Located 5-6 hours from Popayan, in the South of Colombia, the village of San Agustin is famous for its vast collection of stone statues. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995.
San Agustin and its surroundings are considered one of the largest necropolises in the world. Even today, these sculptures still hold many mysteries.
More than 500 statues of various sizes and shapes are scattered in different archaeological sites: Parque Arqueologico, Alto de Los Idoles, El Tablon, La Chaquira, La Pelota, El Purutal, Alto de Las Piedras.
However, after more than 10 days in the area, we discovered that San Agustin has even more to offer than a ” mere ” fabulous archaeological site.
Indeed, the mountainous nature of the area offers great options for outdoor enthusiasts. Add enough days to your Colombian itinerary to suit your desires:
- Visit the different archaeological sites
- Horseback riding, half a day, full day or several days
- Walk to the hidden waterfall of Los 3 Churros.
- Visit a coffee farm
- Rafting down the rapids of the Magdalena River
- Go bird-watching
- Plan a multi-day hike in the paramos of “Las Papas”. Wild nature and breathtaking landscapes on the menu. Difficult level of difficulty due to very changing weather conditions.
The weather is quite unpredictable in San Agustin. Always remember to bring a sweater and a raincoat when you go out.
Where to travel after San Agustín:
Getting to San Agustin?
- Bus at the terminal. There is maybe one change in Pitalito. | Cootrans Laboyana | 8h
- Flight from Cali airport to Pitalito, then 1h bus to San Agustin | Satena | 1h
- Bus at the terminal | Cootranshuila & Cootrans Laboyana | 5 hours
- A few buses leave in the evening from the Salitre terminal – schedule – Double-check with the bus company | Cootranshuila & Coomotor & Lineas Verdes | 12 hours
- Flight from Bogota airport to Pitalito, then 1h bus to San Agustin | Satena | 1h
From Neiva to Pitalito then San Agustin:
- Bus Neiva to Pitalito | Coomotor, Cootranshuila, Cootrans Laboyana | 4h30
- Many cars and buses all day long Pitalito – San Agustin| Cootranshuila & Cootrans Laboyana | 1 hour
Where's the terminal?
In San Agustin, there is no bus terminal as such. There, you’ll have to find “los 4 vientos”. It is a crossroads of the village where most of the transport agencies and shuttles to Pitalito are located.
Subtlety on the routes
You’ll often hear about “Cruse de Isnos”. If you open the google map link, you will see an intersection with the main road (in yellow) that connects Popayan to Pitalito and a secondary road (in white) that starts from the main road in the direction of San Agustin.
This intersection is important there because most of the big buses go from Popayan to Pitalito without going up to San Agustin. That’s why some transports will leave you at this intersection, on the side of the road, but don’t panic.
- Route Popayan – San Agustin
- Case 1: you have a direct bus (they are rare) Popayan – San Agustin
- Case 2: You don’t have a direct bus. So you’ll do: Popayan – Cruse de Isnos – San Agustin.
The bus will drop you at the intersection “Cruse de Isnos” but will normally have a shuttle bus to take you from Cruse de Isnos to San Agustin. Ask for it when you pick up your ticket.
Note: in any case, there are many jeeps and shuttles that make the trip. You can also stop one of them by waving.
- San Agustin – Popayan Route
- Case 1: you have a direct bus (they are rare) San Agustin – Popayan
- Case 2: You don’t have a direct bus. So you’ll go to San Agustin – Cruse de Isnos – Popayan.
The bus will drop you at the intersection “Cruse de Isnos” and you will wait for your main bus to go to Cruse de Isnos – San Agustin. Check this with the company you choose to make the trip.