The Lost City Trek is a 4-5 day trek through the Sierra Nevada Mountain range in Northern Colombia and takes you to the stunning archaeological ruins of La Ciudad Perdida. 

For a full breakdown of exactly what this trek is about and when to go, check out my blog: https://www.thevoyagingvirgo.com/the-ultimate-guide-to-the-lost-city-trek/

For a comparative overview of this trek and the Inca Trail in Peru, see my blog: https://www.thevoyagingvirgo.com/the-inca-trail-vs-the-lost-city-trek/

If you’ve done your research and have decided that the Lost City Trek is something you’d like to do, I’ve set out below my essential Lost City Trek packing list based on my personal experience on the trek. 

Although there is no weight restriction on this trek, bear in mind that there are no porters, and you are expected carry your own belongings. Therefore, I highly recommend packing as little as possible as lugging a heavy backpack up steep hills in the scorching Caribbean sun is no fun!

You don’t need to break the bank when packing for this trek and you certainly don’t need to buy the most expensive branded gear. You can find good quality items at reasonable prices which you can use over and over again, which is precisely what I did.

1. Clothing

  • 2 quick drying t-shirts plus the one you will be wearing– Gym t-shirts are perfect for this trek. I bought mine from H&M. They were cheap and did the trick. You can get them from anywhere that does sports or gymwear such as Primemark, Sports World etc. 
  • One pair of long leggings and one pair of three-quarter leggings – again quick dry gym gear is ideal. 
  • A worn in, comfortable and waterproof pair of hiking boots – The key here is that they are worn in. Don’t wear brand new boots they will only give you blisters! I highly recommend some boots with ankle support. They were a life saver for me going up and down steep uneven paths as it very easy to roll or sprain your ankle. Ankle support helps to prevent that from happening. I bought my boots at a very reasonable price from Go Outdoors. That exact style is no longer available, but I have linked a very similar pair here: https://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/15989477/merrell-women
  • Hiking socks to absorb sweat and prevents blisters – I bought mine from Mountain Warehouse https://www.mountainwarehouse.com/isocool-womens-hiker-socks
  • A light waterproof jacket – I usually recommend purchasing a 3 in 1 jacket as this can be used in all weathers. I bought mine from Mountain Warehouse and simply detached the inner lining leaving the thin outer waterproof shell. Although I packed it, I didn’t need to wear mine during the trek as it was way too hot and I actually found the rain refreshing in the heat https://www.mountainwarehouse.com/womens/jackets/womens-3-in-1-jackets
  • Something to wear in the evenings and to bed – I packed a pair of jogger pants with elasticated ankle cuffs to stop any bugs crawling in. They are also light and airy, perfect for the humid jungle (example: – https://www.newlook.com/uk/womens/clothing/trousers/green-animal-print-cuffed-joggers). I also had my trusty marino wool long sleeve top. Long sleeves are great for fending off mosquito bites (https://www.mountainwarehouse.com/merino-womens-long-sleeved-zip-neck-top-p13373.aspx/black/ )
  • A light fleece in case it gets cooler in the evenings – https://www.thenorthface.co.uk/shop/en-gb/tnf-gb/women-tops-fleeces-midlayers/womens-100-glacier-quarter-zip-fleece-pullover-2uav?variationId=JK3
  • Flip flops – for wearing around the camp and in the shower. 
  • Underwear- 5 pairs of underwear and a bra. 
  • Bikini/swim trunks – if you fancy taking a dip in the nearby river and waterfalls. Bikinis are better than one piece swimsuits as they are easier to change into and they drier quicker. 

2. Toiletries

  • Toilet roll and sanitary products – There is no toilet paper provided so be sure to grab one from your hotel before you head out. For the ladies, if you’re on your period, be sure to pack sufficient sanitary products.
  • Small first aid kit – Containing Immodium, paracetamol, blister plasters, hand sanitiser, plasters, antiseptic wipes, rehydration sachets (dioralyte), pocket tissues and the usual medications you take.
  • Small shower-gel and shampoo – I kept my hair tied up for the entire trek and didn’t wash it so didn’t need shampoo. If you do bring some, you only need a little. You can pinch a few small sachets of shower gel, shampoo & conditioner from your hotel bathroom which is what I did. 
  • A small bottle of antibacterial hand wash – there wasn’t any soap to wash your hands with after using the toilet and before eating on this trek and I think that was the reason so many people fell ill with stomach bugs. 
  • Toothbrush & Toothpaste – all mini-sized of course. 

3. Miscellaneous Items

  • A sleeping bag liner – the camps aren’t the cleanest and so it’s nice to have a barrier between you and the sheets. It’s also handy for cooler evenings https://www.mountainwarehouse.com/walking/sleeping-bags/sleeping-bag-liners
  • A backpack with a rain cover – I took my 18-litre Lowe Alpine AirZone day-pack which I absolutely love. It’s the perfect size for my short stature and fits perfectly to the female form to distribute weight evenly onto your hips instead of your back and shoulders. It also has a breathable back which is perfectly suited to this trek as it stops your back from getting sweaty and wet. Packing wise, it was a little snug but that was simply because I had my DSLR camera with me. The less you pack on this trek the better. I think if you have a bigger pack you’ll be tempted to pack more so don’t go bigger than 20 litres. https://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/lowe-alpine-la-airzone-nd-18l-backpack-350638
  • A microfibre towel – these are great for trekking, they are small, compact and quick drying https://www.mountainwarehouse.com/micro-towelling-travel-towel
  • Hiking poles – Only 2 of us in our group brought a pair. It’s not essential to have these but I personally really like having them for balance and to soften the impact on my knees when coming down steep hills. They are collapsible and can me hung onto your backpack when you’re not using them. You can purchase a cheap pair from Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/TrailBuddy-HikingSticks
  • Mosquito repellent – I use jungle formula. – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jungle-Formula
  • Either a water bladder or 2-3 large water bottles (You don’t need both) – If you purchase bottles, make sure they fit into the side pockets of your backpack securely. (Bottle – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Opard-Motivational-Infuser) Alternatively, you may want to invest in a water bladder to avoid having to keep taking your bottle out of your bag. Again, make sure it fits to the size of your backpack (Water bladder https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hydration-Leakproof-Reservoir
  • A dry bag for your electronics – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Aesy-Waterproof-Lightweight
  • A bin liner – it’s just handy to keep your clothes dry.
  • Head torch– there is very little electricity at the camps and it’s gets pitch dark at night so a head torch is vital for getting around camp – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Everbeam-Rechargeable-Headlight
  • Sun cream – It is very sunny and so a high SPF is recommended. 
  • Earplugs – if you’re a light sleeper. I personally loved hearing the sounds of the jungle at night. 
  • Camera/ Phone/ Kindle with fully charged batteries, cables and a portable charging pack –https://www.amazon.co.uk/Anker-Ultra-Compact 
  • Money for buying drinks and snacks and paying for a mule if you choose to use one. .

4. Conclusion

The above list covers all the essentials you will need on this trek. I recommend not packing any more than this as you will struggle to carry it. I hope the above is helpful. If you’ve done the trek and recommend any other items I may have missed, please do list them in the comments section below! Happy trekking!

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