Pasto, Colombia

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Pasto, Colombia

Region: Nariño

Geographic Coordinates: 1.207800, -77.277200
Temperature Range: 10.0°C to 25.0°C (50°F to 77°F)
Climate: Pasto, Colombia experiences a tropical climate with consistent temperatures throughout the year, and rainy seasons occurring from March to June and September to December.
Population: 392930
Language: Spanish

Pasto is a historic and charming city situated in southwestern Colombia, Nestled in the Andes mountains at an elevation of 8, 300 feet above sea level. It serves as the capital of Nariño department and has a population of approximately 400, 000 people. The city boasts a rich cultural heritage that blends indigenous, Spanish colonial, And modern elements. One of Pasto’s main attractions is its vibrant Carnaval de Negros y Blancos (Carnival of Blacks and Whites), Which takes place annually from January 2nd to 7th.

This colorful festival celebrates the region’s multiculturalism with parades, Music, Dancing, And intricate costumes featuring designs made from flour paste or talcum powder. Apart from its cultural offerings, Pasto also offers stunning natural scenery. Galeras volcano provides breathtaking views from various points around town while visitors can explore nearby national parks such as La Cocha Lake National Park or Puracé National Natural Park to experience Colombia’s diverse flora and fauna.

For history enthusiasts visiting Pasto offers numerous architectural landmarks that reflect its colonial past like San Juan de Dios cathedral built in the early 18th century with a mix of Baroque and Neoclassical styles. Other noteworthy sites include La Merced church and Juan Lozano y Lozano museum. Pasto also has an active arts scene with several museums showcasing local artists’ works such as Museo del Oro Nariño (Nariño Gold Museum) or Casa Taller Luis A Calvo (Luis A Calvo Workshop House). Additionally visitors can enjoy live music performances at venues like Teatro Imperial or Casa de la Cultura Andres Bello.

but not leastly for foodies out there- Pasto’s cuisine is renowned for its diversity with dishes ranging from traditional Colombian staples like arepas to local specialties such as cuy (guinea pig) or fritanga (grilled meat). Visitors can sample these delicacies at local restaurants or street vendors around the city. Pasto is a fascinating destination that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in history, Culture, Nature, Or food, This charming city will not disappoint. With its friendly locals and stunning scenery, It’s no wonder that Pasto is becoming an increasingly popular tourist destination in Colombia.

Important Landmarks

  1. Plaza de Nariño: The main square of Pasto, surrounded by historic buildings, including the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista.
  2. La Cocha Lake: A stunning natural lake located just outside of Pasto, popular for fishing and water sports.
  3. Galeras Volcano: An active volcano near Pasto that offers hiking trails and breathtaking views.
  4. Santuario de Las Lajas: A gorgeous church built into a cliffside, located about an hour’s drive from Pasto.
  5. Museo del Carnaval de Negros y Blancos: This museum showcases the history and culture behind one of Colombia’s most famous festivals, held annually in January in Pasto.
  6. Casa Taller Arte y Cultura Guillermo Valencia: This cultural center features exhibitions, workshops, and performances showcasing local art and music.
  7. Parque Nacional Natural Los Nevados: A national park near Pasto with hiking trails through stunning mountain landscapes.
  8. Iglesia San Felipe Neri: A historic church in downtown Pasto known for its ornate Baroque architecture.
  9. Museo Arqueológico del Departamento de Nariño Juan César García: An archaeological museum featuring artifacts from pre-Columbian cultures that once inhabited the region around Pasto.
  10. Mercado Central de la Ciudadela 20 De Julio: A bustling market selling everything from fresh produce to handmade crafts, offering a glimpse into local daily life in Pasto.

