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A Sunday morning stroll around Ipiales belies the reality of this city. These now-quiet streets will soon bustle with travelers and merchants crossing the border, and Ecuadorian and Colombian pilgrims on their way to the Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Las Lajas.

Located on the Pan-American Highway just three kilometers (1.8 mi) north of the Rumichaca border crossing into Ecuador, Ipiales is only a transit point for many. However, it is worth passing a few days here. Services are improving in this southern Colombian city; unfortunately, however, it still lacks a tourism office to orientate visitors, whuish is a shame as there are interesting places to get to know. The city has several pleasant parks where you can people watch, and churches to visit. The breathtaking neo-Gothic Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Las Lajas that spans the Río Guáitra is only eight kilometers (4.8 mi) from Ipiales. Not too far from that pilgrimage site are petroglyphs of the ancient Pasto indigenous culture. The village of Cumbral presents you with not only incredible vistas of two snow-capped volcanoes, but also walking and climbing opportunities.

So, don't be so hasty in flying through Ipiales to your other destinations in Colombia. Take a break to visit some of the surprises this region hides from fleeting eyes.

Neighborhoods in Ipiales: Near Ipiales,

Other places nearby Ipiales: Pasto, Parque Nacional Puracé, San Agustín, Popayán and Tierradentro.

By Lorraine Caputo

Upon re-declaring her independence at age 29, Lorraine Caputo packed her trusty Rocinante (so her knapsack's called) and began...

07 Mar 2012

VIVA Colombia

Things to do in Ipiales

Churches & Plazas of Ipiales

114092 Ipiales has two pleasant public squares: Parque de la Independencia (also known as Parque 20 de Julio), between Carreras 5 and6, and Calles 8 and 9, and Parque La Pola, betweenCarreras 5 and 6, and ...
City Plaza
Ipiales, Colombia


114102 In this small indigenous village on the altiplano, the Sunday market trading is still going strong. Stalls display fruits from highlands and low, or ponchos from local workshops. Doña Yolanda ...
Other Activity
Near Ipiales, Ipiales, Colombia

Santuario Nuestra Señora de las Lajas

114386 One day in 1750 (more or less), María Mueses de Quiñónez was walking from Potosí to Ipiales. Upon her back she carried her young, deaf-mute daughter Rosa. They decided to rest at Pastarán cave ...
Cultural Tour
Near Ipiales, Ipiales, Colombia

Piedra de los Monos

While at Santuario Nuestra Señora de las Lajas, take a hike down to what was certainly a holy site for the previous inhabitants of this region: Piedra de los Monos. Following a well-signed path from ...
Near Ipiales, Ipiales, Colombia

The Cultural Centers Of Ipiales

If you find yourself stuck in Ipiales for a few days, don’t sweat. There are places where you can while away a few hours. The Banco de la República has a cultural center that hosts art ...
Other Activity
Ipiales, Colombia
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