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“Great walk, average guide.”
Review of Wiwa Tours

Wiwa Tours
Ranked #14 of 53 Tours in Santa Marta
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: We are the first indigenous agency that operates the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and Ciudad Perdida with indigenous guides of the area. The project was developed in 2008 as part of the process along with the traditional authorities of the Wiwa and Kogui people of the area for the control and management of tourism within the indigenous territories. And that is why Wiwa Tours is the endorsement of the traditional authorities of the area to work with indigenous guides, unique in its characteristic that forms of works ranging from cooks, muleteers, publicist, vendors, drivers and clerks. Currently, Wiwa Tours works directly with more than fifty (50) indigenous families in the area and permanently throughout the year so that travelers have a real experience in our different destinations.
Reviewed June 9, 2014

Had a really good group on our 4 day hike. Problem was our guide had a poor grasp of Spanish and no English. We got very little information about the lost city from him. He was 16 and it was one of his first hikes as a guide but I don't think he is cut out for it.

Having said all that the hike was tough, enjoyable and great fun. Food was quite good and we made the most of the hammocks and warm beer..

1  Thank clovelly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 13, 2014 via mobile

I did the 5 day tour with Wiwa and would recommend this if you would rather have time in the afternoons to chill, read, swim and chat to the guides and host families. We essentially did the same as the 4-dayers but split their second day into a 4-hour and a 2.5-hr day.

The walking is intense (lots of uphill!!) but there isn't a crazy amount each day (between 2.5 and 5 hours) so it isn't as tough as it sounds. In terms of the facilities, there were toilets and showers at all stops. We stayed in hammocks 3 nights, beds 1 night, and had a cook, Enrique, who travelled with us and cooked the most incredible food as well as keeping us supplied with chocolate, Oreos and lollipops when we were flagging.

We had two guides who were both from local indigenous groups. They both spoke great Spanish, no English, and had very interesting stories of their village customs and the area. They were much quieter than other guides I've had (eg machu picchu) but were informative and helpful whenever approached by one of us.

The lost city itself was great - we left at 4.30am to head up and were alone up there (apart from soldiers guarding it..) for around 3 hours, before the other groups headed up and a helicopter landed. Would definitely recommend asking to go early and have the place to yourself!!

Thank Maija S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eduardo G, Gerente at Wiwa Tours, responded to this reviewResponded April 15, 2014

Thank you for your excellent review. We work hard to make our tours excellent and we are so happy to hear you had a great time. Our work is really important to us because are trying to build a system of indigenous controlled, responsable tourism. We appreciate your support!

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Reviewed April 10, 2014

I am so glad I chose Wiwa Tour for my Ciudad Perdida trek. We had a small group of only 8 people and were given a choice of whether we wanted to complete the trek in 4 or 5 days. Our indigenous guide, Vicente, was absolutely amazing! He lives in the area of where we trekked so he knew so much information about the plants, animals and of course about the lost city. The accommodations were great (hammocks and showers/bathrooms) and the food was amazing. Definitely did not need to bring along any snacks! I highly recommend this company to anyone wanting to do this trek!

Thank LRMTravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eduardo G, Gerente at Wiwa Tours, responded to this reviewResponded April 15, 2014

Thank you for your kind review. We love Vicente too. He is a great, knowledgable guide. Thanks for your support in our mission to grow indigenous-controlled tourism in the Sierra Nevada.

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Reviewed April 9, 2014

We decided to go for Wiwa for doing the Ciudad Perdida trekking because of the rave reviews on Tripadvisor and because it offered an indigenous guide.
The guide we had was a nice guy but he wasn't very informative. I had the opportunity to compare him with a (non-indigenous) guide from another agency and I must say he was more professional and did a better job at explaining about the historic site.
It was nice to have and indigenous guide but you must ask yourself if this has any significance for you. If not, I think there are better or at least safer options.

1  Thank TravellinJonny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eduardo G, Manager at Wiwa Tours, responded to this reviewResponded April 10, 2014

We are sorry to hear that and this is the first time we have heard that the indigenous guide wasn't informative as we hire all of our guides from the indigenous villages that live in the Ciudad Perdida area and for all of them the Lost City is a sacred place of import. We often have the problem that clients of other agencies want to join our tour groups. We are always trying to improve our services so we would appreciate it if you would let us know the name of your guide.

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Reviewed March 31, 2014

A couple days ago I returned from a 5 day trek to the Lost City. I booked through Wiwa tours because it is the only company operated by Indigenous people. I make an effort in making sure that my travel expenses are absorbed directly by the local community, of my destination. Wiwa tours might be the smallest and newest agency, but quality beats quantity. I travelled alone and there were 3 other people in the same group with me. Other tour agencies had up to 15 people traveling together and I could tell that the information given out during the trek was not as complete as ours. Our guide, Alejandrino, from the Wiwa Indigenous tribe spoke Wiwa, Kogi and Spanish. He is adamant about learning English. Alejandrino is the best guide I have ever had, and I've travelled much. He was respectful, considerate, funny, friendly and passionate about showing us everything he new about his culture. On our second day we slept near his home and he brought his wife Juanita, and mother, Maria Isabel, to show us how they extract fique from a plant to make thread. Then how they tie strands together and die them with certain leaves, fruit, and bark to get different colors. Then Maria Isabel showed us how she knits the tread into a tote with a bone as a needle. He introduced us to his Shaman, living within the Lost City ruins, and gave us detailed explanation about the areas' history which his tribe is such an authentic part of. Alejandrino taught us about the Poporo, which the indigenous adult males carry and stopped along the hike to pass on his knowledge on plants, animals and culture. On the last night, as promised, he made a bonfire and showed us how they toast the coca leaves for chewing.
His apprentice, Lorenzo, accompanied us as well and was such a pleasure to be with. I am sure that very soon he will be just as good a guide and host as Alejandrino.
The food was great! Daniel, our cook, was always smiling and singing. He was ready to be of service, even outside of meal times. He made delicious meals and happily prepared vegetarian dishes for me. You can also ask, before the tour begins, to be fed Indigenous meals, which I will try out next time.
The only things I recommend are to understand spanish and to call the day before and the morning of your pick up for the tour, to confirm.
I sure will miss these guys and this amazing journey!

1  Thank bwiljo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eduardo G, Owner at Wiwa Tours, responded to this reviewResponded April 10, 2014

Thank you for your amazing review. We appreciate the time you put into explaining the mission of our agency and all we are trying to accomplish with small groups and indigenous guides. We are grateful for reviews like your because it helps us to grow our sustainable tourism practices.

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