San Agustín Things to Do

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    forms at archaelog.park san agustin
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    statue at archael.park
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Best Rated Things to Do in San Agustín

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    Alto de Lavapatas

    by MalenaN Written Oct 20, 2007

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    Alto de Lavapatas is within the Archaeological park in San Agustin but it is situated further away from the other statues. This part closes earlier than the rest of the site, at 4pm. The time had just passed four when I wanted to go and I was told by the guards it was closed. I persuaded them that I was going very quickly and walking up the stairs were no problem for me so luckily I could go.
    Alto de Lavapatas is the oldest archaeological site in San Agustin and here you will find seven different stone statues guarding the tombs. The site is situated on top of a hill and the view from here is very nice. To come here you must walk up a lot of stairs.

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    Jeep tour around San Agustin

    by MalenaN Written Oct 15, 2007

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    The bus from Bogotá stopped near the Tourist Office in San Agustin and we were three tourists coming with the bus who went there for information. We booked a jeep tour for the next day, and there was also a Spanish couple going on the tour. To take a jeep tour is a good way to see some of the sites further away from San Agustin. It is a full day trip where we visited El Estrecho, the narrowest point of River Magdalena, and the two archaeological parks Alto de Los Idolos and Alto de Las Piedras, and the two waterfalls Salto de Bordones and Salto de Mortiño. We also made a short stop at a sugarcane factory, in Obando and in San Jose de Isnos ,where we had lunch.

    Price for the jeep tour (only transport) was 25 000 pesos.
    A jeep is a must on these roads, which are very bumpy and they can also be muddy.

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    Alto de Los Ídolos

    by MalenaN Written Oct 19, 2007

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    Between San Agustin and San José de Isnos is Alto de Los Ídolos, an archaeological park, situated on top of two hills. There are ten funerary mounds, dated between the 1st century BC and the 7th century AD. The tombs are guarded by stone statues, characteristic of the San Agustin region. At Alto de Los Ídolos you will find the tallest statue of the area. It is seven metres tall.

    In a house by the entrance there is a photo exhibition with photos from early archaeological expeditions to San Agustin.

    The entrance fee was 5000 pesos (August 2007).

    If you want to walk here from San Agustin it will take you a few hours. I visited on a jeep tour and it was the first archaeological park I visited. It is a lovely place full of history and it is surrounded by green hills.

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    Fuente de Lavapatas

    by MalenaN Written Oct 22, 2007

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    Fuente de Lavapatas is a labyrinth of small streams and pools on a rock bed with carved out figures of faces, lizards and snakes. It is believed it was used for ritual bathes and the worship of aquatic deities.
    There is a foot bridge going over the site so that you can get a good view over the patterns in the rock.
    Fuente de Lavapatas is situated within the Archaeological Park in San Agustin.

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    Exploring the Area by Jeep

    by mircaskirca Updated Mar 2, 2009

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    After the night journey from Bogotá I arrived in El Maco at about 08:00 in the morning. To my surprise I met an American that I already knew from Platypus; he was just having his breakfast. He told me that he and three more people (another American and a Kiwi couple) were going to take a jeep tour in about half an hour and asked me if I would be also interested.

    I did not want to 'loose' a day so I really wanted to join. And besides, I did not need to do anything. The guys talked to the driver already the previous night so they more or less agreed about the tour and the price. I just wanted to take a quick shower and have a breakfast before the tour.

    First we visited El Estrecho, the narrowest point of Río Magdalena (only 2,20 metres wide). The next stop was a small village Obando and then two archeological parks, Alto de los Ídolos and Alto de las Piedras. We had lunch in a small town San José de Isnos. On the way we also visited a sugar cane factory. Our final stop was at a beautiful 400 m waterfall Salto de Bordones.

    We drove through amazing landscape, very green and lush, and were rewarded with magnificent views of the surrounding mountainous countryside.

    It was a full day trip and we payed 30.000 COP each (December 2008). Lunch and the entrances were not included.

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    Alto de los Ídolos

    by mircaskirca Updated Mar 6, 2009

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    Declared by UNESCO a World Heritage, Alto de los Ídolos is the second-most important archeological park in the region. It's far less visited and a bit smaller, but equally impressive as the Parque Arqueologico in San Agustin. It is located on the left margin of the Río Magdalena, 26 km north of San Agustín. It can be also reached from San José de Isnos (5 km northeast).

    The best-preserved funerary complexes of the Augustinian culture are found at Alto de los Ídolos. The park stands out for its characteristics in the representation of sculptures, their dimensions and the presence of sarcophagi and ceremonial baths made from stone. Here is also the tallest statue of the area (seven metres). Alto de los Ídolos is placed in a beautiful setting of green hills. The views from the top are amazing.

    The site is open 08:00am-04:00pm and the entrance fee was 7000 COP (December 2008).

    more pics in the travelogues

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    Alto de las Piedras

    by mircaskirca Written Mar 1, 2009

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    On a small hill 6 km north of San José de Isnos is another archeological park, Alto de las Piedras. This orchid-adorned place contains nine burial mounds. It has a few interesting tombs and monoliths, including the famed three-dimensional Doble Yo with four carved figures. All the statues that were found there preserve their original colour, just as the tombs do.

    The figure of a human with enormous canine teeth stands out among them. A representation of a character with human and animal features rests on his head. Notable is also the statue of a pregnant woman.

    The site is open 08:00am-05:00pm and there was no entrance fee.

