Las Lajas Cathedral
Eversince i saw 50 Most Extraordinary Churches of the World article, Las Lajas Cathedral was on my travel must see bucket list. For this reason we travelled all the way to southwest of Colombia just to see it. Las Lajas Sancturio or Las Lajas cathedral have to admit it is one very stunning piece of architecture nevertheless a tiny sense of disappointment was present. Perhaps because Las Lajas Cathedral was partly under construction but more likely because of photo shopped enhanced photos from internet make it even more beautiful. Nevertheless, I am still glad i had an opportunity to see it.
Getting to Las Lajas Cathedral
From a truly scenic flight from Bogota to Pasto (see amazing video below) we landed at Pasto airport. This is a really small airport in Nariño department of Colombia, at the top of the mountain and views after we stepped off the plane were majestic. Imagine airport surrounded by green mountains at the elevation of 1814 meters (5.951 ft).
From Pasto airport we took a taxi, that is the only choice available and the drive lasted around 45 minutes. If the crazy taxi driver wasnt overspeeding on the curvy road surroundeed by steep gaps on one side and driving on the opposite side of the road, the journey would probably last much longer. This hectic ride was the only disturbing experience I encountered in Colombia.
After day spent in Pasto we headed from Koala Inn next day to main bus station in Pasto. Where many small buses and minivans 6000 cop- collectiovos leave for Ipiales, only the prices are different.
After almost a three hour ride on curvy roads and two checkpoints later we arrived to Ipiales bus station. From there we hired taxi driver -15 000 pesos and 20 minutes later we arrived to the site of Las Lajas Cathedral. The taxi driver stopped on a photo point where we could take a few shots of Cathedral from a distance. In case your driver doesn’t stop on photo point, just remind him.
Around cathedral is quite commercial touristy atmosphere – many souvenirs stalls with mainly religious memorabilia, food stalls selling local specialty Cuy, bars, lama photographing and not much to do. If you are into shopping then do some shopping here. Besides Santa Marta this place turned out the cheapest shopping in Colombia.
Getting to Las Lajas Cathedral from Pasto is simple as there is available transport but it will take you all day to get there and back. In case you are heading to Ecuador, Ecuadorian border is literally around the corner.
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