Mysteries in Colombia: The mysterious sculptors of St. Agustin

Colombia is a fabulous country full of attractions and numerous activities. Also, this country has mysterious areas like St. Agustin. A century ago the German Konrad Preuss made the first excavations in St. Agustin, and even nowadays no one knows who were the mysterious sculptors of St. Agustin.  When Fray Juan de Santa Gertrudis first travelled to San Agustín, south of Huila, he was deeply disappointed. Instead of gold-plated wakas, he found enormous beasts carved with mastery of stone adorned the aborigines’ tombs. “It’s the work of the devil,” he wrote in his diary. The aborigines didn’t have iron or tools to make such a thing. These sculptures are so impressive that in the 18th-century people attributed those to the devil and in the 20th century, people believe that the authors were aliens.

Now, a century has passed since Konrad Theodor Preuss made the first archaeological investigations in the region, it’s known that neither Satan nor the aliens carved the rocks, but a mysterious agricultural society that inhabited the highest part of the Valley of Magdalena River. Apparently, its members lived peacefully for hundreds of years, but it is not clear why they disappeared. Isn’t it fascinating? Certainly, if you want to venture and discover who were the mysterious sculptors of St. Agustin, you cannot miss the opportunity to visit Colombia.

Mysteries in Colombia: The Mysterious sculptors of St. Agustin

Abandoned treasure

The more than 500 Statues that today are exhibited in the park and other surrounding were originally buried with the deceased. Most experts agree that they symbolise supernatural beings with human and animal traits that the natives built to worship death. Fray Juan was the first to describe this funeral centre in 1757 and, years later, characters such as the sage Francisco José de Caldas and the Italian geographer Agustín Codazzi also toured it.

However, it was only in 1913 that Preuss took seriously the task of studying those vestiges forgotten under the undergrowth. After a long mule ride, the German arrived in St. Agustin. His trip was part of an ambitious expedition to Mexico and Colombia with which sought to find clues on the evolution of religions. Preuss stayed for about three months in the village and at the end of his observations, he took 20 sculptures to Germany. Although it seemed an impossible feat, the statues arrived safely to the Berlin Ethnological Museum after the end of the World War I.

In 1923, the directives of the Museum organised an exhibition of the wonders that Preuss had unearthed. The public was so surprised that some compare the statues to the tomb of Tutankhamun. This is how the Colombian elite living in Europe discover that there were hidden pre-Hispanic treasures in the south of the country. The rumour expanded, and the government of Colombia decided to turn it into a reserve.

A monumental task

mysterious sculptors of St. Agustin

As most of the tombs are scattered throughout the municipality, besides good smell it took the strength of about 20 men to recover the statues up to seven meters and two tonnes. Baudelino Grijalba was one of the excavators who helped archaeologists Luis Duque Gómez and Julio César Cubillos in that titanic work during the seventies.

The pioneer

Arriving at the Colombian Massif in 1913 was an almost impossible undertaking, but that did not matter to Konrad Theodor Preuss. The ethnologist had always wanted to visit Colombia and study the mysterious sculptors of St. Agustin that he had heard of thanks to a German volcanologist who toured the region in 1869. Before embarking on the journey, Preuss also made sure to read the descriptions made by the cartographer Augustine Codazzi.

Although he was only three months in the village, he stayed five years in the country while the great European war ended. As a good explorer, he took advantage of that time to collect data on the huitotos indigenous in the Amazon and the Kogi in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. In 1929 he finally published the book Prehistoric Monumental Art, in which he recounts his findings.

What do you think about these interesting mystery? Do you want to find out who were the mysterious sculptors of St. Agustin? Undoubtedly, you cannot miss the chance to visit this fabulous valley.

The best places to dance in Medellin: Where to dance salsa in Medellin?

A complete guide to discovering the best clubs to dance local rhythms: Salsa, Merengue and much more. Colombia has a long list of attractions; some visitors enjoy soak up the sun at the stunning beaches of the Caribbean region; others by the intense flavour of the coffee that is born in its lands. On the other hand, there are some visitors that enjoy hiking through the Amazon or discover the mountainous ranges of the country. But there is a common characteristic of all its regions: the dance. Cali presumes to be the most “salsero” destination in the country. Valledupar hosts the “Vallenato Festival”. The plains have the “joropo” and other rhythms.

