El Purutal

The place owes its name to the Poroto-tree, also known as Chachafruto.

Location: 200 m distance to La Pelota, in the north of the archeological park of San Agustín.

Altitude: 1800 MASL

Historical information: The multicolored statues were discovered by farmers of that region and investigated by Julio Cesar Cubillos Charry.

El Purutal consists of two temples with remarkable statues, painted with the colors yellow, white, red and black, magical symbols of their ancestors. The colors are bringing the facial mask of one of the statues into prominence, representing the head of the Rey de los Gallinazos (the Condor). In 1993 a further statue was found nearby, however without painting, but with a ceremonial knife, the so-called Tumi, in his hand.


La Pelota

The inhabitants of that region named this archeological site La Pelota because of its situation near a round hill. This place also used to be known asCerro de la Cuchilla(Mountain of the knife blade).

Location: 7 km from San Agustín, on the Vereda la Chaquira

Historical information: The statues have been discovered by farmers and investigated by the German ethnologist Konrad Theodor Preuss in 1913.

Two of the statues can be found there today. One of them appears like the eagle of Mesita B with a snake in its spout and claws, probably a symbol of air and earth. The other statue stands out because of its wild facial expression and its hands in meditative position. Regrettably the sculptures are not at their original place anymore.

Getting there: by foot or horse; about 2 km from Chaquira to La Pelota. Along the way you can observe diverse vegetation and various agricultural cultivations.

El Tablón

At this part of the canyon the locals used to saw wood and a lot of boards were extracted. This is the reason why people call that region El Tablón (the board/plank).

Location: 0.5 km from the city center of San Agustín, on the Vereda el Tablón

Altitude: 1750 MASL

Historical information: The German archaeologist Konrad Theodor Preuss mentioned the place of discovery of the sculptures near the river Tablón which originates at the Cerro de la Pelota.

Preuss describes two very distinct places. At one of them he discovered many statues, the other one he defines as a tomb with various pavilions. Today there are five statues with human and animal-like representations. One of them, which has never been terminated, shows features of a big cat. The main figure represents a female figure, wearing a tunic covering her body and indicating the high class.

The society was supposedly polytheistic, they worshiped the sun and the moon and one statue is assumed to represent a moon goddess. The other ones could be religious symbols associated with death. Today they are not situated at their original place, they have been found on a small hill, just a few meters away.

Getting there: by foot or horse


La Chaquira

The name was given to the place because of the plant chaquira that is growing there, a type of grass.

Location: 2.5 km from San Agustín on the Vereda la Chaquira

Distance: 1,5 km from El Tablón to La Chaquira

Altitude: 1750 MASL

Historical information: It is unknown who found the craved stones, but they are already mentioned in scriptures of colonial times. They were investigated by Jose Perez de Barradas in 1937.

General information: Along the way one can observe diverse flora and fauna. The site is an ensemble of volcanic rocks, situated on the riverside of the Río Magdalena, between the Cordillera Central and Cordillera Oriental. Craved into the rocks one can find a number of reliefs showing humans and animals. Especially prominent are three big erected figures, worked into one sole block with their arms and legs indicating to the sides. Their positions are in relation to the sun and the river. One male figure looks towards the east, another one with crowns and a headdress of feathersnorthward and a feminine one southward. The three are looking at the river, which flows from north to south at this place

San Agustín

Huila, Colombia

Tel: (+57) 320 375 5982 

E-Mail: info@elmaco.ch

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