Just outside the village of San Agustín can be found a well know (yet at the same time relatively unexplored), assortment of archeological remains dating from before the Spanish conquest. Here, between the 6th and 14th centuries AD (a period approximately concurrent with development of the Inca and Maya empires), a mysterious culture grew and flourished, leaving its mark in a number of tombs, burial chambers and large sculptures of carved stone.
In Tierradentro, not far from San Agustín, its possible to explore burial chambers decorated with geometrical designs and constructed up to 7 meters below ground. Popayán is a fine example of 17th century Spanish colonial architecture, features which led Alexander von Humbolt to visit the place in 1801. The Tuesday market in the nearby town of Silvia is also well know. It is here that the indigenous Guimiano people come to sell their wares.
Day 1: Bogotá - Tierradentro. In the morning, transfer from hotel to airport and flight Bogotá to Neiva. After arrival, overland trip of approximately 5 hours through the beautiful mountainous landscape to San Andrés de Pisimbala (Tierradentro). Once there, transfer to a small, pleasant hotel or family-run guest house in the village. In the afternoon, visit to the Tierradentro Archaeological Park and its caves, including the tombs and the funeral chambers of nearly five meters deep Visit to Tierradentro Archaeological Museum, in order to find about more about the culture that created the relics.
Day 2: Tierradentro - San Agustín. After breakfast, hike to the “Aguacate” mountain peak, from which there is an extraordinary view of the surrounding landscape. Early afternoon, overland trip of approximately 6 hours to San Agustín and transfer to hotel or a private guest house. At sunset, stroll through the small town of San Agustín. San Agustin is not only one of the most important archaeological sites in the whole of South American, but also one of the most mysterious.
Day 3: San Agustín. After breakfast, visit to the San Agustín Archaeological Park begins. Tour of “Mesitas” A-B-C and D which contain more than 35 statues, some of which are as much as 5 meters high. We continue to the “Fuente Ceremonial y Alto de Lavapatas”, the “Bosque de las Estatuas” ending up at the San Agustín Archaeological Museum. In the course of the afternoon “El Tablón” and “La Chaquira” sites will be toured on horseback, in order to enjoy the spectacular landscape which this region boasts in addition to its archaeological treasures.
Day 4: San Agustín. Breakfast followed by trip to the village of Isnos, continuing on to the “Estrecho del Magdalena” – fluvial straits of only 2 meters wide, through which flows the “Magdalena”, Colombia's longest river. Crossing Obando, where the most recent archaeological finds have been made, the trip continues to the “Alto de los ídolos” and “Alto de la Piedras” National Parks. As well as archaeological finds and stone statues, this region contains two waterfalls, the “Salto de Bordones” and the “Salto del Mortiño”. Around sunset, return trip to San Agustín.
Day 5: San Agustín - “Puracé” National Park. After breakfast spectacular overland trip, from San Agustín through Coconuco to one of the most beautiful spots of Andean moor-land, the “Puracé” National Park. The park boasts spectacular cascades, streams, volcanoes, thermal waters, flora and animal life and all of this at an altitude of from 2500 to 4800 meters above sea level. After arrival in Pisimbala, we go to a small hotel situated near natural thermal baths. The rest of the afternoon and evening will be free to stroll, relax and bathe in the thermal waters.
Day 6: “Puracé” National Park - Popayán. After breakfast, trek through diverse zones, different micro climates and variable vegetation, till reaching the crater of the Puracé Snow Volcano. At noon, return to hotel. Time to rest and to enjoy a thermal bath. The trip will then continue towards Popayán, one of the most beautiful of all South American cities. Around evening time, transfer to a pretty hotel constructed in the Spanish colonial style.
Day 7: Popayán. After taking breakfast, tour through this city, which was founded in 1537. From its earliest days, Popayán was one of the most important cities in Colombia. It was also a mandatory stopping point for Spanish settlers on their route from Cartagena to Quito.
Popayán possesses splendid churches and museums, has a mild climate and a unique atmosphere. The afternoon will be free for individual recreation. If this visit falls on a Tuesday, there will be the chance to visit the famous indigenous market in nearby Silvia. In that case, a tour to the market will be programmed for the afternoon, (without additional cost).
Day 8: Popayán - Bogotá. In the course of the day, transfer to Popayán airport and return flight to Bogotá. On arrival, transfer to hotel.
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South America Colombia History Whiz Archeology/History Hiking & Trekking