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El Macizo Colombiano - Trekking San Agustín - Colombia

If you are yearning to get off the beaten track and experience rural Southern Colombian charm, then go take a hike—from San Agustín to Quinchana and on to Valencia. The five-day trek on a Camino Real (stone and dirt trail) takes you across the Páramo de las Papas (3685 meters / 11,976 feet above sea level), passing by farm fields and through small villages. On the way is Laguna de la Magdalena, the birthplace of the Río Magdalena located 81 kilometers (48.6 miles) from San Agustín. Flora and fauna along the way include orchids, birds and spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus).

Near San Agustín, San Agustín, Colombia


Getting There

On the road to the Parque Arqueológico is a turn-off heading towards Quichana and Páramo de las Papas. However, because of the environmental conditions, a guide is highly advisable.

Travel Tips:

It is also possible to do the trip on horseback, which will take three days. The area is now heavily patrolled by the military, along with guardia indígena armed with clubs.

You can do the trek in the opposite direction, from Valencia (reachable from Popayán, 8 hours, $15) to San Agustín. Guides and lodging (Posada Nativa, $4.20 per person) are available in Valencia. For more information on doing it from this village, ask at the Popayán tourism office.

Relative price: Mid-Range

Travel Skills: intermediate/somewhat difficult.

You Need to Bring:

Camping equipment, including stove and fuel and good sleeping bag; water, water purification tablets (or pump) food; sunblock, hat, rain gear, sturdy footwear.

All of the archaeological and natural wonders of the San Agustín region.

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...

25 Mar 2011

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