Relics from Colombia’s most famous archaeological site, San Agustín, near the headwaters of the Magdalena River, attest to this mixing of peoples and cultures. The relics include large stone statues of human figures, many with grotesque expressions. Different observers have linked these figures to cultural influences emanating from the Andes Mountains to the south, the Amazon basin to the east, and even Mesoamerica to the north. Archaeological understanding of San Agustín, like that of much of Colombia’s pre-European past, is limited. But it appears that the site was occupied by a succession of different people and served as a cultural center as early as 2,300 years ago.
Classified in the World Heritage List of UNESCO, this vast park, the largest one of the pre-Columbian America, opens the door to an unknown civilization which would have bloomed between the 6th century B.C and 12th A.D.
The archeological site of San Augustin can be discovered by walk, by horse, or even by jeep extended on a territory of 2000 km 2, for an altitude of only 1800 meters, with snow covering the top.
The visitors info have good supplies with easy and also detailed documentation.
How to go
From Bogotá : You can take a bus (10 hours – 520 km), the way through Neiva is safe and there are beautiful sights on the way, like the Tatacoa Desert or the Magdalena River, the most important of Colombia. The bus goes to Pitalito, and most have AC, toilet, TV, but make sure you take a direct one.
From Pitalito you can take a taxi (50.000 COP) or a minivan or pickup (~5.000-15.000 COP per person depending on the comfort level). The night bus from Bogota (the direct one leaves around 9PM as ofApril 2014) takes a few hours less due to less traffic, but make sure you take a direct one, not the “lechero” that stops in every town. As of April 2014 the area has been safe from guerrillas for many years. You can also fly from Bogotá To Neiva with Avianca, LAN or EasyFly, and then take a taxi to the Terminal de Transportes where a high variery of transport options are available to Pitalito. Seats in the minivans are assigned, so make sure you know which seat you are getting, and that you are taking a direct vehicle that will not make any stops. The problem with flying is that you lose the whole day.
From Popayan : There are several direct buses, it’s a long 5 hours bus trip on 135 km of unpaved road (18.000 COP). As of April 2014 the road is paved halfway between the two towns.
From Tierradentro: Take the jeep leaving San Andres at 6.30 a.m. or 8.00 a.m. to Plata (1,5h 10.000 COP). From there you can take a minivan to Pitalito at 9.00 a.m. or 12.00 a.m. (3h, 18.000 COP). From the bus terminal in Pitalito are regularly leaving shared taxis to San Agustin (45min, 5.000 COP).
If you go to Tierradentro take a bus to Pitalito. From there you have to take a bus to La Plata either at 6 a.m. or 10 a.m. From there you can make connections to Tierradentro.
Note: Prices are from 2014
Hostels in San Agustin
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