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    Horse Riding - Archeological Route

    by mircaskirca Updated Mar 5, 2009

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    Horse riding is one of the most popular activities in the region. You can just stroll the surrounding or visit the archeological sites and other places of interest. The countryside provides a spectacular scenery for horse riding tours. Our guide Pacho was recommended by René, the owner of El Maco. We met Pacho a night before the tour so we could talk to him about the places that we were going to visit. The price depends on the number of people that take the tour.

    The horses were well-kept and he chose very carefully the right horse to each of us (mine was white Mariposa). Paco is very knowledgeable about the area, nice and friendly guy. One the tour I had my camera on the string around the neck. During horse galloping the string tore and I suddenly found I had lost my camera :( Paco went back and soon found it - in mud! Fortunately it was in the photo bag so there was not much damage. And of course, he cleaned it before he deliver it to me :)

    We visited El Tablón, La Chaquira, La Pelota and El Purutal. Pacho left us in front of Parque Arqueologico San Agustín. The site requires at least three hours so there was no use to wait for us. Before the visit we had a snack and drink in the bar outside the park. We returned to El Maco by taxi.

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    Alto de Las Piedras

    by MalenaN Written Oct 20, 2007

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    After lunch we went on to Alto de Las Piedras, which is an archaeological park situated 6 km north of San José de Isnos. Around the tombs here you will find some very interesting figures. One of them, which is supposed to be one of the most famous figures in the region, is called the Double Yo and on it there are actually four figures carved. Another statue is of a pregnant women. If you look on the stones in the tombs you will see traces of red, yellow and black paint.
    There was no entrance fee to Alto de Las Piedras.

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    Parque Arqueológico

    by MalenaN Written Oct 22, 2007

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    Archaeological Park, San Agustin
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    The Archaeological Park is situated about 2,5 km west of San Agustin. The park covers a large area, 78 hectares, and it is hear you will find a large number of stone statues of gods and mythical animals, many of them guarding tombs. There are 130 statues in the park and some have been brought here from other areas, but many stand where they have been found.

    Within the park there are many different sites to see; Mesita A, Mesita B, Mesita C, Fuente de Lavapatas, Alto de Lavapatas, Bosque de Las Estatuas and the archaeological museum. To see it properly you will need a few hours.

    Entrance fee was 7000 pesos (August 2007), but as they had ran out of adult tickets I paid 6000 pesos for two children ticket.

    You can easily walk here from San Agustin, but I had some problems finding the right way back to Casa de Nelly, as I had arrived from a completely different direction. The administration building was closed and nobody was around who I could ask for the way. I saw some women by the road and asked them . They were just visiting and could not help me. Luckily two men came walking and as I asked them it turned out one of them was the gardener of Nelly and he lived just next to her house, so I could walk with them.

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    Bosque de Las Estatuas

    by MalenaN Written Oct 20, 2007

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    Statue in Bosque de Las Estatuas
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    Bosque de Las Estatuas is part of the Archaeological Park in San Agustin. It is situated just by the museum and administration buildings and it is a path through the woods where 35 stone statues are standing spread out along the way. The statues have been found at different funerary sites in the region..
    When I walked the path it was almost closing time and I didn’t see any other person. It might not be the most impressive statues you will see here but the forest make an atmospheric surrounding.

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    El Estrecho del Río Magdalena

    by mircaskirca Updated Feb 28, 2009

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    Around San Agustín there are several spectacular sites worth a visit for its natural beauty. One of them is El Estrecho (the strait), a point where Río Magdalena is rnarrowed by massive rock formations and forced through a 2,20 metres wide corridor. This is the narrowest point of Colombia's main river in its over 1500 km course to the sea.

    Situated 9 km from San Agustín, El Estrecho is framed in a beautiful landscape and the view is outstanding from where you look. It really is a place worth visiting.

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    Obando

    by mircaskirca Updated Mar 1, 2009

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    In the south of the high valley of Río Magdalena, only a few kilometres north of El Estrecho, is a village Obando. The area is known for the cultivation of bamboo, figs, avocado, coffee and its main product, sugar cane. Its name was given in honour of the person who donated the land where it stands today, Rodolfo Obando.

    The village has Parque Museo where you find eight tombs (out of thirty that were excavated) which were conservated. The small museum exhibits pottery (vessels and other pieces), grinding stones, paintings, among others. A small souvenir shop is attached to the museum.

    The entrance fee was 2000 COP (December 2008).

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    Salto de Bordones

    by mircaskirca Written Mar 2, 2009

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    Our jeep tour was slowly coming to its end. We made the last stop at Salto de Bordones which is said to be Colombia's highest waterfall (400 metres) and second highest in South America. We left the car and walked down the winding path to the valley. After 15 minutes of trail we were almost in front of the waterfall. The view of the waterfall, protected by high mountains and dense vegetation, was quite impressive.

    After that we returned to San Agustín. We were all staying in El Maco. In the evening we were going to meet with the guide to talk about the next day horse riding tour.

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    El Tablón

    by mircaskirca Updated Mar 21, 2009

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    The horse riding tour started in the morning from El Maco. We made the first stop just after a few kilometres to the north, in El Tablón, which is said to be dedicated to the Moon Deity. The site keeps an interest by the splendour of the landscape. You can see six sculptures in their original setting and visit the Museo Etnográfico. Several utensils developed by ancient cultures are preserved and you find them on display in this museum, together with some old tools and machines. Entrance fee was 2000 COP (December 2008).

    There is a small café and the accommodation in cabins and you can have a Mayan horoscope cast. Since I'm very much interested in Mayan culture, I asked the guy to make it for me.

    Alternatively, El Tablón also makes for a nice short walk from the town.

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