Hi, it’s me Marimonda. Today I’d like to introduce las Lajas Sanctuary.
Staying for three nights in Pasto, the time to las lajas had finally arrived. Leaving behind Pasto and welcoming pastusos, I headed to Ipiales, a border city between Colombia and Ecuador.
It is a quite small city, but many tourists should pass here when they travel from Colombia to Ecuador by bus or vice versa. Ipiales is also very known for its gorgeous cathedral, las Lajas. It is one of the most beautiful church in Colombia. After visiting here, I would say it is one of the best ones in the world.
There are so many buses to Ipiales from Pasto and they don’t take online reservation. However, you wouldn’t have any problems getting tickets without booking. The bus fare is depending on the company, but you can negotiate the price. I paid 10,000 cop for one person. It takes about two and half hours.
Ipiales is a city but there are not many things to do as a tourist. Thus, I decided to go to las Lajas right away after having dinner at the shopping mall in Ipiales. According to taxi drivers and local people, these days it’s not that safe wandering around Ipiales day and night. was a good choice since there were many banks so I could withdraw some cash safely. Also, I had gone for a grocery shopping so I didn’t have to worry about another long bus trip to Quito on the following day. The taxi costs about 12,000 cop to las Lajas.
Las Lajas seemed very safe and peaceful. There are many visitors, mostly from other parts of Colombia. Since there is nothing to see but the church, the town is crowded when the church is open ( around 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.). At night, the church lights on its illumination which made me worth to stay there for a night. The town is completely empty around after 10:30 p..m.
Just to see the night view of the cathedral, I would say it is worth to stay in the Lajas. Or you can go there during the day and leave at night to enjoy the day and night of the church. A mass was going on at night so all the locals come and pray at the end of the day.
I looked around the cathedral after the mass. Inside of the church was similar to other churches.
I couldn’t stop laughing when I saw it. <Sueño de Jose> which means Jose’s dream. He’s dreaming of having a lot of money. I thought the idea putting some money next to him was quite cute and funny.
The morning in the Lajas was very peaceful. Since I stayed a place near the church, I could visit there before 7 a.m. I had a quiet pleasant time. About 7:30 a.m., the influx of the tourists started coming. If you’d like to enjoy the place in a peaceful moment and want to take a picture without others in your frame, I recommend you go there as early as possible.
Next post will be about my accommodation in Las Lajas. Don’t forget to visit again!
Enjoy your travel with Marimonda. See you soon. 🙂