Colombia's Andean Region – San Agustín

San Agustín

San-agustin

Overview

San Agustín Archaeological Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site of pre-Columbian archaeological significance and considered the largest such site in South America. 450 km (280 mi) southwest of Bogotá where the three Andean mountain ranges diverge, the site of San Agustín had been laid hidden since the 12th century AD and until excavation in the 1930s when archaeologists unearthed the first chinas sculptured from volcanic rock.

At the park which covers 500 km2 (310 mi2) of lush landscape one can find hundreds of carved stone statues, fountains, tombs, a complex maze of canals and pools carved into the bedrock, the Forest of Statues where some of the finest sculptures are gathered and monolithic sarcophagus holding mysteries from a yet unknown culture.
The area of Tierradentro which means ‘the inside land’ is located in a little valley between San Agustín and Popayan. An arduous trek on unpaved roads is rewarded with spectacular pre-Columbian funerary chambers or hipogeiums used by the ancient Indians around 630 AD.

Geographical Location

Geographical-Location-Huila

 
Map of Huila

Huila-Map

Highlights
Archaeological Zone

Close to San Agustín Archaeological Park, visit the site of Alto de los Idolos, far less visited, smaller but equally impressive as the archaeological park. Also within walking distance are the sites of El Tablón´, Chaquira which is dramatically set overlooking the Magdalena River, La Pelota with some coloured statues in excellent condition and El Prutal. Tierradentro is also a must see site, whereas San Agustín is renowned for its statues and monuments, Tierradentro is famed for its elaborate underground catacombs. All of these sites are situated in an area of beautiful scenery with a backdrop of waterfalls and sheer cliff faces in the foothills of the Andes.

San Agustin Park

San Agustín Archaeological Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site of pre-Columbian archaeological significance and considered the largest such site in South America. At the park which covers 500 km2 (310 mi2) of lush landscape one can find hundreds of carved stone statues, fountains, tombs, a complex maze of canals and pools carved into the bedrock, the Forest of Statues where some of the finest sculptures are gathered and monolithic sarcophagus holding mysteries from a yet unknown culture.

Wander around the statues and monuments and appreciate the craftsmanship of workers who hewn volcanic rocks to sculpt such imaginative and ritualistic memorials to their gods, be it worldly or otherwise.

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