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Pasto: When to go

Pasto’s altitude gives the city a spring-like climate year round. Anytime is fine to visit, but expect rain showers in any month. June, July and August are windy.

Holidays and Festivals

The city has a number of festivals worth attending. The most famous is the Festival de Blancos y Negros, or Carnaval. Spanish colonists gave slaves a vacation every January 5, which is why Carnaval is celebrated on that date. But the modern celebration lasts much longer. Beginning on December 28, Day of the Innocents, a ceremony purifies the spirits. New Year’s Eve is the Años Viejos, when effigies representing the past year are burnt in the streets. January 2 is Pericles Carnival and January 3 is the Indigenous Carnival—the streets throng with drum troupes, music, dance and horse parades. Then the two great days of celebration: Black Day and White Day, January 5 and 6 respectively, marked with parades, musicians, drum troupes, and grease and talcum powder fights.

As if to get everyone cleaned up from the Carnaval, Pasto has a Fiesta de Aguas—a huge, city-wide water fight—on February 5.

Pasto commemorates its saint, San Pedro, with firework castles, religious processions and guaguas de pan (bread babies) the last Sunday of June and the first Sunday of July.

By Lorraine Caputo

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

23 Sep 2011

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