While the title for this entry is a blogger’s cliché, it truly emphasises the off-the-beaten-track discovery of this remote, ancient city in the jungle. It also highlights the importance of the journey itself as part of this unforgettable experience. Unlike many sites of South American ruins (most notably Machu Picchu), La Ciudad Perdida can only be accessed by a 2-day trek along a tricky jungle track. This culminates in a (physically) breathtaking climb up 1,200 steps – and of course there’s the return hike. Like so many multi-day adventures, I was blessed with the presence of some fantastic companions, making the experience that bit more rewarding and memorable.
The Amazon Basin contains 6 million square kilometres of river and jungle, just over half of which lies in Brazilian territory. My trip into its depths was probably the culmination of my Brazilian travels, provoking my imagination to images of wild cats, snakes, monkeys and macaws, amongst dense jungle, giant trees and along eerie rivers. Guidebooks, tour agencies and online reviews of course dispel such unlikely notions (at least for the usual 3-5 day excursions). So what exactly did I discover during my jungle experience?