Visiting Pre-Colombian Statues in San Agustín Archaeological Park

I walk along the path and study these large statues.  I keep looking at them and wondering, why were they made?  Why were they buried? Who made them?  I wasn’t at the statues on Easter Island. I was in southern Colombia exploring hills and valleys where the statues of  San Agustín Archaeological Park.

San Agustín Archaeological Park

San Agustín was my second stop on my Colombian adventure. I took a bus from Neiva through Pitalito.  I had some confusion in Pitalito. I thought my bus was direct from Neiva to San Agustín.  It wasn’t, I had to switch buses in Pitalito.  The driver of the first bus walked us through the process on switching buses.  Mostly, he loaded my backpack into new local van.  About an hour later, I was in San Agustín.  I caught a taxi to my hostel and settled in for the night.

San Agustín Archaeological Park

The next morning, I got up early and headed in the direction of San Agustín Archaeological Park.  It was about a mile walk from my hostel along several dirt and gravel road.  I enjoyed seeing the house of San Agustín on the way.

San Agustín Archaeological Park

San Agustín Archaeological Park became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995.  The park is home to the world’s largest necropolis.  It is also the home of the largest collection of pre-Colombian statues in the Americas. Little is known about these statues.  The were constructed between 1-900 AD.  Many of the statues were found buried in the ground.  They  were part of large burial mounds and with sarcophagi.  The statues depict supernatural beings and animal formations.

San Agustín Archaeological Park

I paid my entrance fee and got my San Agustín Archaeological Park passport book.  The fee provides entrance to all three parks in the Archaeological parks near San Agustín.   Today, I was going to visit the largest of the parks.  The park is divided into several sections; Mesita A, Mesita B, Mesita C, Alto de Lavapatas, and Fuente de Lavapatas. I walked through the forest and into the first section of the park.

San Agustín Archaeological Park

I started with Mesita A and B.  Both these sections contain large burial mounds with many large statues.  All the statues are found buried in the nearby mounds.  I was impressed by the sheer size and grandeur of the statues.  This section had several sarcophagi.  Little is known about the people buried in the sarcophagi.  The name of this tribe has been lost.

San Agustín Archaeological Park

I hiked up to one of the hills to visit the three statues that made Alto de Lavapatas.   The statues at the top of the hill sit in perfect backdrop of the Magdalena River valley.  The walls of the valley are lined with coffee plantations.

San Agustín Archaeological Park

From Alto de Lavapatas, I hiked down to visit Mesita C. This area had one of the more interesting statues. It depicted the delivery of a baby.  It showed a medicine man pulling the baby from the mother’s womb.  This was just a weird statue to carve and then bury in the ground.

San Agustín Archaeological Park

I left Mesita C and headed towards the highlight of the park, Fuente de Lavapatas. As I descended the valley and neared the Fuente de Lavapatas, I passed this interesting frog carving.  It overlooks the trail and seems to be protecting the Fuente de Lavapatas.

San Agustín Archaeological Park

The forest opens up into the small river valley.  Fuente de Lavapatas is carved into the rocks. The water runs over the carvings.  It creates a curtain over the rocks and enhances the features.

San Agustín Archaeological Park

As I left the park, I noticed a small trail off to the side of the park.  It is home to about 30 statues that were found sticking out of the local jungle. These are all small statues that bear some Asian influence.  These cute little statues were like hidden gems in the jungle. They appear to stand guard to some secret.

San Agustín Archaeological Park

If you would like to learn my theories of these mysterious statues check out 10 Epic Statues in San Agustin Parque Arqueologico.  I make no claims to the historical accuracy.

Would you like to see the statues of San Agustín Archaeological Park?  What do you think of these statues?  Would you bury something like this in the ground?

Visiting Pre-Colombian Statues in San Agustín Archaeological Park

37 thoughts on “Visiting Pre-Colombian Statues in San Agustín Archaeological Park

  1. Pingback: Conquering Columbia – A Solo Traveler’s Journey

  2. Jackie

    I can’t believe how well preserved the statues are considering they were buried in the ground. They look fascinating and certainly leave a lot for wondering. Interesting to think how, even without knowing the name of the tribe, the people have left behind something for others to learn and wonder about them.
    Jackie’s current road . . . A Perfect Ski Getaway to Mont Tremblant, QuebecMy Profile

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    • Jennifer Post author

      I really want to see the statues of Easter Island. They look amazing. San Agustin is similar yet different. It is an amzing places to visit.

      Reply
    • Jennifer Post author

      They have no idea who buried them or why. They have no idea on the Asian influence personally I think it was because of contact between Asia and Americans pre-Colombus.

      Reply
    • Jennifer Post author

      They are and they are not. The lost a lot of the paint that survived being buried in the ground. The main park yes. The other parks are reached via jeep or horse back.

      Reply
  3. Vicky and Buddy

    These statues remind me of some of the statues found at the Mayan ruins in Tikal, Guatemala. It’s all so fascinating to me, especially when there is so little known about them. There are so many possible ideas and theories.

    Reply
  4. Jenna

    Very interesting. The San Agustín Archaeological Park looks like a cool spot! I love all the statues–places like this always make me wonder about the history and what it must have been like when they were being built!

    Reply

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