Colombia
Departamento de Nariño

Here you’ll find travel reports about Departamento de Nariño. Discover travel destinations in Colombia of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

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  • Day55

    Popayan - Pasto

    January 4 in Colombia ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Die Strecke von San Agustín nach Popayan beträgt nur 120km, aber davon waren 60km die reinste „Rumpel-Piste“...
    Und auf der heutigen Etappe nach Pasto konnten wir unsere neue Temperatur-Höchstmarke verzeichnen: 41 Grad 😳
    Das war‘s aber erstmal mit den hohen Temperaturen, in Ecuador wird es deutlich kühler und wohl auch regnerischer 🌦Read more

  • Day284

    Las Lajas

    July 2, 2017 in Colombia

    Ecuador binnenkomen gaat een stuk makkelijker dan Ecuador uit gaan... Na een busrit van ongeveer 6 uur komen we aan bij het grensstadje en nemen we een taxi vanaf de busterminal naar de grens. Hier worden we door de chauffeur naar een lange rij gestuurd om de exit stempel van Ecuador te halen. Waarschijnlijk werd alle activiteit van de ambtenaren terug naar de evenaar getrokken, want 3 uur later hadden we pas de stempel in ons paspoort staan. Ondertussen is het al eind van de middag en we nemen een taxi naar het dorpje van Las Lajas. Dit is een belangrijk bedevaartsoord en hier staat een prachtige kathedraal, midden in een steile vallei tegen de rotswand aan, welke in de avond verlicht wordt. Je ziet deze dus ook pas wanneer je er vlak bij staat in de vallei. Echter zijn we niet de enige die deze kant op gaan, want half Colombia is hier om in het weekend de mis bij te wonen. Jammer genoeg zijn we wél de enige die geen ho(s)tel van te voren hebben geboekt. We lopen met onze reuzen backpacks werkelijk alle hotels, hostels en een oud klooster langs, maar geen van allen had nog een kamer beschikbaar. Ellen zit ondertussen bijna gefrustreerd in de taxi terug naar het grensstadje, maar Robert wil nog als allerlaatste het einde van de straat proberen bij een laatste hostel. Halleluja, we hebben toch geluk en er is nog 1 kamer beschikbaar. We zijn super opgelucht, want we hadden al helemaal geen zin meer om in het donker naar de stad terug te gaan.

    We kunnen dus rustig onze spullen achter laten en lopen terug om eindelijk iets te kunnen eten. De cavia's draaien om onze oren maar deze slaan we voor vandaag even over. Na een snelle hap lopen we richting de kathedraal om deze in het donker met lichtshow te bekijken. Vele verschillende disco kleuren verschijnen op de kathedraal waar deze super mooi in uit komt. Zelfs de regen maakt niet uit voor het zicht!
    In de ochtend komen we terug om de kathedraal in daglicht te zien, wat ook zeker geen straf is. We kunnen ook nog een kleine glimp opvangen van de mis, maar het is echter zo druk dat we alleen van buiten naar binnen kunnen kijken. We lopen dus nog een rondje door de vallei, maken nog wat foto's en Robert glijdt nog even door de hondepoep heen. Tijd dus om naar onze volgende bestemming te gaan in Colombia te gaan.
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  • Day10

    Gewaltig

    January 10, 2018 in Colombia

    Sie sehen anders aus als die Alpen. Das mag am Licht liegen oder auch an der schieren Höhe, denn 5000er oder gar 6000er findet man bei uns nun einmal nicht. Und da, wo im Allgäu nur noch Himmel kommt, steht hier noch eine Bergkette dahinter. Unwirklich hoch, zumeist schwarz und gewaltig anmutend, oft von Wolken umhüllt. Die Rede ist natürlich von den Anden, in die wir uns nun mit großen Schritten bewegen. Den Abschluss des heutigen daytrips von Cali nach Pasto bildet eine vielleicht 50 km lange Passstraße, die uns letztlich von 600 Meter auf 2600 Meter hinaufbefördert. Wir verlieren pro 100 Höhenmeter fast ein Grad, so dass von den eben noch schmorigen 31 Grad am Zielort nur noch 11 Grad übrig sind. Die auch in meinem Hotelzimmer herrschen, so dass ich dankbar bin, als mir vom Roomservice ein Heizkissen angeboten wird. Ich nehme es sehr gerne. Übrigens scheinen hier alle zu frieren, einige Pastusos tragen Fellstiefel und Daunenjacken.

