The Lost City Trek, Ciudad Perdida. Better than Machu Picchu?

lost city amazon trek

Ciudad Perdida is the Spanish word for “Lost City”. The Lost City is the archaeological site of an ancient city in Colombia’s Sierra Nevada. It’s believed to have been founded 650 years earlier than Machu Picchu.

Some people think the experience to get to the Lost City is much better than Machu Picchu.

After I visited both, I could not choose my favourite one. Yes Machu Picchu is touristy, but there are a few things to do that you’ll have a magical experience anyway.

I will talk about it in a different article. Back to the Lost City in the Colombian jungle. There is no way to take a bus and have a look on this city. You’ll have to walk all the way to the Lost City. You’ll walk days through the muddy and magical Colombian jungle and sleep in hammocks while the flies bite you at night.

Once it was possible to visit illegal cocaine production sites from the Colombian guerillas. Two weeks before we did the trek, the Colombian military closed all the illegal cocaine production sites and patrolled the jungle. Follow your guide and you’ll be safe.

The place of the ancient Lost City is amazing. When you standing on the ancient Lost City, surrounded by the Colombian jungle, your body full of insect bites, you’ll feel like a king hundreds of years ago who conquered this amazing place. You’ll love it. If you’re in Colombia this is a must do.

Informations to the Lost City trek

Where is the best place to start this trek?
In Santa Marta you’ll find many offices that will take you to this amazing trek.
How long does it take?
5-6 days. Two, three days in and two, three days out. Depends on your condition and what you arranged with your guide.
What does it cost you?
I paid around 250$, include food, hammocks and the guide.
Would I do it again?
Definitely a yes! It was a magical experience. If you’re in Colombia, it’s a must do… 🙂

 

 

5 Reasons why you should travel to the Hawaiian Island Kauai

Hawaiian Island Kauai

Kauai, lovely named the Garden Island, is one of the prettiest Islands in the World. The law “no building is taller than a coconut tree” has protected the island environment. Kauai is magical. The deep green color will take your breath away. You can discover an epic landscape. Here are my 5 reasons why you should travel to the Hawaiian Island Kauai:

1. Hiking and it’s outdoor activities:

If you love hiking, you’ll love it. There are world-class hiking trails around the Island. The prettiest hiking trail of the pacific coast is located here. It’s the Kalalau Trail, the Napali Coast Trail. It’s just amazing. You’ll walk through the Hawaiian rainforest, on cliff sides to incredible beaches and waterfalls. And most of the time you’d be able to see the sea. I think it’s better to show you some photos of this trail than write about it. So feel free to skip this article and go directly to the photos.


2. Hawaii’s best Beaches and the sunsets:

True, no Hawaiian experience is complete without its beaches. You’ll love it. As you can see in the pictures above it’s possible to walk to lonely beaches. Imagine what you can do there. 🙂 My favorite beach was the Hanalei Bay because this was the first time I stood on a surfing board. It’s a good place to learn surfing because the waves are slow and easy. The following pictures in the photo album will show you some of my favorite beaches on Kauai.


3. Scenic Drive

While you are driving around the island you’ll stop every few meters because of the stunning landscape. From Hanalei Valley to the lookout of the fantastic Kalalau Valley you’ll think that you never want to leave this place. The following pictures will show you some of the landscape to expect on Kauai.


4. Camping

It’s possible to sleep on camp grounds close to the beaches. The camp grounds are organized by the state parks and you’ll have to get permits for it. The prices are cheap compared to the high hotel prizes on the Hawaiian Islands. Have a look on the Hawaii State Park Website: http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dsp/camping-lodging/kauai/ . Even if you’re on a small budget you can go to the camp sites. The State Park Officials will inspect the tents if they have a permit in the early morning at around 5:30A.M. When you don’t have a permit, be sure that you’ll leave with your tent BEFORE 5:30A.M. Anyway you’ll have to get up early for the beautiful Hawaiian Days. If camping is not your thing, you still can go to big hotels anyway.


