San Agustin Jeep Tour: Getting to Know the Countryside of Colombia
If you enjoy sightseeing and discovering Colombia’s countryside, then a jeep tour through San Agustin is a wonderful activity for you. Jeep tours are a great way to get to know the suburban area and have a feeling for the locals’ way of living. Although San Agustin is not a popular destination, there are beautiful natural, massive pre-Colombian statues, and interesting sites.
I booked the tour with my hostel La Casa de Nelly, and visited a few waterfalls, went to an archaeological park, whisked through the countryside, and learned about the culture and the food of this small Colombian town.
San Agustin Jeep tour
I got picked up at my hostel lobby in the early morning as this was a full day tour. It was not a hiking or walking tour, but our guide dropped us off at certain attractions and gave us ample time walking and visiting, plus a guided tour in an archaeological park.
Estrecho del Magdalena
We started our tour by visiting the , which is the largest river in Colombia. There, the wide river was squeezed into two meters wide and had a lovely gorge where strong rapids ran through. The rocks were formed by erosion and sculpted by the water for many years, and you can walk and stand on them and see the rivers surge through underneath. From the river, you can look up and see the Virgin Mary statue on the cliff and the rainforest in the background.
To get to Magdalena River, it takes a bit of a walk through the stairways, but it is easy and there are a few shops and restaurants at the entrance where you can try the local food Arepa, and try the freshly-made sugar cane juice.
Obando Archaeological Park
This park is not that impressive and huge as the San Agustin archeological site, but the excavated tombs reveal the ceremonial culture of the pre-Colombian period. Our guide was a 10-12-year-old girl showing us around and sharing the historical background of the statues and the park to us in Spanish.
The statues appeared to have both animal and human patterns, but nobody in the group was fluent in Spanish to be able to understand what that girl was talking about, and we had a hard time interpreting the significance of the statues on our own. We stayed there for a while and found some tombs and tools buried underground where we did not have access to. Then we got back to the Jeep on to our next destination – another archeological site.
Alto de Las Piedras
Alto de Las Piedras is an ancient ceremonial center housing female and animal statues, tombs, as well as small temples dating to the Classical period. The scale cannot compare to the San Agustin archeological site and we spent about 40 minutes there to see the mysterious figures, and check out their colors and the details.
This site is located on the hilltop and there was no guided tour, so we walked around in our own pace. The park was peaceful and greenish hills and grounds were all around, and you could slowly walk around or sit to relax.
We stopped by a restaurant across the street from Alto de las Piedras for lunch, which was great. We had steak, fries, fried rice, salad, and seafood.
Salto de Bordones
After lunch, we arrived at the observation platform of Salt de Bordones, which measures a 400– meter drop; it is the highest uninterrupted waterfall in Colombia. This was not a hiking adventure, as in no way can this waterfall be accessed from the base. So we went onto the viewing platform and admired the waterfall running amidst the lush Huila mountains from the other side.
Salto de Mortiño
For our last stop, our guide took us to Salto del Mortiño where we saw two unknown waterfalls pouring torrents of water into the Huila valley. If the viewing platform of Salto de Bordones is a bit touristy, this stop is completely in a tranquil setting and we were the only group there. Additionally, we arrived there in the late afternoon and the sunlight started to glow in warmth, which added more charm to the already gorgeous Colombian countryside.
Thoughts about San Agustin Jeep Tour
I thoroughly enjoyed my Jeep tour through the Colombian countryside. The Jeep was on time and our guide was excellent. He did not speak English but he did a wonderful job guiding us and made sure we had a great time. He kept playing salsa music and the entire group was happy and sang and danced in the car.
This is a wonderful way to get to know more of San Agustin and I highly recommend it. In my experience, I enjoyed the waterfalls and walks better than the tour in Obando Archaeological Park. If you are interested in checking out the beautiful sites in Colombia’s suburban areas and seeing Colombia’s highest waterfalls, then the San Agustin Jeep tour will be perfect for you.
What to know about the San Agustin Jeep Tour
- It is a full-day tour. Pick up is in the early morning.
- Price ranges between 30,000 – 40,000 COP, including the transportation and guide. Lunch is not included so bring your own meals or pay restaurant food in cash.
- Entrance fee to the Alto de Las Piedras is not included.
- The Jeep will take you to the main points of interest, so it is not a hiking and walking tour.
- Wear comfortable shoes and clothes and enjoy the beautiful vista of Colombian countryside.
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