Colombia is known as the “keystone” to Latin America – the birthplace of ancient traditions and harbinger for hope. It is where John Perkins learned the lessons of an Economic Hit Man in the 1970s. Today it is leading the way to healing the wounds that cause environmental devastation, economic and social upheaval, and terrorism.
Join John, NY Times bestselling author and leading expert on indigenous cultures and shamanism, and Daniel Koupermann, expedition guide and environmentalist, and local indigenous teachers on this journey through spectacular forests and mountains into ancient cultures, and along beautiful tropical coasts.
Receive the power and energy of “shapeshifting” approaches; elevate yourself to higher states of consciousness; transform yourself and the world around you.
John and Daniel will take you deep into the heart of sacred Colombian sites. You will meet, learn, and work with magical shamans and spiritual leaders. You will visit places that in the 1970s were instrumental in shapeshifting John from Economic Hit Man to an Evolutionary Shaman dedicated to transforming the global Death Economy into a Life Economy. You will participate in life-changing ceremonies and enter portals into your own shamanic transformation.
You will meet shamans who kept their traditions intact, often secretly, during the Spanish Conquest and more recent years of turmoil in Colombia. Now that balance and peace have been re-established, these powerful teachers join John and Daniel to realize the Prophecy of the Eagle and Condor and to shapeshift crises into a new level of higher consciousness.
This Consciousness Revolution is the greatest revolution in history and you will be part of it. You will be woven into the tapestry that is creating an environmentally sustainable, socially just, spiritually fulfilling world where all beings can thrive.
Come and open your heart to the ecstasy.
Cartagena – the “fortress city,” a symbol of colonialism and pirate raids that has transformed itself into a portal to magic;
The Caribbean Coast – Experience the enchanted island of Mucura where you will connect with the power of nature and delve deep into your senses.
Sierra Nevada National Park – The world’s highest coastal range, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve ranked as one of the most irreplaceable parks in the world for threatened species.
Tairona National Park Where with nearly 8,000 acres of Caribbean Sea and 30,000 acres of land in the rain forests of the Sierra Nevada mountains, the spirit of the Amazon jungle rises from the sea and serves as a guide to inner peace and a motivator for agents of change;
The Kogi People – “The Elder Brothers,” who remained isolated after the Spanish Conquest until recently when they understood that life as we know it is being destroyed by us, “The Younger Brothers. “ Now they are dedicated to teaching humanity how to honor the sacred and protect the living being, their “Great Mother,” earth.
During this adventure into the inner and outer worlds, you will learn to apply shapeshifting approaches that will elevate you to higher levels of consciousness where you can transform yourself and the world.
Many of you have traveled with John and/or Daniel before and know that they and the local teachers who are their friends will capture your attention every step of the way.
This is a trip for those of us who want to learn, share unconditional life-changing experiences, love, and transform ourselves and the world we pass on to future generations.
If this is you, we invite you to join us on this life-altering journey!
December 4th, 2015: Arrival in Cartagena, Colombia
You will be met at the airport and transferred to Hotel Bantú in the old city.
Cartagena or Cartagena de Indias is one of the most beautiful cities of the Americas. An old colonial city, with authentic architecture of the Colonial and Republican times – from the 1600s to the 1800s, it has served as the inspiration for numerous books and films about pirates and Spanish America. The city was founded on June 1,1533. However, settlement in the region around Cartagena Bay by various indigenous groups dates back to 4000 B.C.
A Brief History…
At the time of the founding of the city of Cartagena, the area was populated by the Calamarí people. This population was part of a native culture called the Mocanáes; they were believed to be fierce and warlike and it is claimed that the women joined the men in battle.
Within a few years of the Spanish arrival a walled military fortress was erected to protect the city against the plundering of English, Dutch and French pirates.
Situated on the northern coast of Colombia on a sheltered bay facing the Caribbean Sea, the city of Cartagena boasts the most extensive and one of the most complete systems of military fortifications in South America. Due to the city’s strategic location, it is an eminent example of the military architecture of the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries and was also one of the most important ports in the Caribbean.
The port of Cartagena – together with Havana and San Juan, Puerto Rico – was an essential link in the route to the West Indies and thus an important chapter in the history of world exploration and the great commercial maritime routes. On the narrow streets of the colonial walled city can be found civil, religious and residential monuments of beauty and consequence.
Despite the precautions, the city was attacked many times. One of the early attacks came in 1551, by the French pirate Roberto Baal; eight years later another French pirate, Martín Cote arrived in Cartagena demanding a ransom to prevent a total destruction of the city.