Medellín is one of the most “rumberas” cities in the country, with numerous clubs to dance salsa, merengue, reggaetón or a mix known as crossover. Check out this post and discover the best places to dance in Medellin or simply enjoy delicious drinks.

The best places to dance in Medellin

Tíbiri Tábara

This club was born in the early 90’s and is, perhaps, the most emblematic place of salsa in Medellín. Located in a basement, you can listen to Salsa, Merengue and other Latin rhythms from Wednesday to Sunday. The decor combines old vinyl with modern touches.

The Tibiri has local dancers worth knowing, these dances are more than customers and are part of the local folklore. Looking at these dancers, with their jumps and impossible steps, is already worth the entrance to the place. Certainly, Tíbiri Tábara is the best place to dance salsa in the city.

Son Havana

 

“The revolution of the rumba”, says a sign at the entrance of this place. The plate of a Cuban car, a flag of that country and a painting by the Van Van orchestra set the scene, which has an exquisite selection of salsa, as well as Afro-Caribbean rhythms. Son Havana offers live music on weekends, and during the week, a giant screen animates the evening. Just stand for a few minutes looking at dancers and marvel at the choreography of impossible movements and the naturalness of bodies

El Cuchitril

It’s a place of classic salsa of the city, but also you can listen to other rhythms like funk, soul, hip-hop, rock and electronic, during their nights of “Black Sunday“. The salsa sounds in batches, which happens every 20 or 30 minutes; There is the time to go out to rehearse choreographies or stay to enjoy the great dancers that go there, from the most acrobatic to those of thin and moderate steps

Kukaramakara

It’s a bar-restaurant that was born in Cali more than a decade ago but extended its franchise thanks to the success in Valle del Cauca. Now, it has branches in Bogotá and Medellín, as well as Miami. Located in the neighbourhood of Granada, the branch of Medellín is also called The House of Artists. There are concerts of salsa figures, reggaetón and vallenato, among other genres. The house has its band, with eleven musicians on stage.

Oye Bonita

The best places to dance in Medellin: Where to dance salsa in Medellin?

Finally, Oye Bonita one of the most fashionable nightclubs in Medellin, this club opened its doors in 2013. Although its main rhythm is vallenato and all its subgenres, the romantic vallenato is the most popular; the DJs make a musical journey throughout the Caribbean. The atmosphere is trendy bowling, with elegant people and willing to seduce with dancing.

Whenever you decided to go, you will find a lively atmosphere. Herer our selection with the best places to dance in Medellin! Do you know any other club? Comment!

Discover the Best Trek in Colombia: The Lost City Hike

Colombia is a fabulous destination that offers to its visitors a vast array of outdoor activities that ranges from an exciting visit to any of its cities, soak up at the sun at any of its numerous beaches or explore the unknown in its vast and lush jungle. Certainly, the best trek trails in Colombia is the Lost City hike.  The lost city is a Tayrona’s town hidden among the jungles of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, considered the Colombian Machu Picchu.

Teyuna or the Lost City was a very important settlement of the Tayrona Indigenous, the dominant and majority ethnic group in the zone of the Colombian Caribbean. It stretched for about 30 hectares on the forested slopes of Sierra Nevada, over 1,200-meter height. Constructed towards the year 700 and was home to more than 2,500 inhabitants.

The Spaniards never reach up there, but wars and diseases decimated the Tayronas, who became gradually extinct. In 1600 the city was abandoned and the humid tropical forest took the control over the city. The city spent more than 300 years under layers of mud until 1970, when a group of “Huaqueros” or archaeological looters discovered it by mistake. The best part of visiting the best trek in Colombia is enjoying a fabulous adventure across the lost city hike. Are you ready for this adventure? Check out this post.

The Best Trek in Colombia: The Lost City Hike.

There is no other way to reach the Lost City than walking on open trails across the lush, dark, dense but overall spectacular rainforest that won’t make the trail easy. It’s necessary to walk about 50 kilometres (both ways), across unevenness, crossing rivers that in minutes can double their flow, sometimes under the burning sun and some other days under a heavy rain. As if all that wasn’t enough, you must endure mosquito bites, mudslides and humidity that keeps you all day drenched.

