The mountains of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and its peripheral villages make for a cultural nucleus, a historical focal point of tribes and indigenous populations that have persevered through time to establish their rights in modern day society. To the west are the Kogi people, descendants of the Tayrona that built “La Ciudad Perdida”, the lost city hidden in the jungles of the Sierra that is both an archeological treasure and a popular five day trek into the mountains. To the east lies the town of Nabusimake, the capital of the Arhuaca people, also descendants of the Tayrona. After a challenging drive over unpaved roads you embark upon a six hour mule ride that takes you through some of the most spectacular rivers and scenery in the region before reaching the picturesque villages of the Arhuaca with their cobblestone walkways and huts with straw roofs.
The northern mountain range ends in La Guajira, the native land of the Wayuu people who can be distinguished by their colourful costumes and painted faces. Constrained to Colombia’s driest region their main food source is “chivo” (goat), often found roaming freely. Modern day nomads, the Wayuu are a strong community bound by their own rules, where one’s word is of the utmost importance. In southern Colombia lies San Agustín Archaeological Park, home to the largest collection of religious monuments and megalithic sculptures in Latin America. All in all there are 87 different indigenous tribes in Colombia which makes for not only an enriching historical immersion but also an enchanting cultural experience.