The English privateer, Francis Drake, attacked the city in 1572. The ransom for the city was an estimated 107,000 ducats, an unknown amount of gems and jewels, 80 artillery pieces and other assorted goods. Also in 1568, the English pirate, John Hawkins attempted for seven days to take the city but left empty handed.
Probably the most serious threat to Cartagena after Drake was Captain Henry Morgan’s attack in 1668. Fearing an expected invasion from Jamaica in October 1668 the English Governor Modyford gave Morgan permission to make pre-emptive attacks on Spanish ships and ports. Modyford and Morgan agreed that Cartagena, Spain’s biggest and wealthiest harbor, would make an excellent prize and send a resounding message to Spain.
Unfortunately for the British, while Morgan was anchored at nearby Cow Island, his ship, the Oxford, exploded under mysterious circumstances. The explosion was killed between 300 and 900 of Morgan’s men. With the loss of the ship and so many men Morgan abandoned the attack. The incident left a stain on his career as a buccaneer.
The Baron of Pointis was finally able to break into the city in 1697. Cartagena’s Slaves revolted and helped Pointis breech the city walls.
The last real threat came in 1741. Led by the English Admiral Edward Vernon, it included a vicious attack of more than 350 bombs fired from ships’ cannons. After a bloody fight and numerous loses, Vernon suspended the attack and left for Jamaica.
Cartagena was famous (or infamous) as being one of only two Spanish colonial cities that possessed a slave market; the other city was Vera Cruz, Mexico. The first African slaves, brought by Pedro de Heredia, were forced to open roads so the Spaniards could raid the tombs of Colombia’s Sinu region in search of silver and gold. They also were used for cutting sugar cane and building fortresses.
During the colonial period, Cartagena served a key role in the administration and expansion of the Spanish empire. It was a center of political and economic activity due to the presence of royalty and wealthy viceroys. In 1984 Cartagena’s colonial walled city and fortress were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The movie “Queimada” or “Burn!” (1969) starring Marlon Brando, about a British Economic Hit Man/secret agent in the mid 1800s, was filmed in and around Cartagena. Brando described it as the best film he ever made. Available at Amazon and other on-line services it has magnificent scenes of the old city.
December 5th, 2015: Full day to explore Cartagena
AM: At the beginning of the day we will gather to introduce ourselves. Then we will start our visit with the San Felipe Fortress and a walking tour through the walled city and its old streets, temples, and well-preserved colonial and republican houses. We will also visit some of the historic monuments such as the Inquisition Palace.
PM: Time to explore this magic city on your own. Dinner will be in a local restaurant of Caribbean cuisine.
For those who enjoy local Salsa and tropical music, we will leave at 10pm for the famous Café Havana in the Getsemani neighborhood.
December 6th, 2015: Isla Mucura
At 10:15 AM we will go to the Bodeguita Wharf, to take a motor boat for a 1 1/2 hour cruise to Isla Múcura. On the way we will see the fortresses in Boca Chica Bay; San Fernando and San José forts were located strategically at the entrance of the bay to defend against pirate attacks. We will arrive at Isla Múcura in the San Bernardo Coral Marine Reserve, an isolated Caribbean paradise away from the noise of the world. We will check into the Lodge and have lunch.
PM: Psyconavigation session with John Perkins in the beautiful beach gardens of Punta Faro, our Hotel.
Dinner and free time.
December 7th, 2015: Santa Cruz del Islote
In the morning we will take a 10 minute boat ride to make a one hour visit to Santa Cruz del Islote (Santa Cruz Islet), an island located one mile from Isla Mucura. It has a population of 1,247 inhabitants, and it is only approximately 2.5 acres. It has the distinction of being the most densely populated island on earth. There are just 6 family names, 97 houses, and 65% of the population is under 18 years of age. The average density is 1.25 inhabitants per each 10 square meters or the equivalent of 125,000 inhabitants per square kilometer. The residents have to use neighboring islands for schools, recreation areas and the cemetery. Most of the people work on the mainland instead of on the island. The Mucura Island hotels are a prime source of work for the residents.
We will have the opportunity to hear the story of this community from one of the elders, and discover the social codes they have had to develop in order to create a spacious life on a small island. Their message is an important one for a world with shrinking resources and growing populations. We will continue our boat ride to a nearby reef for snorkeling and the opportunity to shapeshift with magical tropical fish and spectacular coral reefs.
Back to Punta Faro for lunch.
PM: Free time to rest and enjoy the beach and trails of the island.
Before sunset we will participate in a purification bath in the natural light and waters of this sacred sea where we may experience the amazing phenomenon of bio-phosphorescence.
Dinner at the hotel.
