Archeological San Agustín

For my holiday I always like to do a combination of beach, shopping, food, activities, nature and culture. In San Agustín you can at least do tree at the same time; activities, nature and culture. I noticed that I didn’t see that many tourist here, compared to Salento for example, but to admit it has its special charm and beauty. In this travel blog my inspirations, tips and information for you why you should visit San Agustín, Colombia South America!

Travel to and from San Agustín, Colombia

The distance from Bogotá to San Agustín in the Huile department is over 500 km, but through the mountains it’s quite a journey. You can fly, but you still have to travel a significant distance with the bus, because San Agustín doesn’t have an own airport. I had chosen to save some time and travel by night, spent the day in Bogotá and had cheap accommodation for the night; the bus. Back home I already booked the bus ride online via Redbus.

I treated myself to the luxury first class seat in the bottom of the night bus COOMOTOR Navette XL bus for 87.000 COP. The normal ticket is 75.000 COP, but for that couple of COP more you get a lot more comfort. I left Bogotá at around 22:00 PM and I arrived in San Agustín, behind schedule at 9:30 AM, indeed a long journey, but still remember the moment of waking up in the mountains with a picture perfect view!

Tip: Take some melatonin/sleeping pills before you go to sleep, use earplugs and a mask to cover your eyes, the blankets are provided. Sleep well!!

Accommodation in San Agustín, Colombia

I chose not to stay in the city center of San Agustín but preferred the nature, quiet and the views over he hills, after my city live in Bogotá. I slept at the recommendable Finca El Cielo. The view from my bamboo room was amazing.

View balcony from Finca El Cielo in San Agustin Colombia; Colombia Travel Blog InspirationsThe people that are working here are so helpful and friendly. Besides that, it was a good way to practice my Spanish because they barely speak English. The room was so romantic with all the bamboo and linen, the balcony with bamboo chairs finished it. I love flowers and the garden was full of colorful tropical plants everywhere.

Tropical Flower San Agustin Colombia; Colombia Travel Blog InspirationsIf you are lucky you can sleep in the tree house!! I ordered breakfast and dinner in advance to eat at the premises; they even take into account what you prefer! Compared to the rest of Colombia the accommodation was one of the cheapest I had, with a private room and fantastic view over the orange mountain sunsets.

Tours in San Agustín

The main attractions in San Agustín are the archeological sites from 5,000 years ago. In total there are more than 500 statues scattered over a wide area in the green hills of San Agustín. I will recommend visiting two tours in two days around this cultural event.

 1.  Hourseback riding

The first trip is a horseback ride tour; here you combine an activity in combination with culture! I used to ride the horse when I was young and it was great to get back on the horse again.

Horseback riding in San Agustin area Colombia; Colombia Travel Blog InspirationsMy guide Sandro, who was the manager of the Finca El Cielo as well, showed me the whole area including a trip with viewpoint to the famous and magic Magdalena River. I organized this trip the morning I arrived with the night bus and started around 2:00 PM and finished just before sunset. We started our tour visiting the La Pelota and El Purutal sites; these sites are unique because here you can find the only colored painted statues in the area. A must see!!

La Pelota at archeological site in San Agustin Colombia; Colombia Travel Blog InspirationsWe had a break a local shack, where we drank my favorite delicious maracuya (passionfruit) jugo and I got an explanation and tasting of different fruits. After the break we galloped back through the magical landscape to the Magdalena River. These historical sites are called El Tablón and La Chaquira and are in the passport as well (see below). We parked our horses and walked all the way down to a platform with a magnificent view over the Magdalena Strait (in Spanish Estrecho del Magdalena).  Here you can see divinities carved into the mountain face overlooking the stunning Río Magdalena.

Rio Magdalena valley in San Agustin Colombia; Colombia Travel Blog InspirationsThe sun was already going down which made the light and view so mystique and romantic. I totally understand why the young couples come here to kiss and make out. The steps up where challenging but knowing my horse was waiting for me up the hill and with a beautiful view in my back, I kept on smiling after an awesome day!

2.  San Agustín Archaeological Park

The second trip I will recommend to you is to visit the main UNESCO World Heritage archeological site of San Agustín. Busses leave town regularly that counts the same for the return trip. At the entrance you buy a sort of passport for 25,000 COP with a map and explanation of the area. During your walk through the park you can achieve several stamps in your passport, this motivates to get and see all of them!! Many of the figures are anthropomorphic, some realistic and others resemble masked monsters. Other sculptures worship sacred animals like the eagle, frog, bird and jaguar. The native people from the San Agustín area didn’t have a written language that is why we don’t know much about them, only these amazing and mystical creatures in a mesmerizing landscape.

