Parque Arqueológico

Top choice in Cauca & Huila

This 78-hectare archaeological park is 2.5km west of the town of San Agustín. There are over 130 statues in the park in total, either found in situ or collected from other areas, including some of the best examples of San Agustín statuary, with human or animal features, or a mixture of the two. Don't miss the carved tombs either. Reputable guides congregate around the museum.

At the entrance to the park is the Museo Arqueológico, which features smaller statues, pottery, utensils, jewelry and other objects, along with interesting background information about the San Agustín culture.

Beyond the entrance, you'll stroll along the statue-lined Bosque de las Estatuas before ascending the four funeral hills – mesitas A, B, C1 and C2 with their respective tombs and clusters of statues. Many of them are anthropomorphic figures, some realistic, others resembling masked monsters. There are also sculptures depicting sacred animals such as the eagle, jaguar and frog. Archaeologists have also uncovered a great deal of pottery. Mesita B's statues are the best known.

Besides the mesitas is the Fuente de Lavapatas. Carved in the rocky bed of the stream, it is a complex labyrinth of ducts and small, terraced pools decorated with images of serpents, lizards and human figures. Archaeologists believe the baths were used for ritual ablutions and the worship of aquatic deities.

From here, the path winds uphill to the Alto de Lavapatas, the oldest archaeological site in San Agustín. You'll find a few tombs guarded by statues, and get a panoramic view over the surrounding countryside.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Cauca & Huila attractions

2. Alto de los Ídolos


Located across the Río Magdalena 4km southwest of San José de Isnos (26km northeast of the town of San Agustín), this is the second-most important…

3. Alto de las Piedras

8.75 MILES

This site is 7km north of Isnos and has tombs lined with stone slabs, some of which still show traces of red, black and yellow coloring. One of the most…