December 8th, 2015: Múcura Island-Cartagena-Taironaka (Sierra Nevada)
We will return by boat to Cartagena and take our bus north for about 5 hours (including a stop for lunch) to Taironaka in the Sierra Nevada National Park. Taironaka is a small country lodge, located on the shore of the Don Diego River, which has crystalline waters coming from the glaciers of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The owners bought this propriety to build a tropical flower plantation. Once they started the construction they found amazing archeological pieces. They requested help from the archeologists who were involved in the studies of the Lost City of the Americas to find out what they had discovered. The result of the study shows that the location was an important Tairona city. The excavations continued and they discovered a series of circular platforms where the Taironas built their houses. Today we can see several of these platforms and let our imagination recreate this ancestral city.
Tairona was the name for a group of chiefdoms in the region of Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. This culture goes back at least to the 1st century A.D. and had significant demographic growth around the 11th century.
The Tairona people formed one of the two principal linguistic groups of the Chibcha family, the other being the Muisca. Genetic and archaeological evidence shows a relatively dense occupation of the region by at least 200 B.C.
The people cultivated yuca and maize as early as 1200 B.C. However, occupation of the Colombian Caribbean coast by sedentary or semi-sedentary populations has been documented to occur as early as 4000 B.C. Before the arrival of the Spanish ships the Tairona flourished along the shores of the Caribbean Sea. They created irrigated fields and fishing villages, and traded with other villages further inland. Ethnohistorical data shows that initial contact with the Spanish was tolerated by the Tairona but by 1600 part of the Tairona population had moved to the higher stretches of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. This movement allowed them to evade the worst of the Spanish colonial system during the 17th and 18th centuries. The indigenous Kogi, Wiwa, Arhuacos and Kancuamo people who live in the area today are believed to be direct descendants of the Tairona.
The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta National Natural Park (Spanish: Parque Nacional Natural Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta)
The Park is Colombia’s second oldest national park, established in 1964. It is located in the Cordillera Oriental Range, between the departments of La Guajira, Magdalena, and Cesar, in the mountain range of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. A sanctuary, it offers different climate, terrain, flora and fauna environments, ranging from beaches to snowy mountain peaks.
Forty-four of Colombia’s endemic species are found in the park (for example seven species of hummingbirds) as well as 44 endangered species. The area is home to 440 species of birds. Mammals found in the park include tapir, cougar, jaguar, otter, and brocket deer. All the waters that originate in the National Park drain into the Caribbean Sea. Roughly 1.2 million people are dependent upon the freshwater supplied by the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Rivers. In 1979 the park was designated a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. A 2013 report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature identified the park as one of the most irreplaceable parks in the world, a haven for threatened species.
On a bloodstained continent, the Indigenous people of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta were never truly vanquished by the Spaniards. Descendants of an ancient Tairona civilization, the Kogi, Arhuaco, and Wiwa – who number about 45,000 today – fled death and pestilence centuries ago, seeking refuge in a mountain paradise, whose peaks soar more than 18,000 feet above the Caribbean coast. In the wake of the conquest they developed an utterly new dream of the Earth, a revelation that balanced the brilliant potential of the human mind and spirit with all the forces of nature.
To this day the Kogi, Arhuaco, and Wiwa remain true to their ancient laws and traditions—the moral, ecological, and spiritual dictates of a force they identify as the Mother—and are still led and inspired by sacred rituals that they will share with us.
The Kogis we will meet are descendants of the Tairona, a civilization who were masterful in gold work and architecture. They adapted to the invasion of their lands in their own way. For example the Kogi shunned outside invasion by fleeing higher up into the Sierra. Alhough they have remained averse to visits from traditional tourists, they welcome people like us who come to learn and partner with them in shapeshifting consciousness.
The Kogi call themselves “the older brothers”, and believe that they have a mystical wisdom and understanding which surpasses that of others. They refer to outsiders as “the younger brothers”. They are committed to teaching the “younger brothers” ways to move from the current destructive ways (the Death Economy) to sustainable ones (the Life Economy).
December 9th, 2015: Taironaka
In the morning we will enjoy the beauty of the Don Diego River, floating slowly (in tubes and kayaks) down river, surrounded by tropical forests, until we reach its mouth on the Caribbean Sea. This activity will give us the chance to have close contact and commune directly with nature. Back to the hotel by boat.
Lunch at the hotel.
PM: Shapeshifting session with John in the archeological site, on one of the Tairona’s stone platform structures which were used to build family and ceremonial huts.
At night after dinner we will have a ceremony call ASEGURANZA with a Kogi Mamo (wise man, shaman). This ceremony will grant each of us a blessing and protection against bad energies or negative events related to our physical and emotional conditions.
