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San Augustin

all seasons in one day

So after a long bus ride to the town Popayan we spent the night and wandered round the quaint little white washed streets. Other than that there wasnt really much else to do there, so we headed on to San Augustin the next morning. The ride was probably the bumpiest we┬┤ve been on but the scenery was fantastic and we met a fellow tourist on the bus to share the ups and downs with. We arrived at San Augustin at dark and met a friendly tour guide who pointed us in the direction of a good cheap hostel. The super friendly owner Mario payed for our taxi and got us settled in. We were given free coffee and then give a pitch by his friend for all the tours we could do in the surrounding area. All we wanted to do was eat so we had a think over a pizza and a beer and decided to do a jeep tour to see some of the sights the next day.
The tour took us through the surrounding countryside, with some attractive valleys, interesting sugar-cane processing plants, big waterfalls and past narrows of the Rio Magdalena- where the river thins to about 2 meters.

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We also visited some of the archaeological parks that the area is famous for. Somewhere between the 6th and 4th centuries (pretty big range there) a bunch of tribes lived in the San Augustin area who would bury their dead in intricate stone tombs guarded by statues carved out of volcanic rock. The tombs were interesting, but the statues were the real draw, some of which reach 7 meters in height, and others have really intricate designs such as little penises, and depictions of men pulling babies out of their mothers.

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The next day we headed to the Parque Archaeological which has the main bulk of the Statues and some of them are hidden in the forest which is really cool. There was also an ancient fountain that the tribe had carved into some rocks, which was quite clever. It was all really interesting and amazing what sort of amazing things they could make such a long time ago. Whilst in San Auguatin we made friend with 2 people from Ireland and decided to head to the city of Cali together. Which is meant to be the Colombian capital of Salsa. So, it was back on the bumpy bus to our next destination.

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Posted by St Martins 13:04 Archived in Colombia Tagged ecotourism

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