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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?