Sanctuario Las Lajas: A Colombian farewell

Days: 231-232

Total distance travelled: 44,453.7 kilometres (27,610.99 miles)

Perhaps we’d learned some lessons during our travels, at least when it comes to how far we can reasonably expect to travel in a single day.

As such, even though our first ride for the day arrived a whole half an hour late, we weren’t too concerned that it would ruin our plans.

We’d decided our departure from Colombia would be a 2 day affair.

Travel from San Andres to Popayan, then on to Pasto where we’d find a bed for the night, before travelling on to the border the following morning.

This was managed to achieve fairly easily, and in the late afternoon/early evening we arrived in Pasto, found a cheap enough room near the bus station and in a local eatery sat down to one of our cheapest meals in Colombia!

Incredibly this place was serving a 2 course meal for $2,500.00 COP per person, so incredibly for a grand total of $5,000.00 COP (that’s about $3.50 Australian) we were able to stuff ourselves silly.

The following morning saw us up early again, our destination this time being the Ecuadorian capital of Quito.

But before then, we needed to get to the border town of Ipiales, where prior to crossing the frontier, we had one last excursion in mind.

Although many people simply pass through on their way out of, or into Colombia, there is a little treat tucked away, if you are prepared to take a moment (and a 10 minute taxi or colectivo taxi ride) to go visit.

Our destination, Sanctuario Las Lajas, one final church to visit in Colombia.

So what makes it worth it?

Well, when we first saw a picture of it, we immediately felt we needed to capture that same picture for ourselves, so we did!

Sanctuario Las Lajas, Colombia’s last hurrah

Sanctuario Las Lajas, Colombia’s last hurrah

The postcard view for which we came

The postcard view for which we came

We felt it was a good use of an hour, as well as some of our last Colombian pesos.

Apparently it is famous amongst the local religious community for some miracles, but as I’ve already pointed out, we simply came for the views.

A short taxi ride back to the bus station, then a shuttle onwards from there, saw us to the Colombian-Ecuadorian border sometime in the middle of the day.

What followed, was possibly our easiest border crossing of the trip, with immigration completed on both sides within a half hour.

Before long we were at the local Ecuadorian bus station, sitting ourselves down on a coach that would ferry us all the way to Quito.

 

Notes:

* Our trip to the Colombian border was essentially a 2 day affair, starting with a 6am bus from San Andres to Popayan (Approximatel $20,000.00 COP, per person for about a 4 hour trip) where we almost immediately transferred to a van headed for Pasto, $15,000.00 COP per person where we stayed the night.

* The following morning saw us board a bus for the border town of Ipiales ($8,000.00 COP per person) which lay an hour away.

* To get to the Sanctuario Las Lajas it cost us $2,200.00 COP per person for a shared taxi from and back to the bus terminal (these vehicles leave only when full).

* A bus from the terminal to the border cost us $1,500.00 COP per person for what was about a 15 minute journey (they dropped us right outside the immigration office).

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