Las Lajas Travel Guide

  • the conquered at Las Lajas
    the conquered at Las Lajas
    by richiecdisc
  • Las Lajas from lower in the gorge
    Las Lajas from lower in the gorge
    by richiecdisc
  • Las Lajas in its magnificent setting
    Las Lajas in its magnificent setting
    by richiecdisc

Las Lajas Things to Do

  • the Guáitara Gorge

    Though the cathedral of Las Lajas is the main attraction of a visit here, the canyon itself is quite stunning in its own right and there are trails that line it on either side. You can walk along the Guáitara River that formed it and see a few waterfalls along the way. Even a cursory exploration of the canyon provides nice views of it and the...

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  • intricate details of Las Lajas

    The doors of the cathedral are also stunning, with intricate carved figures that herald again that little expense was spared in building this monument to the apparition that obviously had garnered many contributions over the years since the original church in this place was erected. Many stunning statues adorn the exterior of Las Lajas which add a...

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  • the interior of Las Lajas

    The cathedral's interior is quite beautiful in its simplicity, mostly in a creamy white with gold trim. It features very high Gothic vaulted ceilings and a series of very pretty chandeliers that illuminate it well. There are numerous stunning stained glass windows to round out your experience including a circular one above the entrance.Even with...

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Las Lajas Restaurants

  • worth waiting for the bus terminal

    Since our dinner the night before in Las Lajas was less than stellar and after a night in the cold and somewhat spooky convent, we were very much ready to hightail it out of town in the morning and look for better eats elsewhere. It didn't hurt that the weather had gone completely sour and with it being cold and gray, leaving Las Lajas as quickly...

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  • one time when Denny's would have been...

    When it doubt, go to Denny's, right? Well, there was no Denny's in Las Lajas, but there was a Dany's. It was very convenient to the convent and this was a big factor as it was raining cats and dogs when we went out to eat. In fact, there was a bit of a flood or water rushing down the hilly main street of town in front of good old Dany's but we...

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  • Las Lajas Hotels

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Las Lajas Nightlife

  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo
    most people miss Las Lajas at night

    by richiecdisc Written Jan 21, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is a town made fore religious pilgrims so don't expect a raging nightlife experience. There are many restaurants and most serve beer so you can certainly keep yourself occupied in the evenings though my guess is most close fairly early. When we were there many were closed period as it was obviously off season and during the week. We did enjoy a beer with our meal but soon set off to take some photos of the cathedral lit up. I unfortunately forgot to bring my tripod from the convent and decided not to go back to get it as you have to ring a bell to be let in. Though the cathedral could be better lit, it is well worth making the effort to go down to see it at night as it has a completely different feel to it. There are some flat surfaces that you can use as a make shift tripod so I did manage to get a few okay shots. My suggestion is to bring a tripod and go at dusk when they are likely to first put the lights on. It was already completely dark when we got there, making it even more difficult to get good shots.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Photography
    • Road Trip

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Las Lajas Transportation

  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo
    would be easier if you had wings

    by richiecdisc Written Jan 21, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Getting to Las Lajas is easy enough from Ipiales if you happen to be staying there which we were not. Of course, reaching Ipiales is not hard either but it does take longer than you might want it too. We took a small bus from Pasto to Ipiales for 7000 COP ($3.50) each and it took about 90 minutes. Right at the Ipiales bus terminal, you can find shared taxis to Las Lajas. There seems to always be people going to Las Lajas so we didn't have to wait too long before we got going. We paid 2000 COP ($1) each for the 15 minute trip to Las Lajas.

    We did pretty much the same thing on the way back, grabbing a shared taxi in Las Lajas, right where we got dropped off. They were waiting there, even early in the morning and again, it did not take long for a couple other people to jump in with us so it was 2000 COP once again to Ipiales. There are very frequent buses between Ipiales and Pasto so you won't have to wait long at the terminal. We paid 9000 COP ($4.50) for our Fronteras bus back to Pasto which was about a dollar more than our bus to Ipiales but it was a much bigger and more comfortable bus and certainly worth the extra money.

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Road Trip
    • Budget Travel

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Las Lajas Local Customs

  • a bit like points further south

    Las Lajas is very close to Ecuador. In fact, many people will visit this area of Colombia only if they are traveling between the two countries. We were not doing that so it was quite out of our way. Ironically, we had been in Ecuador a few years earlier, probably as close to Las Lajas as we were when in most of or Colombian travels but didn't even...

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  • and Maria had a vision

    According to legend, in 1754 Maria Mueces and her deaf-mute daughter Rosa were caught in a terrible thunder storm in this very gorge. The woman saw a vision of the Virgin Mary on a stone illuminated by the lightning and even heard it calling out to her, guiding her and her daughter to safety. This is the stuff that cathedrals are built over and so...

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Las Lajas What to Pack

  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo
    the wide angle in action 3 more images

    by richiecdisc Written Jan 21, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: Most will come through Las Lajas en route to some place else so a backpack will serve them best. At any rate, you won't want to bring much. We left most of our gear in Pasto since we were returning there and only came with what we needed for one night.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: The trail into the gorge is mostly on man made steps and paved flat sections. Boots would be nice for going deeper into the gorge but not needed for getting to the cathedral. Dress in layers as the weather is changeable here and can be quite wet and cold.

    Photo Equipment: A wide angle is great for capturing the entire cathedral and bridge in its gorgeous gorge setting. A zoom is best for getting good shots of the details on its exterior. Bring a tripod if you want to get good shots at night.

    Miscellaneous: Thanks to D for making not only this little overnight in Las Lajas bearable but for making the entire trip to Colombia a joy.

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Road Trip
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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Las Lajas Favorites

  • was it worth the night photos?

    It seemed a longer walk in the dark but we soon enough found ourselves walking against the throng of worshipers returning from evening mass. We quickened our pace, afraid that once the lights within the cathedral were turned out, the lights on it would go out too. Though we got there in time, it was already quite dark. It's really best to take...

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  • meant as souvenirs for pilgrims

    Las Lajas was our last stop in Colombia. Well, we would go back to Bogota for a couple of days to get our flight home but that was familiar territory to us now. We had arrived in the afternoon, got our room at the convent, and headed down to the gorge over which the magnificent cathedral spans. The light was decent so we grabbed a lot of photos...

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  • not entirely out of design

    Well, you've come all this way for one thing really, right? Las Lajas is the cathedral, the cathedral and nothing but the cathedral. Not exactly, there is the gorge over which it spans and it is one gorgeous gorge though I'm not sure anyone would stop if it weren't for the cathedral that sets it apart. It was dark, cold. We passed no one but we...

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