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El Infiernito - Ruin Villa de Leyva - Colombia

The official name is Parque Arqueológico de Monquirá, but everyone calls it El Infiernito. This Muisca site was an astronomical center—and, according to archaeologists, a bit more. They state the Muisca (1000-1550 A.D.) believed when the sun cast no shadow of observatory’s twin lines of 36 stones each, then it was busy fertilizing the earth. Planting would begin. At this time, too, the women would be fertile, and perform rituals amongst the forest of phallic statues, hugging and caressing them to ensure pregnancy. Due east of this is Laguna de Iguaque, the birthplace of humans, according to Muisca mythology. Recent excavations have revealed a tomb and a 4,000-year-old proto-Muisca altar.

Total 7 kilometers (4.2 miles) from Villa de Leyva, VĂ­a Santa SofĂ­a
Near Villa de Leyva, Villa de Leyva , Colombia

Ruin Types:

Getting There
Take a buseta towards Santa Sofía, telling the driver you want to get off at El Infiernito. From the roadside it’s about 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) to the front gate. Many tours include this on their itinerary.

Price Description: Adults $1.70, students and children $1.05

Relative price: Budget

Open Hours from:Tuesday-Sunday 9 a.m., 2 p.m.

Open Hours to:Tuesday-Sunday noon, 5 p.m.

Days Closed:Closed Tuesday after puente (three-day holiday) weekend.

Travel Skills: None

You Need to Bring: Bring water, food (snacks and for a picnic lunch), money enough for entries, hat, sunblock, camera.

On the same road to Santa Sofía: Pozos Azules, Amonita, Criadero de Avestruces, Fibas Jardín del Desierto, Museo El Fósil, Ruinas de Monquirá, Viñedo Aim Karin and Monasterio Santo Ecce Homo. The museums, churches and colonial buildings in Villa de Leyva; the natural wonders beyond Santa Sofía and along the Villa de Leyva-Gachantivá road; Ráquira and Candelaria; Santuario de Flora y Fauna Iguaque.

Currencies accepted
Colombian Peso

By Lorraine Caputo

Upon re-declaring her independence at age 29, Lorraine Caputo packed her trusty Rocinante (so her knapsack's called) and began...

23 Jun 2008

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