Colombian Jungle Camps *Videos*

Before and after my Ciudad Perdida (“Lost City”) trek, I heard dismal reports about the camp conditions – poor food, hot weather, dirty accommodations. Weirdly, I didn’t experience any of this.

Although I’m starting to suspect that indeed the reality of camping in the Colombian jungle is harsh and that only my sense of what is acceptable accommodation has become incredibly skewed over the years.

So I thought I’d let you decide…acceptable or not?

Here’s a description of the necessities of life during the 4 night / 5 day hike into the heart of the Colombian jungle to visit the famed Ciudad Perdida. Plus a few videos of to testify to the raw truth.


Apparently there are a number of trek cooks that freelance for the various tour companies. Their skills widely vary and who (and what) you get is the luck of the draw.

I think we pulled a good card with our cook Jesus. He made some pretty tasty soups, made a fresh salad with every meal, and gave us a chocolate candy bar for desert each night.

We were also given loads of snacks throughout the day. Usually fresh fruit – sliced pineapple, juicy mandarinas, sticky watermelon – as well as pastel-cream colored faux-Oreos that were delicious.

He also offered us plenty of food. And while I drew the line at having seconds, I appreciated the fact that there was plenty of food on hand.

Really both the quantity and quality was surprising. (Although he did give some undercooked meat to 2 fellas who then had brutal bouts of food poisoning on the day of the Lost City visit.)


I really liked Camp #1 with the hammocks. Camp #2 I’m pretty sure had bed bugs. In Camp #3, we actually sleep in a tent on the second story of a wooden building. Unfortunately, Camp #4 was a return to Camp #2.

El Banos:

And yet, despite these sleeping accommodations, I was genuinely enthusiastic about our lodging, especially the bathrooms, which had flushing toilets, toilet seats (not to be under-appreciated), toilet paper on hand, and decent water pressure in the pipes sticking out of the walls that served as showers.

Camp Life

The credit here really goes to my travel companions (the 9 other trekkers). Camp life was pretty fun, which is saying a lot, because we usually arrived in camp by lunchtime and then had the whole afternoon to entertain ourselves. There were usually 3 options:

  • Siesta: My favorite. Plopping in a hammock and taking a good snooze after trudging through mud for 4-5 hours.
  • Swimming: Camps 2 & 3 were located by rivers where you could swim in the hot afternoon. I didn’t always swim, but I sometimes put my feet in the water to cool off.
  • Cards: Travelers best friends. Luckily we had 2 decks on hand and loads of various games to play, including the game of Spoons, played with forks. (Luckily we were a pretty gentle bunch.)

All these various activities were accompanied with lots of storytelling, trading travel advice, and general good humor.

Video Tours

Here’s a peek at Camp #1:

Can’t see the video? Click on this link: Jungle Camp 1

And a quickie tour of Camp #2:

Can’t see the video? Click on this link: Jungle Camp 2

Judgment Day

So what do you think? Good jungle camp conditions, or bad? Would you pay $330 to overnight in these types of conditions if you got to see some pretty cool ancient ruins?

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This entry was posted on Monday, October 15th, 2012 and is filed under Hearth.

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