Colombia – A Journey to the Land of Transformation: the Mountains, Jungles, Kogi, & Caribbean Coast of Colombia

Shapeshifting Ourselves and the World with John Perkins and Daniel Koupermann
December 2-13, 2017

About This Event: Colombia

A first!

You are invited to pioneer something that is truly amazing – to join John Perkins and his Ecuadorian partner Daniel Koupermann in a ground-breaking trip that builds a bridge between cultures in magical ways that have never happened before.

The Kogi of the Sierra Nevada mountains were so deeply impressed by the participants on the December 2015 and 2016 trips and their dedication to “changing the dream of the industrial world” that they have asked us to take this relationship to new heights. They’ve invited the 2017 group to spend more time in their communities and to delve deeply into sacred ceremonies that they say have been kept secret from outsiders – until now.

The Kogi refer to themselves as the “Elder Siblings.” They remained isolated after the Spanish Conquest until recently when they understood that life as we know it is being destroyed by us, the “Younger Siblings.“ In recent years, they came down from their mysterious mountain villages to teach humanity about how to protect the living being, the “Great Mother,” Earth. After the 2015 and 2016 trips they understood that some of the Younger Siblings are prepared to go much deeper; the 2017 group is a manifestation of their dream for a stronger partnership.

Colombia itself is an exceptional country. 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, expedition guide and environmentalist, and local indigenous teachers and shamans (“Mamos”) on this journey through spectacular forests and mountains, down rivers, 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 clandestinely, 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. You will be a pioneer, a participant in this first-ever experience with the Kogi.

Come. Open your heart to the ecstasyYou will experience:

Cartagena, the “fortress city,” a symbol of colonialism and pirate raids that has transformed itself into a portal to magic;

The Caribbean coast and the enchanted island of Mucura where you will connect with the power of nature and delve deep into your higher purpose;

Sierra Nevada National Park, is 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.

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 and 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 2nd, 2017:  Arrival in Cartagena, Colombia 

You will be met at the airport and transferred to Hotel Bantú in the old city. If you arrive by late afternoon, you will join the group for dinner.

Cartagena or Cartagena de Indias is one of the most beautiful cities of the Americas. With its 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, 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, Cuba, Portobello, Panama, 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 earliest 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. Before Drake, in 1568, the English pirate, John Hawkins had 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 its capture would 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 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, including ones from diseases, 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 being 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 “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 offers magnificent scenes of the old city.

December 3rd, 2017: Full day to explore Cartagena

AM:  At the beginning of the day we will gather to introduce ourselves. Then we will start our visit at 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 or to relax.  In the late afternoon we will reconvene for discussions and sharing, to deepen our communal relationship and our knowledge of the world we are about to enter. 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 4th, 2017:  Cartagena – Sierra Nevada

From Cartagena we will take our bus north for about 4 hours (box lunch on the trip) to Kantawa in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada National Park. Amidst this majestic park is our hotel.  Kantawa Spa Hotel, a place to relax and experience the positive energy through our contact with the natural world all around us.

For the indigenous tribes, the essence of life is to thank Mother Earth, which is why it is very important to have a pure and unique space to make their offerings to Her.  The word Kantawa means the place where the body enters a state of harmony and recovers lost energy!

PM: Psycho-navigation session with John Perkins in the beautiful gardens of Kantawa, our Hotel on Sierra Nevada.

Note: We can leave the belongings we will not need for the next night of camping in the Kogi community at the hotel.  We will return to the hotel for the night of the 6th.

Dinner and free time.

December 5th, 2017:  Kantawa – Kogi Community

Today we will hike or ride mules or horses for approximately two hours in the hills of Sierra Nevada to the Kogi community.  We will have the unique opportunity to learn about the Kogi people, their traditions and their daily way of life.  It is our “job” to show them that there are “Younger Siblings” supporting and working to improve the human presence on the planet, something that will also contribute to their wellbeing.

With sleeping bags (please bring your own) and mosquito nets (provided), we will camp in a communal hut and have lunch, dinner and breakfast the next day, in the community.

During our stay we will participate in an aseguranza ceremony in the Older Siblings tradition.

This aseguranza 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 Elder Siblings 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 – to regenerate – that which is taken out of it.

