Upon paying your admission at either the Parque Arqueológico or Alto de Los Ídolos you'll be given a 'passport', which is valid for entrance to both sites for two consecutive days.
There are several more archaeological sites to see if you're not in a hurry, including La Parada, Quinchana, El Jabón, Naranjos and Quebradillas. Apart from its archaeological wealth, the region is also noted for its natural beauty, and features two spectacular waterfalls, Salto de Bordones and Salto de Mortiño. It's also worth a walk or ride to El Estrecho, where the Río Magdalena passes through a 2.2m narrows. All these sights are accessible by road or on horseback.
It's highly recommended to visit the more remote sites with a local guide – there's little information outside the Parque Arqueológico and at some sites security can be an issue. The official rate for a certified guide is COP$70,000 per half-day; slightly more for an English-speaking guide. You can rent horses for around COP$35,000 per half-day, plus you'll need to hire a guide (thus making it cheaper to go in a group).
Jeep tours to the more remote sites cost around COP$25,000 per person on the standard circuit or COP$250,000 for private hire if you want to follow your own itinerary. Prices do not include a specialist guide.
You'll need two full days (or three more relaxed ones) to see the area's main archaeological sites – with one day for the archaeological park and the horseback trip to El Tablón, La Chaquira, La Pelota and El Purutal (a four-hour round trip), and one day for a jeep tour to El Estrecho, Alto de los Ídolos, Alto de las Piedras, Salto de Bordones and Salto de Mortiño (six hours).
One of the best ways to explore the mountains surrounding San Agustín is on horseback. Unlike in some parts of the country, the horses available to tourists here are more often than not in fine condition. You can travel by horseback to some of the archaeological sites around town or head out on some epic multiday adventures.
There are numerous budget hotels in the center of town. You'll enjoy your time in San Agustín more if you stay outside the center of town in one of the many charming rural properties.
In the market (La Galería) you will find cheap meals and plenty of crisp fresh produce for self-caterers. Many places around town offer hearty set meals for lunch that include soup, a main plate and a drink.
Drinking & Nightlife
San Agustín's nightlife is a chilled-out affair revolving around a couple of cozy bars.
Farmers come to buy and sell at San Agustín's Monday market at La Galeria. It's a raucous scene with few tourists. If you miss the Monday market, part of the marketplace is open the rest of the week, but it's a more subdued affair.