In exchange, the Lost City Hike gives the most beautiful scenery of Colombia. Amazing sunrises in which the sun undoes with delight the morning fog that is entangled at the top of the trees; waterfalls, lush vegetation and villages, home to the Koguis and Wiwas, descendants of the Tayron. Undoubtedly, one of the best trek in Colombia.

After 3-days walking, you will reach the impressive staircase of 1,200 steps that gives you access to the city. You reach the summit panting and dripping sweat and suddenly you will see numerous circular platforms that indicate you that you arrived at the Lost City.

The Lost City

The Best Trek in Colombia: The Lost City Hike.

Once in the Lost City, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the ceremonial staircase that goes to the highest area. The highest area is home to the temples and the houses of the “mamos” (priests). As the Tayaronas built their dwelling with natural building materials, there isn’t any of is houses. Nevertheless, you can see the platforms, walls, water pipes and the network of trails. The city has a mysterious atmosphere.

If you reach the top on a sunny day, you must stand on top of the last platform, on the ceremonial zone, and enjoy the breathtaking views. Close your eyes and let the “Jagi Kagui” (Mother Earth) fill you up with its energy.

Colombia with Kids: 3 destinations for visiting Colombia with Kids.

Colombia is a fabulous destination that offers a large array of beautiful areas perfect for all kind of travellers. Furthermore, this beautiful country is suitable for all audiences and is a very good alternative for families with kids. Despite, most parents believe that travel with kids is complicated, sometimes even dangerous; the truth is that is just a matter of time and organisation.

A family trip is a perfect opportunity to assure you and your kids and unforgettable experience, as you can enjoy fun activities altogether. So, on this post, we have selected 3 beautiful destinations perfect for you and your family. Check them out.

Colombia with Kids: 3 destinations for families.

Bogota

Colombia with Kids

Like all the biggest capitals, Bogota is a city numerous leisure activities perfect for all the family members. The western part of the city has the main attractions for families with kids. This area is home to the extensive Simón Bolívar Park’s, the Amusement Park Salitre Mágico, the Botanical Garden, the Children’s Museum and the Maloka Interactive Museum.

On the other hand, the northern area of the city offers urban and country activities. This part of the city has a large number of parks, such as the Viceroy, the Country or the Chicó, as well as several shopping centres with cinemas and children’s games. At the Santa Fe Shopping Center, you will find DiverCity, a city where children are the only inhabitants, interact as adults. DiverCity is perfect to teach kids how to manage some everyday situations.

Also, you can visit Jaime Duque Park on the outskirts of Bogota. This park offers a large number of leisure activities, a fabulous train and a Zoo Park.  Furthermore, you can visit Panaca Theme Park. At this park, children have the opportunity to interact with animals while learning about ecological practices and environmental respect. As you can see, Colombia with kids is the perfect plan for unforgettable holidays.

Medellin

Medellín is one of the most attractive destinations in Colombia thanks to its large cultural and leisure offer. Firstly, we suggest you visiting Pies Descalzos Park. At this park, both children and adults can enjoy fabulous activities and play in the park barefoot. Furthermore, Barefoot Park is home to the Interactive Museum EPM, with more than 200 experiments that seek to explain the physical principles.

In addition to Barefoot Park, Medellin features other fabulous locations, like Park of Wishes and the Planetarium. Next to these is the Explora Park, where science and nature are the protagonists and the Botanical Garden with beautiful green areas perfect for unwinding. Finally, another area perfect for the family is Guarne Lagoon. On the Lagoon, you will find camping areas and typical food restaurants. Certainly, the perfect plan to spend a quiet day, away from the urban environment, but a few minutes from the city.

Villa Leyva

Villa de Leyva is one of the most popular destinations in Boyacá and the favourite destination for locals. Its central square is famous for being the largest in Colombia, its restaurants serving delicious and varied dishes, and its surroundings for offering fascinating natural attractions such as the Blue Pozos, the Iguaqué Flora and Fauna Sanctuary or the Gondava theme park.

If you want to explore Colombia with kids on August, Villa de Leyva host the National Wind Festival and Las Cometas (Kites). During a weekend the sky of this colonial town is filled with colours, silhouettes of animals and abstract figures, which for hours compete to stay in the air.

As you can see Colombia offers a large array of outdoor activities perfect for everyone. If you want to visit Colombia with kids, don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy any of these activities. Have you ever been to Colombia? Have you ever visit any of these locations? Comment!