5. Kauai by air

It is a small island compared to the others of the Hawaiian Islands though it has some of the greatest geography on our planet. But over 90% of this jaw dropping island can only be seen by a helicopter because it’s not possible to see it by foot. And so you can have a once in a lifetime experience by doing a helicopter flight over the island.

Flights to Hawaii you can find everywhere. Ask me if you need any help. I’m happy to help you.

If you want to see more Hawaiian Islands, than check out the blog post about Big Island. Here are our Kauai Trip Photos:

Big Island, Hawaii

Udo Jürgens sings in one of his famous songs “Ich war noch niemals in New York, ich war noch niemals auf Hawaii” and that is what you have to change. Hawaii is still one of our most favorites places on earth. And this time, when I’m looking back to my travels, I’ve seen a lot of islands. Hawaii is one of them which I can’t forget. Hawaii for me is not only an island; it has his own life spirit. It’s one of the magic places, where the world seems to slow down. A happy place where you can find tranquility and freedom. Yes, it is true, it’s not a secret anymore but the isolation in the Pacific Ocean makes this place special. It’s quite expensive to travel to Hawaii, especially for us as European budget travelers, but I think this helps to keep the spirit alive. Then when you are in Hawaii, you can still travel with a small budget. 

It was not our plan to go to Hawaii(ok true, after two weeks on the road we didn’t have plans anymore), but in Seattle, some people told us that Hawaii is one of the most beautiful places in the world and that we have to see this place. The next day we flew to Hawaii from Seattle. At first, we flew to Honolulu and afterward to Kona, Big Island. Alone the arrival at the airport was an experience itself. You leave the airplane and you’re standing right next to palms, beautiful flowers and the speakers were playing Hawaiian music. Sandra had to nip me because I questioned myself if I’m still alive. We left the airport and hitchhiked to the next city for a delicious American pancake breakfast. We didn’t have any plans and so the next 10 days we hitchhiked through the whole island, it was fantastic. The people were unbelievable friendly and peaceful. They picked us up, invited us to their home and showed us this amazing island. We slept on some beaches, did some amazing Couchsurfing and stayed in homes from people where we met as we hitchhiked. And everywhere was this peaceful tranquility.

One of our most memorable experiences in a lifetime was the lava flow in the sea. It’s about 30 miles from Hilo (ask the people where the lava is and about the safety) and you can walk directly along the beach and old cold lava to the red hot lava flow. Go to the beginning of the evening and you’re there when the sun comes down. It’s amazing. You can stand directly in front of a lava flow and feel the unbelievable heat. Please be very careful and wear good hiking shoes, because the ground can be very hot as well. Some people wore sport shoes and the shoes melt almost away. And NEVER forget your headlight, because you have to walk back in dark and on the dark ground. Without a headlight, you can’t see where you walk. And please be careful you have to check the wind direction as well. Ask the locals. This adventure’s totally worth it. I will never forget this to stand right before a lava flow.

After 10 days on this beautiful island, we flew to Kauai, the garden island, Hawaii, but this is another story. We still remember this unbelievable friendly and peaceful people on Big Island and say thank you to everyone. One day we will come back to this peaceful and beautiful place.

When to go: It doesn’t matter. It’s a year-round destination.

What to do: Experience the Hawaiian life, its beaches, the amazing people and don’t forget the lava flow and it’s Hawaii Volcanoes, National Park.

Where to sleep as a Budget traveler: Camping on isolated Beaches with your tent, couch surfing

Where to sleep if you’re not on a budget: Take a look on the Hilo Bay Hale Bed and Breakfast.

How to come around: Hitchhiking and there is a bus around the island as well.

Flights: Use the flight apps that you love. You’ll find the cheapest flights if you chose at “depart” à “whole year” and at “return” à “whole year”. At “from” you can use the whole country like “Germany” or “United States”. And then click search and you can choose the cheapest flights on the date choices.