Kogi 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.

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 climates, 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 environments 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 conquered 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 “Elder Siblings”, and believe that they have a mystical wisdom and understanding which surpasses that of others. They refer to outsiders as the “Younger Siblings”. They are committed to teaching the Younger Siblings ways to move from the current destructive ways (the Death Economy) to sustainable ones (the Life Economy).

December 6th, 2017: Kogi Community – Kantawa Spa Hotel

After breakfast, we will join in a circle to give thanks for Kogi hospitality.  Then mid-morning we will return to Kantawa Spa, with support from our mules and horses.

An afternoon of rest, relaxation and personal time.

At night we will gather as a group to share our experiences, what we have observed and learned so far during our journey.

December 7th, 2017: Kantawa – Taironaka (Sierra Nevada)

We will have the morning to rest and enjoy the SPA facilities of Kantawa.

At noon we will go to Taironaka lodge. After the check in we will have lunch.

In the afternoon we will enjoy the beauty of the Don Diego River, floating slowly (in tubes and kayaks) down river, surrounded by tropical forests, monkeys, birds, butterflies and other wildlife, 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.

Dinner at the hotel.

Taironaka is a small country lodge, located on the shore of the Don Diego River, which has crystalline waters. Although they originate  in the glaciers of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, by the time the waters reach the lodge they are warm and lovely. The owners bought this property to build a tropical flower plantation.  Once they started the construction they found amazing archeological sites.  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.

The Taironas…

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. Ethno historical 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.

December 8th, 2017: Taironaka to Tairona and EcoHabs Lodge

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.

PM: Shapeshifting session with John in a site on the beach, on the base of one of the Kogis sacred altars located on the “black line” an imaginary line that goes around the ancestral land of the Kogis which is used for ceremonial purposes.

December 9th, 2017: Tairona National Park

There will be an optional and easy hike of about 3 hours to enjoy the beaches of La Piscina.

Lunch in a local restaurant – or at the hotel for anyone who choses not to go on the hike.

After lunch we will have the opportunity to visit another Kogi community and have the space to listen to them as well as to ask questions about their culture, history, traditions, and ceremonies.

We will have the option to return to the lodge by horseback – or on foot. The horses are part of the Park services, so they are accustomed to the trails and to riders. For anyone 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 10th, 2017: Ecohabs Lodge

AM: We will participate in a ceremony of PAGO (offering gratitude and service to Mother Earth) with a Kogi Mamo in one of the sacred places of the “black line,” known by the Kogis as “the Nine Stones”.

Lunch at the hotel.

Free time to rest and enjoy the park and its facilities. There is a private beach and spa services to relax. 

PM: Around the time the sun is setting: Going deeper into shapeshifting with John.

Dinner at the hotel.

December 11th, 2017: 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 at a very special gourmet restaurant.

December 12th, 2017:  Cartagena to the international airport:

Please arrange your transfer to the airport in the front desk of the hotel, depending on your needs.  Thank you.


Note: Wifi will not be available in Taironaka or in the Kogi community. The other hotels have it but it may be slow and intermittent; thus, it is advisable to let people know that you may be offline for extended periods of time. Hot water also will not be available in some locations.

*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.


Cost per person: $3,900 (double occupancy). Initial deposit of $1000 will confirm your space. Second payment of $1900 is due August 1st. Balance of $1000 is due October 1st, 2017. Single Supplement (only available some of the nights): $1490 per person. Every attempt will be made to provide single rooms for those who pay for them but for some nights, including at Taironaka and in the Kogi community, this will probably not be possible and everyone will have to share rooms with other people.


Reservations:  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

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.

Cost includes: Private tour bus or van for travel during the journey, all meals, hotels, tips for restaurants and hotels, water during meals, transportation from airport in Cartagena, park entrance fees, local guide and/or spiritual leaders to share history and cultural information.

Cost does NOT include: Roundtrip airfare to Cartagena Colombia, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages, tips for the local guides and private bus driver, personal items, 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 12th, 2018).

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.

Cancellations & Refunds: 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 August 1st, 2017. 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.

Responsibilities: 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.

Reserve Your Place On This Trip

To make a reservation or for more information please contact:
Linda Leyerle at