Colombia’s “Lost City” *Video*

Ciudad Perdida is Colombia’s famed “Lost City,” nestled in the country’s southern Sierra Nevada mountains. This pre-Colombian city was founded around 800 AD, nearly 650 years earlier that Machu Picchu.

Here’s a brief introduction to this ancient city:

Can’t see the video? Click on this link: Ciudad Perdida

Buried History

Native Americans call this area Teyuna. The three tribes from the area, the Arhuaco, the Koguis, and the Asario, believe the city to be the center for a network of villages that were inhabited by their forebears, the Tayrona. The city was abandoned during the Spanish Conquest in the 1500s.

Ciudad Perdida was rediscovered in 1972 by local treasure hunters who began finding gold and ceramics in the surrounding area. The artifacts finally came to the attention of the government in 1975 and a team of archeologists, geologists and biologists was sent to unearth the ruins. In 1976, the Colombian government declared Ciudad Perdida to be a historical site.

A Working Village

Scientists believe that more than 800 families lived in Cuidad Perdida. The houses were set among a series of 250 stone-ringed terraces, which were built to help protect the land against erosion. The entrance to the city is via 1,200 stone stairs.

Anthropologists have discovered a tiled network of roads and three central circular plazas. They’ve also found indications that the city was a fully functioning village, with markets, an administrative center, and evidence of religious ceremonies.

Modern Notoriety

Tourists began trekking to the ruins in the mid-1980s, despite being in the center of Colombia’s drug wars. It was also one of the centers of the country’s political conflict between the National Army, right-wing paramilitary groups and left-wing guerrilla groups like National Liberation Army (ELN) and Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

The fall of 2003, the site became infamous with an ELN kidnapping of 8 foreign tourists during a hike to Ciudad Perdida. The tourists were held for 101 days before being released in exchange for an investigation into government’s human rights abuses.

In 2005, tourism was resurrected and now several thousand tourists a year make the 5-6 day hike in to the jungle. The National Army retains a base at the ancient site and patrols the area, providing a visible presence and stability to the region.

So what do you think? Is the Lost City tempting you?

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This entry was posted on Saturday, October 13th, 2012 and is filed under South America.

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