Pasto

Panoramic View Pasto Narino

Pasto is found in the southwest region of Colombia. Heavily influenced by Andean culture, it is a place where Colombia’s history can be seen first-hand.

Officially known as San Juan de Pasto, the city is the capital of the Nariño department. It is in the Atriz Valley, at the foot of a spectacular volcano (the Galeras Volcano). Like Colombia’s capital city, Bogotá, Pasto is very high (2,527m above sea level) and therefore temperatures tend to be cool.

=> The mountainous regions around Pasto not only give the city spectacular panoramic views, but are also great places to explore local indigenous tribes.

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Pasto is a very religious city and boasts a number of impressive churches and temples that are well worth a visit. And where in Pasto, do not forget to visit the mind-blowing Sanctuario de las Lajas.

=> In addition to this the crafts that are available in Pasto are famous throughout Colombia. From leather to ceramics to little trinkets, it’s a great place to find gifts to take back home.

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VISITS AND ACTIVITIES
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Carnaval Negros y Blancos Pasto

Undoubtedly the best time to go to Pasto is during the Black and White Carnival (Carnaval de Negros y Blancos).

It comprises various popular festivals held between the 2nd and 7th of January. Today the carnival mainly revolves around the painting of people in different colours to represent and celebrate the ethnic and cultural differences of Colombia and the world. There are parades, dancers and live musicians throughout the week. A must-do.
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La Cocha Lake is 20km from Pasto and offers unforgettable views of the local scenery. On the lake you can rent a boat to visit the islands.

The aforementioned Galeras Volcano is also very popular. Though still active (therefore requiring a guide), it offers some of the best views in the region.

...=> Pasto Travel Guide Part 2: Accommodation, Hotels, Restaurants, Bars, Nightlife, Getting There

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