Travels

The pre-Columbian sculptures of San Agustín

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Long before the Spaniards set foot on South American lands, there were many civilizations and towns that were born and disappeared, developed, created and left their legacy. Fruit of the art of one of them - of which hardly anything is known - is the set of sculptures of religious deities found in San Agustin and its surroundings.


Inside you have many stone idols of different sizes, something similar to tables and several tombs of the people who lived there and their priests. The whole area is surrounded by jungle and green areas, making the walk really enjoyable. In addition I was there on any given day during the week of the Colombian everlasting spring and there were almost no visitors in the whole enclosure except for an entire class at the University of Neiva -capital of the department- that in the end ended up having more curiosity in me than in the sculptures and I stayed in a chat with ten or twelve - almost all students for my luck - talking about Europe, Spain and travel in general.

Between the museum, the different tables -As they call each sculpture site in the park-, the craft stalls near the entrance and the sculpture forest, you can easily take a whole morning taking it very quietly and enjoying the scenery.

Although I did not make more excursions in search of the rest of the sculptures that are scattered around the beautiful surroundings of San Agustín, you have many options that you can consult in the different tourist offices that are in the main street of the town. Many of these sculptures are located in hard to reach places and that is why almost all the excursions on offer include jeep or horse riding With guides in the area.

I had enough with the park because I was quite tired after so many months of travel and my second day I used it to take a walk in the countryside and choose a good point on the top of a hill from where I could see many fields and areas of jungle. I took out my sandwich and book and there I spent reading a very quiet day.

If you have time and energy if I would advise you to take one of the tours, not only because of the sculptures - which, in short, closely resemble those you can find in the park - but because they told me that the landscapes they take you through to get to them they are really pretty.

About the town itself and accommodation options and others I will tell you in another article. The truth is that what crossed my mind when I contemplated these works of art made in such detail so many years ago was the fascination for the mystery that these pre-Columbian civilizations that - at least until today - remain in the most absolute darkness for us. Feel what life was like when there were not so many advances and misfortunes that would come later. Your customs, religion. Your day to day I don't know, since I was little I was always attracted to the stories in which the characters traveled in time machines - like Zipi and Zape - and lived at different times knowing what they knew at the present time.

Yes, I know, a ball, but the truth is that I dreamed that one day that would be possible. But until it is, you can always walk around here and try to get a sense of what life was like over a thousand years ago.

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