessive humidity of the air and the fixed ups and downs price effort. However Anina and Johanna are in good condition. Others within the group are much less so. Fortunately, Marco Pollone stops again and again to elucidate one thing about crops or present uncommon species of birds. It additionally signifies espresso plantations and cleared areas. “There have been enormous coca plantations there for greater than 15 years. The cocaine trafficking of the leftist guerrillas and the right-wing paramilitaries flourished ”, explains the information.
After the guerrillas kidnapped eight vacationers in 2003 and launched them months later, the Colombian army took management of the area. Nevertheless it was not till the peace settlement between the FARC guerrillas and the Authorities was signed in 2016 that the trail to Misplaced Metropolis returned to obtain vacationers.
Within the afternoon, the group arrives exhausted on the first camp, which is correct subsequent to a small river. By way of a suspension bridge you attain the opposite aspect, the place the sleeping house is. Paraguayan hammocks, bunks, mosquito nets and to relaxation. However whoever doesn’t have earplugs with them is not going to shut a watch due to the loud croaking of the toads.
The subsequent morning, the information Marco plunges together with his group into the depths of the wooded space of the Koguis, the indigenous folks that succeeded the Taironas. All over the place you hear chirping, creaking and croaking. Colourful parrots and toucans watch from the timber. It smells of orchids and damp earth.
With the evening rain, the paths grew to become pure slides. It’s a thriller how the Kogis transfer steadily round right here. His white trousers and robes are impeccable. “The white symbolizes for them the purity and the snow on the peaks of greater than 5,700 meters of the Sierra Nevada”, explains Marco.
Out of the blue, the forest lights up. The primary ones are seen round huts of mud and wooden. The roofs are coated with palm leaves. Smells like burned wooden. The Kogis surrounded their settlement with a fence. Marco Pollone explains why: “Earlier than, many vacationers entered the cabins with out asking, took pictures of their inhabitants and even trampled the gardens.”
From a distance you possibly can see the indigenous individuals sitting subsequent to a range. The boys put on “poporos” round their necks: hollowed out gourds during which they maintain coca leaves and sea shell powder. Chewing this combination generates a stimulating impact.
The coca plant performs a central function in day by day life, but additionally within the non secular ceremonies of this authentic individuals. The in collections they keep away from vacationers. However on the identical time they stay on them. They work as guides or transport meals to the camps.
Now the path will get steeper. The stone paths laid by the Taironas supply some assist. Nonetheless, it’s important to climb. Within the afternoon, the group arrives on the Paraíso Teyuna camp, the final within the ascent to the Misplaced Metropolis.
Journey to the town
After a robust breakfast with espresso, fried egg and banana and toast with papaya jam, early within the morning the ascent begins, with out backpacks, to the Misplaced Metropolis. On slippery rocks, the group makes their manner by way of the jungle. Out of the blue, a stone staircase with moss seems. It’s the entrance to the Misplaced Metropolis.
The staircase rises vertically up a steep slope coated with vegetation. It’s inevitable to really feel like Indiana Jones once more. After 1,200 stone steps, you attain the end line. Upstairs there’s a house surrounded by tall timber.
The ruined metropolis sits dramatically atop a mountain ridge at an elevation of between 950 and 1,300 meters. Stone paths and stairs join some 200 terraces and squares, on which the Taironas had picket huts on the time. “An estimated 4,000 individuals lived right here at its peak about 1,000 years in the past,” says information Marco. “Teyuna was the political, social and non secular middle of the Taironas.”
However the metropolis fell into oblivion for hundreds of years. The forest coated temples, stone partitions and terraces on the steep slopes of the higher valley of the Buritaca River. It was a treasure hunter, Florentino Sepúlveda, who in 1975 rediscovered the Misplaced Metropolis. The information unfold like wildfire. Quickly extra treasure hunters arrived in Santa Marta.
Just a few years later, the federal government took over. So at this time a lot of the worthwhile items may be seen within the Tairona Gold Museum in Santa Marta. Nearly two sq. kilometers have already been launched by archaeologists. However a lot of the traditional ruined metropolis stays unexplored. The very best time for this tour is the dry season, which runs from December to March, in addition to June and July. In September the Misplaced Metropolis is closed for indigenous rituals.