Tierradentro

Everyone knows about San Agustin, but did you know that there is another equally mysterious archaeological site?

Tierradentro was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995 because of the many underground tombs discovered there. Some of them are more than 7m deep! Descending into these tombs is a truly incredible experience, especially as they are for the moment very well preserved.

Many historical explanations about these sacred places are still missing. However, researchers are convinced that they were built and governed by a different civilization from the one present in San Agustin.

Tierradentro is a destination off the beaten track in the South of Colombia. The easiest way to get there is to go from Popayan. However, you can also leave from San Agustin but the journey will be a bit complicated if you decide to take public transport. You will have to get on 4 different buses: San Agustin -> Pitalito -> Garzon -> La Plata -> Tierradentro.
Leave early OR decide to take private transportation.

Note: you need to be in good shape to explore the different archaeological sites that are perched on top of the hills. However, it’s worth it if you want to discover surprising tombs with splendid views.

 

How to get to Tierradentro?   (+)

Most of the buses will stop at the crossroad “Crucero de San Andres”. It’s 2km away from Tierradentro’s entrance.

From San Agustin to Tierradentro:

  1. Take a bus San Agustin – Pitalito. It’s best to leave early (6 am) | 1 hour
  2. Then a bus Pitalito – Garzon. There is sometimes a direct bus Pitalito – Plata at 7 am | 1h30
  3. Then a bus Garzon – La Plata. It’s not the main terminal. Let the driver know that you want to get to Tierradentro. | 2 hours
  4. Then a bus La Plata – Tierradentro. Last bus leaving at 5 pm! | 2 hours

 

From Neiva to Tierradentro:

  1. Bus Neiva – La Plata | Coomotor & Expreso La Gaitana & Lineas Verdes & Cootranshuila | 2h30
  2. Then a bus La Plata – Tierradentro. Last bus leaving at 5 pm! | 2 hours

 

From Paicol to Tierradentro:

  1. Bus Paicol – La Plata  | 40 min
  2. Then a bus La Plata – Tierradentro. Last bus leaving at 5 pm! | 2 hours

 

From Popayan to Tierradentro:

  • Direct bus Popayan – San Andres de Pisimbala. There is usually 1 direct bus per day in the morning. Ask your hotel to confirm the departure time. | Sotracauca | 4h30
  • Otherwise, you can take a bus Popayan – Crucero de San Andres then take a taxi for the last 2 km. | 5 h

Table of Contents

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Where to stay in Tierradentro

Tierradentro doesn't have many choices for accommodation. Some hotels are located in front of the entrance, but they only open for the high season. We went to La Portada, and it was an excellent choice. Lovely staff and good food. Don't hesitate :)

  • La Portada

    Hotel

    La Portada

    Located in the village. A few steps from the bus stop. Very basic but clean rooms. Friendly and attentive staff. Good restaurant.
    Learn more

Things to do in Tierradentro

If you love history and are interested in the customs of pre-Colombian civilizations, Tierradentro is for you. There are no other tourist activities in the area at the moment. If you also like hiking, you'll be conquered.

  • Segovia

    Site

    Segovia

    The leading archeological site with 25 underground tombs you can visit. Well conservated - for now.
    Learn more
  • Duende

    Site

    Duende

    A smaller site with only 5 underground tombs, all painted. 30 min away from Segovia.
    Learn more
  • San Andres

    Site

    San Andres

    Located 1 hour away from Duende. 7 tombs. There is also a lovely church. Painted faces on the wall.
    Learn more
  • Aguacate

    Site

    Aguacate

    Fantastic viewpoints but steep hike. 2h from San Andres. There are 42 open tombs.
    Learn more

Where to eat & drink?

For us, good restaurants and exciting nightlife are important when traveling. We gathered our favorite picks on an interactive Map. Download the APP "Mapstr" and look for "Colombia Insider"!

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