You may have heard of Patagonia’s W Trek in Torres del Paine and odds are you’ve even completed the Inca Trail to Peru’s Machu Picchu, but South America is home to far more undiscovered treks than these famous routes.
From Colombia to Argentina, the continent is teeming with myriad journeys well-worth the passport stamp and worn legs. Whether you have one day or fourteen, here, your guide to South America’s greatest under-the-radar hikes.
1. Lost City Trek to Teyuna National Park
Length: 5 Days
Level of Difficulty: Challenging
Why You Should Go: If you’re searching for an undiscovered trail few have traversed, a journey to Colombia’s northernmost wilds is for you. Beginning in Santa Marta with G Adventures, discover the lush jungle of the Sierra Nevada Mountains on this challenging trek to Ciudad Perdida, an ancient Colombian city developed by the native Tayrona people. Requiring 1,200 steps to reach the final entrance of Teyuna, it’s estimated only 10 percent of the ruins are unearthed, lending to the mysterious appeal of this forgotten city. Highlights include swimming in the Buritaca River, watching hummingbirds flutter through the trees, and sleeping in open-air hammocks.