Pasto

Pasto is a city in the southwest of Colombia.

City of the South Colombian West, with a population superior to the 400,000 inhabitants and capital of the department of Nariño. Pasto is one of the oldest cities of Colombia, located in the Atriz Valley, in the middle of the Mountain range of the Andes in the denominated mountainous bulk of the Pasto on the foot of Galeras volcano. The region is mountainous and surrounded by several indigenous towns.

Understand

Pasto is a city where different cultures are mixed. The dominant one, without a doubt, is the Andean culture. Unequivocal evidence of this is the Black and White Carnival, in which 'pastusos' (People from Pasto; local denomination) celebrate with colors and joy the incredible richness of their culture. The city is located in the Atriz Valley, at the foot of the Galeras Volcano, which can be observed from any angle of the city.

Pasto is a very religious city, with beautiful temples that certainly represent the architectural wealth of the city. Some of them are very ancient and have been mixed with the modern and colonial styles simultaneously.

Crafts are an important tradition in Pasto, from which the so-called Pasto varnish is the most well-known. Leather, ceramics, and wooden products also constitute the historical and cultural legacy of the city.

Culture

The Black and White Carnival is a celebration that was declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO on 2009 , in addition to its previous title of Cultural Heritage of the Nation honored by the congress of the Republic of Colombia in April 2002.

The Black and Whitre Carnival consists of various popular festivities that are held every year between the 2nd and the 7th of January by the extremely friendly and welcoming people from San Juan de Pasto (Pasto). During these days the streets of Pasto become an urban playground where men, women, children of all ethnicities and background use black, white and colour cosmetics to paint each other as a symbol of communion and joy in their ethnic and cultural differences. Besides the "painting each other" game, people enthusiatically join street parades which are the main highlight of the Carnival. Parades take place on January 4th (Castaneda family arrival), 5th (Black's day) and 6th (White's day) featuring floats artcrafted by local artisans and traditional dances and bands from other villages and in some cases countries like Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia.

Today the Black and White Carnival in Pasto attracts a considerable number of tourists from several parts of the world and became a "must see highlight" featured in the calendar of Colombian and World festivities. Joining the kind people from Pasto in their houses and streets to participate in parade floats and traditional dances is a togetherness experience that was treasured in the memories of lucky few and now is open to the world!

Climate

Unlike some areas in Colombia, Pasto has a 'cold' climate, with day-time temperatures oscillating between 13°C and 20°C most of the year. Occasionally, temperatures can drop to 10°C and rise to 25°C. It is a good a idea to carry a sweater with you.

 Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 
Daily highs (°C) 18.2 18.7 19.1 17.3 21 22.2 17.6 16.6 17.7 20 19.8 20.5
Nightly lows (°C) 13.9 13.8 13.7 13.8 13.9 14.2 13.9 14.3 13.7 13.8 14.1 13.7
Precipitation (mm) 27 21 18 42 48 12 6 15 3 84 75 51

Check Pasto's 7 day forecast at Meoweather

Get in

By plane

The Antonio Nariño Airport receives Flights from Bogota and Cali. The airport is 30 min away from the city, and enjoys frequent transportation by bus or taxi.

By car

Pasto is connected with paved roads, such as the Panamerican highway to the rest of the country. You could rent a car an enjoy the beautiful scenery in the area surrounding the city. Airport Car Rental.

By bus

Direct buses run from Bogota, Cali, Popayan, and Ipiales (close to the Ecuadorian border). Connections are easy to make in any of these cities for any further destinations.

You could get your tickets in the web page of some companies. Below are some of the most common ones

Tickets could cost around this values.

You can also buy your tickets in the Terminal de Transportes de Pasto

Get Around

A short taxi run in the city costs around 3500 COP. If going from one end of the city to the other it can cost up to 3800 COP. Those prices are fixed! You can request a taxi by calling 7320000 or 7323743.

See

Churches

Museums

Buy

They are plenty of shops around the city to buy handcrafts. They are expensive but worth to have it. Some of them are listed below.

Do

Eat

Eat outside is really cheap. But, some dishes could be quite expensive like Cuy. Anyway, you could try nice empanadas and tamales they are very cheap and different than in other places.

Drink

You could find chicha and Guarapo in many places in south america. But you should try 'Hervidos They are unique!

Sleep

It is magic to sleep in a city which is laying in the base of one Volcano. If you are lucky may be you could be able to see some ashes or even more spewing lava. There are many places to stay safe since you are in the city. E.g. an abundance of budget hotels are located near the bus terminal, for instance hotel 'Paola' ask for COP$ 12000 (single).

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Go next

Ipiales

Popayán

Mocoa via the trampolín de la muerte

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Tuesday, January 20, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.