Trip to the Angel Falls, Salto Ángel – Venezuela

Angel Falls Sign
If you’re travelling through Venezuela than a trip to the Angel Falls is a must do. It’s one of the few amazing places on earth that you have to see before you die. It is in a protected area in the Amazonas jungle and the only way to get in is with an airplane. There are no streets to get to the falls. From the closest town Canaima it is another day trip per boat to get to the falls. The following night you’ll sleep in hammocks close to the falls. Usually you have to take an organized tour. This includes the flights, boat trip to the falls, food and sleeping.
The tours you’ll get at tour offices at the airports, hostels or tour agencies around the cities. I paid around 200$ with the black market exchange rate.
Day 1:
We flew from Ciudad Bolívar to Canaima, the closest town to the falls. Canaima is a nice indigenous village with a great view to another water fall. Around Canaima and I think in the Canaima National Parque too, there are gold diggers at work. The local people bring gold to the local market and get paid for it. I don’t know why this is possible at a national park, because gold digging is normally a dirty business for the beautiful nature. I think money makes everything possible in Venezuela. At the first day we took a boat to the Angel Falls. It took around 6 hours to get in sight to the Angel Falls. Then you walk another hour through the jungle to get to the viewpoint of the Angel Falls, Salto Angelo. It was just amazing. We were lucky because we could see the falls without the clouds in this rainy season. Angel Falls is the tallest waterfall in the world and it falls 3,212 feet (979 m) off a mountain called “Auyantepui”. After the falls we had some barbeque close to the falls and slept in hammocks.
Day 2:
The next day we took a boat back to Canaima. Around Canaima there are many other waterfalls too. We took a boat across the small lagoon of Canaima and got to another waterfall “Salto el Sapo”. You have to wear socks because of the slippery and you’ll have to walk a long way under a waterfall. It is wonderful. The noise and all the water coming down makes you crazy. Be careful, your camera will get very wet. At the end you can walk directly under el sapo and feel the unbelievable power of the water. We got to the top of el sapo and had an amazing view over the Canaima Lagoon. In the evening you can have some very expensive beers at bars and reflect an unforgettable adventure.
Day 3:
The next day we flew back to Ciudad Bolívar and took a bus to the north. For us it was totally worth the money because it is an amazing place. You definitely feel like that you are in Jurassic Park. The landscape is magic and the falls will follow you at night.

Only love for an unspoiled paradise on earth – Caramoan Islands, Philippines

Yes there are still some unspoiled beautiful islands on earth. Caramoan Islands are some of them. Here I will tell you why you should travel to the Caramoan Islands as soon as possible:

 1. The word will spread out. Soon you will find these beautiful islands in travel magazines around the globe. At the moment you still can find some isolated islands.

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Greetings from Robinson
Greetings from Robinson, Caramoan Islands

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Caramoan Islands

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2. Some people want to build an airport close to these islands. If that happens, the tourist masses will spread over the islands.

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Caramoan Islands
Caramoan Islands

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beautiful beach, Caramoan Islands
beautiful beach

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3. You can find a beautiful spot to sleep on the islands with your tent. (This is not allowed anymore in El Nido since 2014)

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sunset and camping
sunset and camping, Caramoan Islands

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4. You can rent a boat for your own for around 25$ a day. The captains will show you some beautiful places. (here you’re not on a boat with masses of tourist like in El Nido) You’ll love island hopping.

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on the boat
on the boat, Caramoan Islands

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strech of sand
strech of sand, Caramoan Islands

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5. Have you ever seen survivor? (Ok, I’m honest; I didn’t know the TV show survivor before we went to these islands…) Some of these islands are the main location for this TV show.

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typical boat from the philippines
typical boat on the philippines, Caramoan Islands
amazing color of the water
amazing color of the water

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Caramoan Islands

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When to go?

Best travel time is from late May to early September.

 

How to get to the Caramoan Islands?

From Manila:

Take a bus from the Araneta Bus Terminal, between Times Sq & Gen Romulo Aves, Cubao, Quezon City) to Naga.