The Colombian Coffee Axis: Tourism and what to visit

Colombian Coffee Axis is one of the most visited tourist areas of Colombia and certainly a must if you are visiting Colombia, the coffee country par excellence. Colombia is the second largest producer of coffee in the world after Brazil. Thanks to an aggressive marketing strategy of the Colombian National Coffee Growers Federation has succeeded in positioning the Colombian coffee as the best coffee in the world.

The Coffee Industry it’s a very important activity in the development of the Colombian economy and in the well-being of its inhabitants, almost 600,000 families live on this crop in Colombia. The centennial coffee tradition has become one of the symbols of the country.

The Colombian Coffee is so important that in 2011 UNESCO declared the Cultural Landscape Cafetero Patrimony of Humanity. Are you planning to visit Colombia? Do you want to discover the secrets of the best coffee in the world? If so, don’t miss this post and discover the Colombian Coffee Axis.

The Colombian Coffee Axis

Where to find the Colombian Coffee Axis or Coffee Triangle?

Practical information: How to get there and how to get around the Colombian Coffee Axis

Boasting a fabulous location, in the central western region of the Colombian Andes, the Coffee Eje, also known as Coffee Triangle because, it occupies part of the departments of Valle del Cauca, Antioquía and Tolima. It’s made up mainly of three departments: Caldas, Risaralda and Quindío, whose capitals are respectively Manizales, Pereira and Armenia.

These three cities are the major centres of the coffee axis; they represent the gateways to the main tourist attractions in the area, thanks to its airports and large transport terminals. If you want to reach the coffee axis, you will have to pass through at least one of them.

Practical information: How to get there and how to get around the Colombian Coffee Axis

The access points to the Colombian coffee triangle are the cities of Armenia, Pereira and Manizales with their airports and transportation terminals. From the latter, the Colombian buses will take you to almost any place. It’s the good thing about transportation in Colombia: there is always a bus that is “about to leave”.

Tourism in the Colombian Coffee Axis: Activities, Landscapes, Routes, Plans and Experiences

In the coffee area, you can find coffee plantations, museums, natural parks and amusement parks or places to practice adventure sports (climbing, rafting, canopy, and kayak). The latter, as well as horseback riding, can be performed in many parts of the area. It’s not necessary to hire an all-inclusive trip, neither a package nor a tour, it is possible to move on your own knowing the different tourist plans and routes that the area offers. In short, travelling the Colombian Coffee Axis is easy if you know what to do.

How to organise a route to the places to visit in the Colombian Coffee Axis

If you want to organise your own route or tour through the Colombian Coffee Axis by yourself, you need to have to know how many days you can spend in the area, what your interests are and which will be your entry point. We have selected 3 routes; you choose which one suits better your travel needs.

Quindío

Quindío is probably the most touristic region of the coffee-growing area, where you will find the greatest number of attractions and coffee plantations.

Hacienda Combia: A few kilometres from the centre of Calarcá, near Armenia, is located the Hacienda Combia, a coffee hacienda with more than 125 years of history. Founded in 1887 by a pioneer of the colonisation of Quindío, Don Manuel Sabogal, it is still a family coffee company owned by its descendants. Today it’s possible to spend a night in this place full of history and surrounded by coffee plantations.

The Combia Inspiration experience, for us probably the best experience in the Colombian coffee zone. It’s not a simple tour of the coffee plantations and a coffee tasting, but a true journey through the senses to understand what is behind a delicious cup of Colombian coffee.

Pereira

Hacienda San Jose: One of the oldest in the area (dating back to 1888) and probably the best in the Colombian Coffee Axis. It’s not a coffee plantation itself (it does not have coffee plantations) but it has an agreement with another Hacienda (San Alberto) to carry out if you will, a tour of the interactive coffee process.

Armenia

Finca Hotel El Bosque del Samán: Milking a cow, sliding on a zip line over coffee plantations, taking a tour of the plantations and learning more about the coffee process. On Finca Hotel El Bosque you can enjoy fabulous activities during your trip.

Discover Colombia: 10 places you must visit in Colombia

Colombia is not a big country as what dimensions may refer, but it’s huge in attractions and outdoor activities. Sadly, Visit Colombia is not as easy as visit any other European destination. Mostly, because the country it’s not well connected by public transportation and rent a car might not be a good idea. Nevertheless, don’t let that put you off, in Colombia is a fabulous country, you will be able to explore and find a stunning place to make your holidays unforgettable.

