"Journey to the Heart of the World"

21-day expedition in Northern Colombia

Expedition begins and ends in Santa Marta, Colombia

Embark on an expedition of a lifetime that begins in La Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the tallest coastal mountain range in the world. Recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site, this pyramidal volcanic massif rises to 18,700 feet (5700m) above sea level. It is home to every biome found in South America and is celebrated for its biodiversity. These mountains are also the birthplace of the ancient pre-hispanic culture of the Tayrona.


Today, the descendants of the Tayrona still live in La Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. They call their mountainous home “El Corazon del Mundo” - the Heart of the World. They separate themselves into four tribes: the Arhuaco, the Kogi, the Kankuamo and the Wiwa. They call themselves the Elder Brothers, a people committed to maintaining the equilibrium of the Earth by their daily rituals, mental discipline, and meditations. 


After exploring the Heart of the World, we travel along the northern coast to La Guajira, a remote and arid region at the northernmost tip of South America.  La Guajira is home to the Wayuu people, the largest indigenous group in Colombia. Never conquered by the Spanish or subsequent powers, the Wayuu consider themselves the people of the sun.  They consult their dreams for wisdom, which they attribute to their ability to find water sources and thrive for thousands of years in a place that otherwise appears uninhabitable.


The trip price includes transportation to and from the Simon Bolivar Airport in Santa Marta, food/transportation while on the expedition, lodging, immersive Spanish and basic first-aid classes, direct contributions to the reforestation of the places we visit, and in-depth education/safety from Guardian Trip Leaders and Colombian guides. 

We have four main components of this trip:

Santa Marta

The Lost City

The Kogi & Quebrada Del Sol

La Guajira & The Wayuu

Santa Marta

We begin our journey in the bustling port city of Santa Marta. This town was the first Spanish colonial establishment founded in the year 1526 by conquistador Rodrigo de Bastidas. Santa Marta marks the beginning of the bloody conquest set upon the indigenous of the continent.

_DSC5735.jpg
_DSC5715.jpg
_DSC5778.jpg
_DSC8233.jpg
_DSC5728.jpg
_DSC5796.jpg
_DSC5698.jpg
_DSC5935.jpg
_DSC5866.jpg
_DSC5713.jpg

The Lost City

We hike into the jungle to the ancient city of Teyuna, to rediscover the roots of the ancient Tayrona culture that built this city in the jungle more than 2500 years ago.

DJI_0284.jpg
_DSC6638.jpg
_DSC6128.jpg
_DSC6020.jpg
_DSC6148.jpg
_DSC6204.jpg

The Kogi & Quebrada Del Sol

In La Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, we stay with the Kogi to learn about the descendants of the Tayrona who consider themselves the guardians of mother nature. Within their land, we help to reforest the jungle and develop a sustainable system of tourism for future visitors.

DJI_0315.jpg
_DSC6891.jpg
_DSC7179.jpg
_DSC7161.jpg
_DSC6930.jpg
_DSC7011.jpg

La Guajira & the Wayuu

We travel to the northernmost point of Colombia to learn from the ancient culture of the Wayuu. As we stand on the top of South America, we learn about the water crisis and help to sustain water resources in this remote Caribbean desert.

Traditional Wayuu dance
The Dunes of Taroa
Highway in La Guajira
Wayuu familial paint
Chinchorros (traditional hammocks) of La Guajira
Sparse flora of La Guajira


Expedition Cost:

$4000

*The cost does not include airfare

*Scholarships up to a $1000 are available upon request and need

Trip Dates:     December 28th, 2020 - January 17th, 2021

  • Backpacking skill development on the Trek to the “The Lost City”

  • Indigenous culture exchange with Kogi and Arhuaco Indians, the guardians of mother nature

  • Service projects in La Sierra Nevada and La Guajira - Reforestation of La Sierra Nevada and aid in water sustainability in La Guajira "Punta Gallinas"

  • Spanish language immersion

  • Basic first aid classes

  • Cultural/human history of our course area

  • Learn to live in the Jungle

  • Stand on the top of South America

  • Travel Insurance is REQUIRED

  • Ages 18+, must have a passport

SNSM_Peninsula.jpeg
SierraNevadaSantaMarta.jpeg

©2019 by Guardian. Proudly created with Wix.com

_DSC5728.jpg