The Mysterious Archaeological Sites of Southern Colombia

Visiting the site at San Agustín is probably the easiest. The Bosque de la Estatuas (Forest of Statues) is very accessible. It contains a collection of found statues, which have been relocated to line a path through a small rain forest. It’s an easy walk through lush, shady greenery, complete with beautiful flowers and colourful butterflies.

If you are not limited by time, or physical ability, you can walk much further into the site. It’s very well organised, and gives the opportunity to see many more of the amazing carved stone figures, often in situ, or at least nearer to where they were discovered. Included are 4 plateaus – Mesitas A, B, C and D – with stone statuary, burial mounds and funerary monuments; the Fuente Ceremonial de Lavapatas [link is in Spanish but describes the Lavapatas carvings fairly well], carved into the rock of a streambed; Alto de Lavapatas; and the site museum.

The small town of San Agustín is set up for tourists, with the usual hostels, hotels, restaurants, cafés, and artisan shops. There are also more of these carved stone statues scattered around.

San Agustín Archaeological Park – Alto de los Ídolos: an overview of plateau B from plateau A. Each shelter covers a single burial mound, which has been excavated.

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