Colombia is a country with dodgy reputation; however, the government has made a huge effort to make that change. Nowadays, Colombia is a country with beautiful cities and top attractions that certainly deserves to be explored. On this post, we have selected 10 beautiful places you must visit in Colombia. Join us on this journey and take a look at these lovely locations of South America.

Places you must visit in Colombia

Cartagena

10 places you must visit in Colombia

Undoubtedly, Cartagena is the Colombian tourist icon. The famous walled city also has stunning beaches, nearby islands and incredible sunsets. To rest, we recommend the neighbourhood of Getsemaní, which is also the best place to party. Please note, Cartagena is the most expensive city in Colombia, however, it is also the most beautiful area of the country.

Bogota

Like any other capital, Bogotá is chaotic. But far from that, the capital has beautiful places like Cerro de Montserrat and its stunning panoramic views. Furthermore, you can enjoy a pleasant stroll along the neighbourhood of La Candelaria and visit The Plaza de Bolivar to feed the pigeons.

Villa de Leyva

Villa de Leyva is located in the department of Boyacá. This small town with cobbled streets and white facades will transport you to ancient times. The city offers affordable accommodation options and features interesting museums.

Salto de Tequendama

It’s hard to believe that this natural wonder is located only 16 miles away from the chaotic capital of Colombia. On this area, you will find a fabulous hotel sitting on the edge of a cliff. The hotel offers stunning views of a waterfall that falls 127 meters making an imposing sound. According to a local legend, this was the favourite place for many suicidal, which is why after many paranormal acts inside the hotel, its owners decided to close it. Eventually, this hotel became a museum and a fabulous attraction that you must visit in Colombia.

Guatape

Guatapé is very famous for its “Peñol” (Rock); there are many myths about its existence. Some people believe that it is a meteorite that fell, some other people say that it was a mountain that locals dug until arriving at the famous stone. No one knows wich story of real, but the truth is that it is a stunning rock. Don’t miss the chance to reach the top and admire the whole dam. But Guatapé is not only the Piedra del Peñol, the town is magical and it’s full of history.

In addition, If you like strong emotions, you cannot miss the opportunity to practice paintball at “La Manuela” an ex-hacienda of Pablo Escobar. Unfortunately, nowadays this hacienda is destroyed, however, this area provides a fabulous location perfect for paintball.

Calí

In Cali, you can enjoy a pleasant stroll along the river and admire the local churches while eating a delicious “cholado” (An icy beverage prepared with sweetened condensed milk and fruits). For touring? Definitely, you must visit Cristo Rey which is only 4 meters smaller than Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro. Cali is perfect for those looking for fun.

Valley de Cocora

Cocora Valley is famous worldwide thanks to its beautiful landscaped dotted with wax palms that reach over 60 meters (The highest palms in the world). As a matter of fact, this palm has been declared the national tree of the country. Furthermore, this beautiful valley is the birthplace of Quindo River and constitutes one of the numerous entries of Parque Natural de Los Nevados. Entering the valley is free and you can walk for hours under these fabulous palm trees.

Medellin

The capital of the Colombian department of Antioquia is one of the most beautiful cities of Colombia. Medellin has a modern transportation system, efficient infrastructure and a pleasant climate through the whole year. Furthermore, the city boasts an idyllic location surrounded by stunning mountains, the reason why is a city full of parks. Don’t miss the opportunity to try the best arepas in the country.

El santuario de las Lajas

The Sanctuary of the Lajas is a powerful structure built on a canyon with waterfalls and a mighty river at its feet. The Lajas Sanctuary located in Ipiales near the border with Ecuador is undoubtedly a must-visit place in Colombia for everyone.

Cabo de la Vela

visit in Colombia

Away from everything, very close to Venezuela, in the desert of La Guajira, you will find Cabo de la Vela. The area is very hot, as it is in the desert but the beach is right there, so you can enjoy a bath in the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean. Certainly, Cabo de la Vela combine to perfection arid landscapes and stunning beaches.

Here our selection with the top places to visit in Colombia! Have you ever been to any of these? Would you like to add something else? Comment!