Both tribes are descendants of the Tairona Indians, which culture flourished long before the Spanish colonists arrived – around 2000 years ago. They were an advanced civilization that built many stone houses (volgens mij niet gesteende huizen maar juist terrassen) and pathways through dense jungle. Their culture embraced freedom of divorce and accepted homosexuality. Whilst the Spanish conquistadors easily overthrew South American empires of the Inca, Maya and Aztec tribes, the Tairona people managed to protect their land for over 75 years before they capitulated as well.
The lifestyle of the Arhuaco and Kogi Indians is said to be very similar to those of the Tairona Indians. You may see them when staying in one of our top picks: the Taironaka Natural Reserve. Many archaeological evidence of their remarkable culture can be found when hiking the 4 to 6 day trekking through magnificent jungle to the Ciudad Perdida. With its estimated foundation around 800 CE, this ‘lost city’ is roughly 650 years older than Peru’s Machu Picchu.
About 45 minutes inland from Santa Marta, you will find the little village of Minca, with stunning hikes, waterfalls and wildlife such as toucans, frogs and iguanas. Minca hosts the beautiful El Dorado bird reserve. About 1.5 hour east of Santa Marta, you will find the laidback beach town of Palomino, where you can hike up the hills with a guide, visit indigenous villages and tube down a beautiful river whilst spotting monkeys in the tree tops.
To make the most out of your Colombia travels, DE UNA offers customized packages starting from 3 days in which national flights, (airport) transfers, and hotel accommodations (all-inclusive or more authentic small-scale) are included. Basically all things you don’t want to worry about. Also, don’t forget to ask us about exciting day trips and activities.