Colombia travel blog by Mark Berman -
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I have passed through or stayed in Pasto a few times. Arriving from both the north and south through amazing terrain from the border with Ecuador or Popayan northward.
Pasto is actually named after the Barbacoan people across the border in northern Ecuador!
Hotels Near the Bus Terminal
Pasto's bus terminal you can see quite a few hotels over towards the right - a few minutes walk away. Some of these hotels are cheap, ranging from
$12000-$20000 pesos ($7USD-$11USD), others are better for a higher price.
A Different Culture
From the bus terminal the center of town is straight ahead and towards the right slightly.
Having been in Ecuador before I came here, it was very apparant I was in a different culture now. It was very exciting and very Colombian, completely different.
The senior men dress in the finest suits. The women nearly all look like models, in fact better than models because they have natural beauty.
Around the City
There is some wonderful architecture, churches, cathedrals and statues. There is a huge plaza in Pasto that is
called Parque del Carnaval. It is an interesting shape, not the standard square with statue in the middle. It has a big archway at one end but it is
not the main plaza. Obviously by its name it is used for the carnival and possibly concerts and political rallies.
Plaza Narino and the Cathedral
Plaza Narino has a statue of
General Antonio Narino in the middle, he was an early political and military leader for independence in Colombia. The plaza is usually full of people sitting on
benches and walking around. There are a couple of trees with each surrounded by shoeshine men dressed in blue underneath blue umbrellas. The plaza is surrounded
by some interesting buildings and streets including the huge cathedral with amazing statues at the top and fine engraved designs on the arched doors. It has arched
and round windows and twin bell towers, a must see! In this area is a statue of Gobernador de Narino Eduardo Zuniga Erazo and also you may see a row of typists
with typewriters for hire in the street sitting at desks under umbrellas and also some interesting street art.
Pasto has some awesome churches.
Some include La Merced, San Juan Bautista and Cristo Rey Temple. There is a statue of Atahualpa who was the last free-reigning emperor of the Incas, he lived in
the early 1500's.
Blacks & Whites Carnival Museum
Visit the Blacks & Whites Carnival Museum while in Pasto to enjoy all the fantastic characters on display on the floor.
The carnival is held from the 2nd to the 7th of January each year.
Pasto is set in a beautiful valley and has lovely green hills surrounding it, the city is quite
clean and has a sense of authenticity about it - the people, the food and the historic center. I well recommend spending a day having a look around.
Pasto to Popayan
I had read about not doing this journey at night because of bandits and robberies. I asked at Pasto's bus terminal about this and was told it was safer now, there were more police on the road between Pasto and Popayan