Ciudad Perdida (Spanish for " lost city) is the archaeological site of an ancient mountain city at about 1200 metres above sea level in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta inColombia. Ciudad Perdida is located on the river and is Believed around 650 ad, founded by Tairona Indians, about 650 years earlier than Machu Picchu. The location is also known as Teyuna, such as 200 and as Believed-the Indians call it. The access to the city can only be reached by a trek of 44 km and a climb of about 1200 stone steps through dense wilderness. The city is adapted to the mountain region; circular terraces are connected with one another by stone steps. Also bridges, roads, drainage channels and retaining walls for the plateaus on which their cabins were built, with flat stones. The walls were built without mortar but with rammed earth, and had to be able to average 4000 mm rainfall per year on this steep terrain to resist. The city was a political and economic center. 40% of the city was intended as a public park, and the rest was used for habitation. The city has had probably 2,000 to 8,000 inhabitants. At the highest point of the city stood two imposing ceremonial buildings. Archelogen estimate that about 10 times larger than the city of Machu Pichu. The city was apparently abandoned during the Spanish conquest. Excavations suggest that the city may be stung by the Spaniards in fire.
Ciudad Perdida was discovered in 1972, when a group of local treasure hunters some stone steps against the mountain those took them to a deserted city claimed. When gold figurines and ceramic urns from the city on the local black market began to appear, the authorities brought to light the site in 1975.
Members of local tribes — the Arhuaco, the Kogi and the Asario -have stated that they visited the site regularly before it was widely known, but had kept quiet about it. They call the city Teyuna and believe it was the heart of a network of villages, inhabited by their forebears, the Tairona.
The area was some time affected by the Colombian civil war between the Colombian national army, right-wing paramilitary groups and left-wing guerrilla groups such as the National Liberation Army (ELN) and revolutionary armed forces of Colombia (FARC). In september 2003 the ELN kidnapped eight foreign tourists who were visiting Ciudad Perdida, and demanded a government investigation into human rights abuses in Exchange for their hostages. ELN released the last hostages three months later. The Colombian Institute of anthropology avoided the area after kidnappings took place and also the access for tourists not recommended.
In 2005, tourist trips allowed. The Colombian army patrols operating in the area, which now is considered safe for visitors, and there are no more been kidnappings. The trek is about 44 km long, and requires a good level of fitness. The tour includes a number of river crossings and steep climbs and descents.