Many of my Colombian friends had never heard of the place, so when I arrived in the small town of San Agustín, I was very surprised to find such an eclectic mix of people and amazing international cuisine.
There was quite a variety of people from all over the world – weekenders from Bogotá, hippies from France, retirees from England, gap year students from the US, a group of friends from Ireland, families on summer break from Argentina, etc. For such a small town so far out of the way with a very specialized attraction (you have to love archaeology and pre-Colombian history to go there!) it was quite interesting and refreshing to find such diversity. I guess having important UNESCO World Heritage listed archaeological finds nearby helps.
The town is nothing to write home about. It’s not wrong to say San Agustín is ugly. The draw obviously is the quality archaeological sites nearby and the stunning natural beauty surrounding it. The nicest place I found in town was the main plaza and the church.
The rest of the town looks the same, except for Calle 5 which might as well be renamed “Tourist Street”. It’s lined with restaurants, hostels, and shops selling crafts and souvenirs.
Other Things to See
It’s best not to waste any time in the town. Go out and see the sites! If you aren’t interested in archaeology, you’ll find tranquility in the beautiful natural surroundings. There’s plenty to see and do in the San Agustín Archaeological Park, taking a day on horseback, and doing a camioneta tour.