To the indigenous people, the Sierra Nevada is the heart of the world. It is surrounded by an invisible “black-line” that encompasses the sacred sites of their ancestors and demarcates their territory. The “older brothers” believe it is their responsibility to maintain the balance of the universe. When there are hurricanes, droughts, or famines around the world it is said that they are caused by the failure of humans to keep the world in harmony. Balance is achieved by making offerings to the sacred sites to give back to the earth what is taken out of it.
Spiritual leaders are called Mamos. The Mamo is charged with maintaining the natural order of the world through songs, meditations and ritual offerings. Mamo training begins at a young age and continues for about 18 years. The young apprentice is taken high into the mountains and taught to meditate on the natural and spirit world. In Western culture, the Mamo could be seen as the priest, shaman, teacher and doctor, all rolled into one.
December 10th, 2015: Taironaka to Tairona National Park
After a short bus ride, we will arrive at the entrance of the Tairona National Park. We will stay in beautiful EcoHabs Lodge inside the National Park.
Following check-in, we will begin our exploration of this natural wonder. There will be an optional and easy hike of about 3 hours, and then another 3 hours to enjoy the beaches of La Piscina and Cabo San Juan.
We will return to the lodge via horseback. The horses are part of the Park services, so they are accustomed to the trails and to riders. For any one who prefers not to ride, another option is a 2 hour loop of easy walking to a site called “the Nine Stones” in the area of the lodge. Or you can stay in the magnificent lodge resting, reading, and enjoying the private beach.
December 11th, 2015: Tairona National Park
AM: Free time to rest and enjoy the park and its facilities. There is a private beach and spa services to relax.
Lunch at the hotel.
PM: Going deeper into shapeshifting with John.
Around the time the sun is setting we will participate in a ceremony of PAGO with a Kogi Mamo in one of the sacred places of the “black line” of the Kogis.
Dinner at the hotel.
December 12th, 2015: Cartagena
We will return to Cartagena and have lunch at our hotel.
PM: Free afternoon to enjoy Cartagena on your own. Excellent opportunities for holiday season shopping.
Our farewell dinner will be in a traditional Colombian Restaurant – La Vitrola – with live Son Cubano Music.
December 13th, 2015: Transfer to the airport for flights home.
All reservations are subject to availability. For information about how to reserve your space and make your deposit for the journey, please contact Linda Leyerle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Colombia, it is not possible to reserve rooms or park entrance fees without a copy of the traveler’s passport. Linda will give you details about how to send a copy to us. Time is of the essence so please respond as soon as possible if you are interested in this journey.
Private tour bus or van for travel during the journey, all meals, hotels, tips for restaurants and hotels, water during meals, transportation to and from airport in Cartagena, park entrance fees, local guide and/or spiritual leaders to share history and cultural information.
Roundtrip airfare to Cartagena Colombia, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages, tips for the local guides and private bus driver, personal items and souvenirs.
This journey is for individuals ready to have an educational/experiential experience. Persons with physical or psychiatric challenges may find this journey too difficult or uncomfortable. We recommend a visit with your doctor at least 6 weeks in advance of departure. No immunizations are required unless you will be entering Colombia from a country with Yellow Fever – in which case you will need a Yellow Fever immunization and be prepared to show proof. You will be at low elevation throughout the journey.
No visas are required for most people entering Colombia (US, Canadian, EU, Australia and New Zealand citizens). If you have questions about this, please let Linda know. Your passport must be valid at least 6 months after the date of your return (June 13th, 2016).
Once you have reserved your space, we will send you more information – packing lists, info about the country, etc. You will be fully prepared for the journey. Also, Linda is always available by email for any questions or concerns – whatever they may be.
Due to availability of space on our journey and the time required to process trip reservations, your deposit will not be refundable if received after September 15th, 2015. We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance in order to protect yourself in case extenuating circumstances force you to cancel your trip. Travelex or CSA are two respected possibilities.
ANDEAN PATHS reserves the right to accept or reject any person as a participant at any time, and to make changes in the itinerary whenever deemed necessary for the comfort, convenience, and safety of our participants, and to cancel a journey at any time. In the event a journey is cancelled, ANDEAN PATHS shall have no responsibility beyond the refund of monies paid to it by program participants as listed. By registering, the participant agrees that neither ANDEAN PATHS nor their affiliates shall be liable for any damages, loss or expense occasioned by any act or omission by any supplier providing services to any program participant. Reasons that Andean Paths might cancel a program include, but are not limited to, issues around safety due to impassable roads, protests in Colombia, or similar unforeseen events.
John and Daniel are very excited about the opportunity to share this new adventure with you.
Historical and anthropological information about Colombia, its inhabitants and culture came from the following: Taironas, Conquistadores y Piratas by Francisco Ospina Navia, La Conquista del Los Incas by John Hemmings, local guides and teachers, and various internet sources, including Wikipedia.