From Naga:

Take an air-con minivan to Sabang (around 90P, 1½ – 2 hours). It’s a beautiful scenic drive.  From Sabang there are some boats to Guijalo pier (120P, 2 hours). The last is around 1 PM. From Guijalo you can take a jeepney or tricycle to Caramoan Town or to the Paniman Beach. At the Paniman Beach you can find some boats and they can bring you to the paradise. J  Talk to the friendly people.

From Legazpi:

Take a jeepney along the coast road to Tigaon over Tiwi. In Tigaon you can pick up a jeepney for Sabang.

 

Sleeping:

Take your tent with you and camp on a beach. Talk with the boat drivers and they will find an isolated place for you.

In Paniman you can camp at the beach as well. If you want some more comfort you can find some places close to the beach.

If a isolated ressort is your thing, than have a look at the beautiful cove ressort, that was a tip from our boat driver. They even pick you up at the Guijalo pier with their own boat.  If you want a cheaper place close to the Paniman Beach, than you can go to Breeze and Waves.

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Caramoan Islands
incredible island
incredible island, Caramoan Islands
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Caramoan Islands
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Caramoan Islands

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view point
view point, Caramoan Islands
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Caramoan Islands

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Why you should not buy an around the world ticket?

Don’t buy an around the world ticket. I can’t recommend it. Long before we started our trip around the world in 2010 we discussed whether to buy one or not. But one of our main reasons why we didn’t buy one, is that we wanted to be as flexible as possible.

1. Flexibility

Yes at the beginning we had a route what and which countries we want to visit, but we canceled it in the first two weeks. You don’t know what happens on the road. You will meet so many people and they will tell you stories what you definitely have to see or have to do that it is impossible to plan these things. One of the main reasons for me is flexibility when I’m traveling. I don’t want to plan what I want to do. You will change your plans anyway. I met so many people with a world travel ticket and 90% wouldn’t buy one a second time.

2. One Way Ticket

That’s what we bought and it was one of our best decisions at the beginning of our trip. We bought a one-way ticket to Halifax, Canada from Frankfurt for around 300€. Ha ha, I remember. We didn’t know anything about Halifax in Canada. The only thing we knew was that it is a city on the east coast of Canada. We only had a couchsurfer for the first two days in Halifax. We hadn’t any travel guide for Canada and didn’t know how to get from the airport to the city. So we hitchhiked from the airport to the city. That was our first autostop in our lives and definitely not the last. Again, you have to be flexible, with hitchhiking even more.

3. Costs

Yes, an around the world ticket might seem to be the cheaper option, but I think it could end up to be much more expensive than to buy every ticket individually. You will change your mind on a long trip what you want to see and you will have to change your following flights. Anyway, in Central America and South America, you will be better off by taking a bus than to miss this beautiful landscape. In Asia, you can find very cheap flights without an around the world ticket.

4. Time

An around the world ticket is only valid for one year. One year sounds like a long time, but I’m honest with you it’s almost nothing for a trip around the world. You can spend a year in a country in South America and you’ll not see the whole country. I mean if you go to a trip around the world, I’m sure you don´t want to see only the “highlights”, you want to meet locals and spend some time in a country. This takes time. If you have an around the world ticket you have to worry about the time. After two weeks traveling we forgot which date it is. It’s not important(except if you’re hungry and it’s Sunday and all the supermarkets in Canada are closed and you are almost starving to death…). To live day by day and no need to worry about the time is totally enjoyable.
And there is one more thing. I’m sure you can’t stop traveling after a year if you have still enough money and even if not it is hard to stop.

5. Visa

Don’t worry about to enter a country only with a one-way ticket. We didn’t have any problems with that. Nobody asked us about it. Not even when we entered the USA by bus. But if that’s the only thing that bothers you than I can give you the advice to buy a bus ticket to the next country. So you can prove that you travel further. That should be enough and it’s much cheaper than to buy a flight that you will not take.

6. Change

Yeah, I’m honest with you, you will not come back as the person you were when you started your trip. You will change even if you don’t think so. Don’t plan one year ahead. If you go traveling a long time you are looking for something. Maybe you don’t know it yet, but you will find something. Just let it happen.