Sanctuary of Las Lajas, Nariño

Santuario de las Lajas. Ipiales Nariño

One of the places with the greatest value and wealth of precious stones in Colombia

The Sanctuary of Las Lajas is a temple well known to Colombian Christians; its architecture and appearance have turned this site into something magical, like coming out from a story that kings and princesses.


santuario de las lajas Ipiales Nariño


Where is the Sanctuary of Las Lajas?

It is located in Ipiales, Nariño. Its full name is The Shrine of Our Lady of Las Lajas. Its main building measures 27.50 meters high and its towers 100 meters; and, it has a bridge that is 50 meters long and 17 meters wide (most tourists take their best photos from this bridge).


How to get to the Sanctuary of Las Lajas?

teleferico en el santuario de las lajas
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To get to the sanctuary the first thing you should do is go to Pasto and from there to Ipiales. The trip only lasts 10 to 15 minutes and the ticket costs $ 10,000 Colombian pesos.

While in Ipiales, you take a collective taxi that charges $ 3,000 pesos per person and takes 15 minutes to reach the virgin’s sanctuary.

While you are traveling to the sanctuary, you will find a cable car, which runs from 7:00 a.m. at 8:00 p.m. and has a value per trip of $ 12,000. If you decide to go and return in the cable car you will only have to pay $ 20,000 pesos.


Fun fact about the Sanctuary of Las Lajas

An important fact of the sanctuary is that it is bordering with Tulcán, Ecuador, just 10 kilometers away. There are services that cars offer to take you to Ecuador for only $ 2,000 pesos and it will take only 15 minutes to arrive. Many tourists take advantage of this short distance and low price to get to know this other country and its culture.


The story tells…

At the end of the 1700s, a woman and her deaf-mute daughter walked through the canyon of the Guáitara River, when a very strong storm began. They began to feel a voice that called them and saw among the rocks above the image of the Virgin Mary, in that precisely the woman’s daughter recovered her voice and was able to listen; this is just one of the miracles told around this sanctuary.

This is why many Colombians turn to the sanctuary to make a pilgrimage and ask for things impossible for man, but possible for God.


Best time to go to the Sanctuary of Las Lajas

santuario de las lajas ipiales nariño colombia

In addition, Holy Week and the first days of December and January are dates in which many religious events are held in the place.


Attractions of the Sanctuary of Las Lajas

This beautiful temple has many precious stones and luxuries inside it, it is well known for its picture with a gold crown, sapphires, diamonds, pearls and emeralds. In the sanctuary, you will also see the so-called slabs, which are flat and wide gray stones that surround the whole place.


Climate and appropriate clothing to visit the Sanctuary of Las Lajas

santuario de las lajas de noche
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In Ipiales the climate is usually 12 degrees Celsius, which is very cold. Therefore, we recommend you to wear very warm clothes, hat, bags, scarves and even gloves. It is also a good idea to wear comfortable shoes that are closed.

Many tourists stay until 6:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary of Las Lajas, because it is at that time that the external lights come on. The best thing about this plan is that you will appreciate the beautiful landscape and the place. It is important that you go warm, since at that time the temperature can drop to 8 degrees.

The good thing is that throughout the tour of the site you will find street vendors and small coffee shops that offer drinks and hot meals.


What to eat in Ipiales during your visit to the Sanctuary of Las Lajas?

cuy. plato tipico de ipiales, lugar del santuario de las lajas

The typical dish of this place is the guinea pig, a rodent found in this region of the country, which they prepare roasted with cooked pastusa potatoes and steamed eggs; this curious dish has a value from $ 30,000 pesos, the price varies a lot because it depends on the size of the rodent. Would you dare to try it?


Accommodation prices in Ipiales, Pasto

Whether in Ipiales or Pasto, hotel costs are cheap, they range between $ 70,000 and $ 120,000 pesos and are very good places, comfortable and warm for the region’s cold weather; almost all of them include breakfast, Wi-Fi, internal bathrooms in the rooms, cable TV and telephony. Search the internet for the one that best suits your budget or the one that allows you to be closer to the Sanctuary of Las Lajas.

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The cover photo of this blog was taken from Photo: Luis Ponce

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