Las Lajas

About 15 minutes from Ipiales is the majestic Santuario de Las Lajas. If you don’t mind Disneyland style crowds with hordes of people (maybe because we went on Good Friday!), it’s worth the trip.

 

History

The setting of the church is absolutely stunning. A vision of the Virgin was found on the side of a cliff in 1754 and a church was built along the side of the cliff deep inside a gorge. The modern church was built in 1916 against the cliff.

Santuario de Las Lajas near Ipiales, Nariño, Colombia

Santuario de Las Lajas

Santuario de Las Lajas near Ipiales, Nariño, Colombia

Santuario de Las Lajas

 

Arriving

Upon arrival, you have to walk about 10 minutes downhill to the church past several booths selling food and religious items.

Vendors at Santuario de Las Lajas near Ipiales, Nariño, Colombia

Vendors

 

The Church

Once inside the church, you will notice a painting of the Virgin directly on the side of the cliff.

Santuario de Las Lajas near Ipiales, Nariño, Colombia

Santuario de Las Lajas

Santuario de Las Lajas near Ipiales, Nariño, Colombia

Painting of the Virgin

 

Museum

There is a museum with pre-Columbian art underneath the church. admission is COP$3,000 per person.

Museum at Santuario de Las Lajas near Ipiales, Nariño, Colombia

Museum

 

Outside the Church

Outside the church, there are steps up to a large statue with phenomenal views of the gorge and the church.

Statue at Las Lajas near Ipiales, Nariño, Colombia

Statue at Las Lajas

Gorge at Las Lajas near Ipiales, Nariño, Colombia

Gorge

 

Getting There

Taxis cost COP$8,000 (as of April 2015) to travel to Las Lajas from Ipiales and can be shared between four people for COP$2,000 each. Give yourself at least an hour to admire the scenery in addition to the 15 minute rides there and back. Taxis are easy to find going back to Ipiales, so there is no need to ask one to wait for you.

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