Enigmatic Painted Stone of El Valle de Antón

Painted Stone
Painted Stone

One of the enigmatic places in El Valle de Antón (Anton Valley) is the Painted Stone (Piedra Pintada), a huge pre-Columbian petroglyph (symbols engraved on rock) with uncertain meaning.

Some people indicating that they are religious symbols, others a harvest calendar and others a map of the place.

It is not the only stone with glyphs in El Valle de Antón, but it is larger and more popular.

Being on a Thursday in El Valle de Antón, I decided to stop by, thinking in part that I could take good photos and that I would have a guide who explains the place to me.

It took me a while to find the place because I took the wrong street, since it is not well signposted, the good thing is that there are not so many streets.

Entrance to the path.
Entrance to the path.

Once at the site, I parked after the bridge, next to other cars.

The entrance has several shops, which most likely work from Friday to Sunday.

Then there is the entrance fee, it is the same to go up to the India Dormida Hill, because it is the same way.


The young woman told me to be very careful because there have been incidents of robbery, I just asked if there were people, since I was going alone and I did not want to, they are very exposed to something like that.

As they indicated that there was, I continued.

Getting to Painted Stone
Getting to Painted Stone.

One thing that I like is that it is all has a ramp, there is not a single staircase, which makes it suitable for all kinds of people, it can be about 300m until you reach the stone.

It is a paved path that goes between nature, along before the place there is a river, with a small space to rest.

The Painted Stone is amazing. I remember that before it was scared me a little because it is tilt or it seems and gives the impression that it is going to fall on someone.

I appreciated the place and took some photos, I could’t see much of the drawings because I was a little scared, I was alone and with several cameras, so with each person that passed, my heart was scared.

I was for a short time, until a guy appeared, just as he approached, he puts on a woolen cap and had something in his hand, since I was not going to find out what it was, I decided to walk as fast as I could to reach the man who was ahead and reach the entrance.

Painted Stone.
Painted Stone.

Already at the entrance, people asked me why I had come down so fast, and I told them everything.

They indicated that they thought I was going to the India Dormida Hill, there is a community nearby, sometimes people take the wrong path and steal from them (that will change very soon), but there is no problem to go to the Painted Stone.

Imagine, I was almost running, trying not to fall and dirty my white pants, regretting that he was going to steal my cameras, I imagine that the guy behind me would say that I was crazy, hahaha.

People who came down from the India Dormida nothing happened to them, they came down calm and with a smile, I mean the tourists.

Now, looking at the photos, these glyphs do seem to be some kind of map of the place and some even look like animals.

Petroglyphs.
Petroglyphs.

I hope to return and visit the waterfalls that are on the way to the top of the India Dormida.

If you go to the Painted Stone, I recommend that you walk a little more and get to know any of these waterfalls, it is allowed to swim in them.

Hours

The place does not close as it is a crossing point for some residents.

Prices

  • $ 0.50 children from 5 to 12 years old.
  • $ 1.00 students (educational tour), seniors and pensioners.
  • $ 2.00 adults.
  • $ 3.00 foreigners.
  • $ 3.00 camping (not recommended).

Guides

They are local children who are more than everything on weekends, they do not charge, but they really appreciate a tip.

River in front of Piedra Pintada (Painted Stone)
River in front of Piedra Pintada (Painted Stone).

How to get to Painted Stone?

Take the Panamericana Highway and enter through the town of Las Uvas, (near San Carlos), from there it will be about 27km to El Valle de Antón.

 After passing the San Jose Church continue along the road, after the bridge take street on the right, then the first street on the left (last sign), then the 2nd on the right.

Then the first street on the left and continue, a few meters before the Santa Cruz Church, on the left, you will see the entrance.

By bus, take it at the Albrook Bus Terminal towards El Valle de Antón (it can also be taken at the town of Las Uvas (at the entrance to the El Valle de Antón road).

You can get off at the Market or at the San Jose Church and take a taxi to La Piedra Pintada or walk (in the latter case, ask for they leave you as close to the place as possible).

From the Church it takes about 20 minutes (2 km).

Entrance and parking lot
Entrance and parking area, preferable after the bridge.

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