Primary Industries

  1. Overall, Pasto is a diverse and vibrant city
  2. It offers a range of opportunities in different sectors
  3. These opportunities are available for both locals and visitors alike

Noteable History

  1. The Battle of Bomboná (1822) was a significant event in the South American Wars of Independence, where Colombian forces led by Antonio José de Sucre emerged victorious against Spanish royalist troops.
  2. Juan Gregorio Palechor was an influential indigenous leader who fought for the rights of his people and played a crucial role in Colombia’s struggle for land reform.
  3. The Carnaval de Negros y Blancos is one of Colombia’s most famous festivals, held annually in Pasto to celebrate the region’s cultural diversity and heritage.
  4. Guillermo Valencia was a celebrated poet and politician who served as Colombia’s ambassador to France before later becoming president of the country’s senate.
  5. In 1993, the Galeras Volcano eruption claimed the lives of nine scientists who were conducting research on the volcano at that time, resulting in a devastating natural disaster.
  6. Jorge Isaacs was a renowned writer from Pasto whose novel María is considered one of Latin America’s greatest literary works.
  7. Thousands of indigenous people from across Colombia marched to Pasto during The Indigenous Peoples’ March (2008) to demand recognition for their rights and protection over their ancestral lands.
  8. Carlos Julio Arosemena Tola was an Ecuadorian politician who served as his country’s president from 1961-1963 but spent much of his life living in exile in Pasto after being forced out by political rivals.
  9. Francisco de Paula Santander played an instrumental role in Colombia’s struggle for independence from Spain by serving as vice-president under Simón Bolívar before becoming president himself in 1832.
  10. Luis Carlos Galán campaigned against drug trafficking and corruption before he met an untimely death during his presidential campaign rally near Bogota on August 18th,1989; he had previously been a prominent journalist-turned-politician.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Museo del Oro Tumaco – This museum boasts the largest collection of gold artifacts from the Tumaco culture.
  2. Santuario de las Lajas – A stunning Gothic-style church built on a bridge over a gorge, renowned for its miraculous healing powers.
  3. Museo Arqueológico del Departamento de Nariño – This museum showcases the archeological history of Nariño and features artifacts from various pre-Columbian cultures.
  4. Casa-Museo Taminango – A beautifully restored colonial house that now serves as a museum showcasing traditional Andean life and culture.
  5. Parque Nacional Natural Puracé – A national park located near Pasto that offers hiking trails, hot springs, and scenic views of the Andes mountains.
  6. Centro Cultural Palacio de Bellas Artes – An art center that hosts exhibitions, concerts, and cultural events throughout the year.
  7. La Laguna de la Cocha – A picturesque lake surrounded by mountains where visitors can take boat rides or hike through nearby nature reserves.
  8. Iglesia San Juan Bautista de Pasto – One of Colombia’s oldest churches with beautiful colonial architecture and intricate wood carvings inside.
  9. Plaza de Narino – The main square in Pasto which is home to several historic buildings including Governor’s Palace and Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Mercy.
  10. Museo del Carnaval – This museum celebrates one of Colombia’s most famous festivals, Carnaval de Negros y Blancos with exhibits on its history, costumes, and traditions.

Sports Teams

  1. Deportivo Pasto is a highly successful football team that was founded in 1949. They have won several national and international titles, including the Copa Colombia in 2009 and the Copa Sudamericana in 2012.
  2. Atlético Pasto is another professional football team based in Pasto that was established in 1997. Over the years, they have participated in various national tournaments.
  3. Club Campestre de San Juan is one of the oldest sports clubs of its kind in Colombia, established back in 1950. It offers a range of activities such as tennis, golf, swimming, horse riding and more.
  4. Club Náutico Laguna de la Cocha is located on Lake Cocha near Pasto and provides water sports enthusiasts with activities such as sailing, kayaking and fishing among others. It was founded by local enthusiasts back in 1985.
  5. Club Deportivo Los Andes started off as an amateur football team established by a group of friends who wanted to play together for fun but has since become a popular fixture at local tournaments and events.
  6. Club de Tiro y Caza San Francisco has been around for over a century since it was founded back in 1908 dedicated to hunting and shooting sports such as trap shooting, skeet shooting or rifle shooting etc., as well as conservation efforts to protect wildlife habitats around Pasto.
  7. Club Ciclístico Nariño Extreme MTB organizes cycling tours around Nariño province which includes some stunning natural landscapes like volcanoes or waterfalls etc. Please note that these are just some examples but not an exhaustive list.

