Small coffee and banana plantations line the steep path up the slope. Suddenly we stand on the Aguacate ridge overlooking yet another deep valley But the ridge itself appears almost perforated by dozens of curious overgrown holes. They are shaft tombs – underground caves dug out over 1000 years ago as secondary burial tombs for whole families.
The tombs of Segovia and El Duende on the other side of the valley are better preserved, with stark geometrical designs in black, red and white that look like African tribal patterns. But the steps leading down into the tombs are so high and steep that they leave us far more exhausted than the hike up to Aguacate in the morning.
Five archaeological sites and two museums in the UNESCO World Heritage Tierradentro area can be visited on a one-day hike from the village of San Andrés de Pisimbalá. Our GPS tracks for the trail can be downloaded here: Download Tierradentro.gpx (171.6K) (for personal use only)