Ex­tra­or­di­nary cul­ture

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - Escape - - LONELY PLANET’S COLOMBIA -

A wealth of an­cient civil­i­sa­tions left be­hind a fas­ci­nat­ing spread of arche­o­log­i­cal and cul­tural sites throughout Colom­bia. The one-time Tay­rona cap­i­tal, Ci­u­dad Per­dida, built be­tween the 11th and 14th cen­turies, is one of the con­ti­nent’s most mys­te­ri­ous and lov­ingly pre­served an­cient cities, ar­guably sec­ond only to Peru’s Machu Pic­chu. Even more shrouded in mys­tery is San Agustin, where more than 500 life-sized, an­cient stat­ues of enig­matic ori­gin dot the sur­round­ing coun­try­side. And then there’s Tier­raden­tro, where elab­o­rate un­der­ground tombs add even more mys­tique to Colom­bia’s past. Mix in the in­flu­ences of Span­ish colonis­ers, African slaves, 20th-cen­tury Euro­pean and Mid­dle Eastern im­mi­grants and large, in­tact in­dige­nous groups such as La Gua­jira Penin­sula’s Wayuu, and you get a rich recipe. This in­tox­i­cat­ing cock­tail shows in the food, mu­sic, ar­chi­tec­ture and life­styles that shake and stir the melt­ing pot of con­tem­po­rary Colom­bia.

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