Cultural Events

  1. Carnaval de Negros y Blancos: This is one of the most famous festivals in Pasto, and it takes place every year from January 2nd to January 7th. The festival celebrates the diversity of cultures in the region and features parades, music, dance, and colorful costumes.
  2. Festival Internacional de Teatro: This is an international theater festival that takes place each year in August. The event brings together theater companies from all over the world to showcase their work.
  3. Feria de las Flores y del Café: This is a flower and coffee fair that takes place every September in Pasto. The event includes exhibitions of flowers and coffee products, as well as cultural activities such as music concerts and dance performances.
  4. Semana Santa: Holy Week is celebrated throughout Colombia, but Pasto has its own unique traditions during this time. One of the most significant events is the procession of La Dolorosa on Good Friday.
  5. Festival Nacional de la Música Andina Colombiana Mono Núñez: This is a national festival dedicated to Andean Colombian music that takes place every June in Pasto. It includes competitions for musicians playing traditional instruments such as charangos, quenas, and zampoñas.
  6. Fiesta del Cuy Asado: This festival celebrates roasted guinea pig (cuy), which is a traditional dish in some parts of Colombia including Pasto. It takes place every year on December 25th.
  7. Festival Internacional de Danza Contemporánea Ciudad de los Reyes: This contemporary dance festival brings together dancers from all over Colombia and other countries who perform modern choreography with themes ranging from social justice issues to personal stories.


  1. Cuy Asado (Roasted Guinea Pig) – Restaurante La Guapa
  2. Fanesca (A Traditional Soup Made with Grains and Beans) – Restaurante El Portal de la Fanesca
  3. Churrasco (Grilled Steak) – Parrilla Argentina El Palenque
  4. Ajiaco (Potato Soup with Chicken and Corn) – Restaurante Doña Rosa
  5. Empanadas de Pipian (Empanadas Filled with Peanut Sauce) – Sabor a Pipian
  6. Llapingachos (Potato Cakes Stuffed with Cheese and Served with Peanut Sauce) – Restaurante Donde Mami
  7. Chontaduro con Queso (Palm Fruit Served with Cheese and Honey) – Mercado de las Artesanías
  8. Tamales Tolimenses (Tamales Filled with Meat, Vegetables, and Rice) – Tamalera Pastusa
  9. Trucha al Ajillo (Trout Cooked in Garlic Sauce)- Restaurante La Trucheria
  10. Sancocho de Gallina Criolla(Chicken Stew)-Restaurante Los Juanes

Parks and Recreation

  1. Parque de la Laguna de la Cocha is a beautiful lake park that boasts hiking trails, boat rides, and bird watching opportunities.
  2. Parque Natural Municipal Buesaco is a natural park that features hiking trails, waterfalls, and camping areas.
  3. Parque Nacional Natural Puracé is a national park that offers hot springs, hiking trails, and stunning views of the Andes Mountains.
  4. Jardín Botánico Juan María Céspedes is a botanical garden with over 600 species of plants and trees to explore.
  5. Parque Infantil Los Comuneros is a children’s playground equipped with swings, slides, and other fun activities for kids to enjoy.
  6. Complejo Deportivo Sur Oriental provides sports enthusiasts with soccer fields, basketball courts, tennis courts and more!
  7. Plaza de Nariño serves as the main square in Pasto where locals gather to relax or attend events like concerts or cultural shows.
  8. Centro Cultural Pandiaco hosts exhibitions and workshops on painting, sculpture photography among other artistic expressions making it an ideal art center for art lovers.
  9. Museo del Oro del Banco de la República showcases gold artifacts from pre-Columbian times in Colombia making it an interesting museum worth visiting!


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