Officially named San Juan de Pasto, it is a city located in the Atris valley near the Andes, at the slopes of the Galeras Volcano. It was founded in 1539 by conquistador Lorenzo de Aldana, in a territory once occupied by the Quillacinga culture.Pasto has an intriguing political history. The city was a royalist fortress during the Independence Campaign, and because its strong opposition it was nicknamed as the “Lioness of the Andes”, and was in turn sacked in 1822 by the independentists. Due to its geographical location and its political stance, the city kept itself isolated from the rest of Colombia for some time. Due to the civil wars at the beginning of the republican era, Pasto was briefly the capital of the country by decision of Leonardo Canal Gonzáles, a conservative general. In 1904, with the creation of the department of Nariño, Pasto was named its capital, and is now an important city focused mainly on commerce and services.
Travel tips for Pasto
If you have planned to move around the regions in Colombia, you might be asked to have the yellow fever vaccine. Other vaccines that you should consider -in case you travel to rainforest areas- are the tetanus vaccine and the hepatitis A/B.The electric current kind used in Colombia is 110-volt AC (110 V), with a frequence of 60 Hz. We recommend you to have a plug adapter if you travel to places that use other voltage to avoid that the electronic devices suffer a short-circuit and don't work.
Best time to visit Pasto
The best time to visit Pasto is during the dry season from June to September. You might also be interested in visiting the city during the Blacks and Whites Carnival, held during the beginning of January.
Climate in Pasto
Being a city in the Andes, the climate in Pasto oscilates between a mild and cold weather, with an average temperature of 55,4 ºF. It is recommended you bring warm clothes and take sorojchi pills to better enjoy your stay in Pasto.There is also average rain all year long, although it decreases between June and September.
Things to do in Pasto
Nightlife in Pasto
Location: Cruce de Carrera 30a con Calle 18 Hours: Unknown Price: Unknown Club with excellent service and an ample dance floor to enjoy the rumba deep into the night.
Location: Calle 18 # 29-91 Parque Infantil Loc.7 Hours: Unknown Price: Unknown Nice club with great DJs a variety of drinks to choose for.
Where to eat in Pasto
Location: Cra. 27 Hours: Unknown Price: Unknown Restaurant that offers live music, original decorations and a variety of dishes to choose from.
Location: # a 50-144,, Cl. 18 #50142 Hours: Unknown Price: Unknown One of the most traditional restaurants in the city, known for its typical dishes of the Nariño region.
The tourist places to see in Pasto are
Pasto's Historical Center
Location: Downtown Hours: All day long Price: Free entrance Group of colonial buildings in a perfect state. The main attraction is the Cathedral of San Ezequiel Moreno Díaz, gothic style building constructed on top of the San Francisco de Asís Chapel, which was sacked in 1822.
La Cocha Lake
Also called Lake Guamuez, it consists on a grat natural body of water of glacial origin. Nearby you can find restaurants, natural lookout spots and you can take a tour through the lake by boat.
The things to do in Pasto
Visit the Chimayoy Environmental Center
Location: 4 km de San Juan de Pasto Hours: Unknown Price: Unknown Space designed for the education, tourism, environmental investigation and ecological conservation. It has long roads with flora and fauna, and diverse activities that methodologically seek an integration between society and the environment, as well as to reinforce ecological projects.
Visitar el Museo del oro del Banco de la República
Location: Calle 19 No. 21-27 Hours: Tuesday to Saturday: 10:00 a.m. to 5: 00 p.m. Price: Free Entrance Offers visitors an extraordinary collection, part of the archeological legacy of south Colombia, as well as an history that bridges the past and the present.
Typical dishes in Pasto
One of the most popular Cuy recipe in Nariño. The cuy meat is seasoned then roasted in carbon fire and then served with potatoes or chili.
Pork meat served with baked potatoes, peanut chili and pop-corn. The meat is seasoned with aliños and marinated a day before it is cooked.
How to reach Pasto
Pasto by train
Currently there isn't a train service operating in Pasto.
Pasto by flight
The Antonio Nariño Airport receives domestic flights mostly from Bogota and Cali. It is located 30 min away from the city, but is easily reachable by bus or taxi.
Pasto by bus
Direct buses run from from Bogota, Cali and Popayan, and Ipiales, and it is easy to make connections in any of these cities in order to reach any other destination. The bus from Medellín to Pasto can take between 18 and 20 hours, and costs an average of 80 000 and 109 000 COP. It is possible to get online tickets online via the website of the Transportation Terminal of Pasto.
Accomodations in Pasto
Hotel Balcón de Luna
Location: Barrio Fatima Calle 17 No. 11 - 88, 520003 Precio: Starting at 40 000 COP Hotel that welcomes pets, has restaurant, free wi-fi and rooms with private bathroom and cable TV.
Location: Calle 11 #39-12, Balcones de Mariluz, 520001 Price: Starting at 100 000 COP Hotel with private parking, free wi-fi and rooms with private bathroom and cable TV. Located 11 miles away from the airport.
Hotel Bariloche Confort
Location: Carrera 26 #15 - 80, 550001 Price: Starting at 73 351 COP Hotel that offers rooms with Cable TV and private bathroom. Has free wi-fi and 24 hour reception.
Hotel Fernando Plaza
Location: Calle 20 No. 21B - 16, 520003 Price: Starting at 159 000 COP The ample rooms of the Fernando Plaza have wardrobes, chocolate colored wooden floors and curtains to match. They all have cable TV and private bathroom.
Important dates in Pasto
Carnival of Blacks and Whites
(From the 2nd to the 7th of January)
The Carnival originates from the fusion and sincretism of multiple cultural and religious expressions of the Andes, the Amazonia, and the western culture. The carnival has four stages: the Carnavalito, the arrival of the Castañeda Family, the day of the Blacks and the day of the Whites, which closes with a great parade (being this the most important touristic day of the event).