Mesita B at archeological site in San Agustin Colombia; Colombia Travel Blog InspirationsThe park consists of 8 separate sites, I took the following route:

  • Casa Museo Mesita D (close to the entrance)
  • Mesita A
  • Mesita C
  • Fuente Ceremonial de Lavapatas (water part)
  • Alto de Lavapatas (the higher part of the park)
  • Mesita B
  • Bosque de las Estatuas

Mesita A at archeological site in San Agustin Colombia; Colombia Travel Blog InspirationsThe Alto de Lavapatas is a huge climb to the top of the hill, but the view and high statues are amazing and worth the climb. In the park there is a coffee shop where you can rest and chill a bit, this is near the Fuente Ceremonial. I liked this part of the park very much; it’s different than all the others. I didn’t book a guide, but the passport and descriptions are clear and sometimes I overheard some stories of guides in the park. It is a well maintained park with easy to walk paths and routs, you can spend a long day if you like. Me walking fast; finished the park in over half a day. Round 2:00 PM I took the bus back, grabbed some fresh empanadas in town and chilled on my balcony with the spectacular view. Preparing for my long and heavy bus ride to Popayán tomorrow……..

Where are you travel to next? Popayán or back to Bogota

 

View from the boat at Peñol Colombia; Colombia Travel Blog Inspirations

Piedra del Peñol & Guatapé

Instead of going by myself with the local transport, I booked a tour to the Piedra de Peñol & Guatapé Colombia with Top10toursinMedellin. It was a big bus full of...
Read more
Salsa nine steps in Cali Colombia; Colombia Travel Blog Inspirations

Salsa in Cali

The main reason for me to visit Cali was the salsa! I love to dance and I wanted to take salsa classes to get into the Colombian vibe. Cali is...
Read more
Parque Caldas in Colonial Poyayán Colombia; Colombia Travel Blog Inspirations

White Colonial Popayán

Next stop in my travel journey though Colombia is Popayán, a white colonial city in the South of Colombia. Perfect city stop between San Agustín and Cali. Check my travel...
Read more
Overview over Bogota Colombia; Colombia Travel Blog Inspirations

Five must do’s in Big High Bogotá

Bogotá really surprised me! It’s actually a big high altitude city, but on the other hand if you look for the nice areas in town it gets cozy and friendly....
Read more
Palms sunset at accommodation Costeño near Tayrona; Colombia Travel Blog Inspirations

From Tayrona to Palomino

The only big disappointment in my whole travel trip to Colombia was that the Parque National Natural Tayrona was closed from 28 January till 28 February 2018. I only found...
Read more
Cootranshuilla Transport in Colombia; Colombia Travel Blog Inspirations

Tips before travel to Colombia

Before you go to Colombia make sure you will be well prepared. In this blog my tips and inspirations that will help you to plan your holiday to Colombia. Is...
Read more
Costumes at the Carnival in Barranquilla Colombia; Colombia Travel Blog Inspirations

“Carnaval de Barranquilla”

The “Carnaval de Barranquilla”is the second largest carnival celebration in the world, next to Rio de Janeiro. I planned my trip around these four days of festivities; the most important...
Read more
Wax palms valley sun behind clouds in Valle de Cocora near Salento Colombia; Colombia Travel Blog Inspirations

Wax Palms, Coffee and Souvenirs in Salento

I was looking forward to this part of the trip! Salento is known for the Wax Palms in Valle de Cocora and I love palm trees in general. In this travel...
Read more
Botero sculptures in Bogota Colombia; Colombia Travel Blog Inspirations

Is it safe to travel to Colombia?

Yes it is safe to travel to Colombia; in fact I haven’t experienced any unsafe moment in the whole 4 weeks that I traveled through Colombia. In this travel blog...
Read more
Colombian Flag; Colombia Travel Blog Inspirations

Route for 3 to 4 weeks Colombia

I usually go for a long holiday of four weeks during our winter time January and/or February. These 4 weeks gives me the time to get a good impression of...
Read more
Cable Car view in Medellín Colombia; Colombia Travel Blog Inspirations

Mesmerizing Medellín

Indeed Medellín, the city of eternal spring, really surprised me in a positive way! What a diversity and flexible city. Every traveler I run into was enthusiastic about this city...
Read more
Typical Las Murallas around Cartagena Colombia; Colombia Travel Blog Inspirations

Charming Cartagena & Rosario Islands

In this travel blog tips, inspirations and information on Cartagena and Rosario Islands, Colombia South America. I have heard very positive stories about “Cartagena de Indias” and as an experienced...
Read more