    Zumeist bewegen wir uns übrigens - hatte ich das schon erwähnt? - auf der Panamericana. Überwiegend guter Belag läßt sichere Schräglagen zu, der angekündigte Regen bleibt aus, ein perfekter Fahrtag. Kids, um mit Euren Worten zu sprechen: läuft bei uns. Vielleicht hilft der da oben mit? Zumindest ist er hier allgegenwärtig, denn Südamerika ist sichtbar katholisch. In einem der unzähligen kleinen Restaurants am Straßenrand schmückt das Abendmahl die Wand, daneben der Text des Vaterunsers. Auch während der Fahrt mahnen - zum Teil handgemalte - Schilder zur Umkehr: "Sag nein zum Teufel". Und letztlich hat der katholische Einfluss Südamerika auch sprachlich in spanisch (Westseite) und portugiesisch (Ostseite) getrennt, denn Papst Alexander der VI teilte schon vor der eigentlichen Eroberung Südamerika fein säuberlich zwischen Portugal und Spanien auf. Wobei es wohl nicht die allergläubigsten Existenzen waren, die vor 500 Jahren loszogen, um der Welt den christlichen Glauben nahe zu bringen.

    Außer den angesprochenen Devotionalien gibt es in dem Straßenrestaurant auch Saft aus einer Baumtomate. Mein Magen scheint sich umgewöhnt zu haben und ich riskiere einen Schluck, angenehm bananig-tomatig, für den deutschen Markt aber vermutlich zu mehlig. Ich denke, das bietet sich als neue Geschäftsidee nicht an.

    Vorstellen möchte ich Euch heute meinen neuen Bike-Buddy Tong, neben Flugkapitän Will der zweite Thai in der Gruppe und m.E. die schillerndste Persönlichkeit von uns allen. Sein Englisch ist ungefähr so gut wie mein spanisch, so dass die Dialoge knapp ausfallen, aber ich verstehe, dass er im Grunde nur Motorrad fährt. Er zeigt mir auf Facebook und YouTube Videos von seinen Reisen. Wenn Ihr Zeit habt, dann schaut Euch das einmal an, "Tong rides the world" (z.B. Episode 2). Unfassbar!!! In was für eine Moto-Monstergruppe bin ich hier geraten? Dass Tongs Bike das bunteste und auffälligste von allen ist, hatte ich Euch schon gezeigt. Und irgendwie ist das nun, nachdem ich weiß, wie intensiv und professionell er fährt, nur konsequent.
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  • Day241

    One Night in Ip Ip Ipiales

    March 27, 2018 in Colombia

    Early in the morning, we headed from Ibarra to Túlcan on the Ecuadorian-Colombian border to try and beat the rush hour. We had heard horror stories from friends who had waited eleven hours to cross the border, due to the overwhelming number of Venezuelans fleeing their homeland. The bus took us to the terminal at Túlcan and then we shared a taxi with an Argentinian girl that we had met on the bus. Once we arrived at Ecuadorian immigration, the fun began with a two hour wait to simply stamp our passports. This gave us time to get more acquainted with our new Argentinian friend, Maria. Fortunately for us, Maria spoke English quite well. She punctuated her sentences with “fuck” but, with her Argentinian accent, it sounded more like “fark”. Sometimes the placement of “fark” sounded odd and out of place but it made us chuckle.

    While we were in the immigration line, we were mistaken for refugees by the Red Cross, as they handed out care packages to people.Once we finally got to the front of the queue, it took all of one minute for the immigration officer to stamp, scan and hand us our passports so that we could walk across the border and stand in line for another three hours on the Colombian side to repeat the process. Bags were not inspected or scanned. In fact, most of the cars crossing the border were not even inspected; some were sprayed with chemicals, presumably to prevent biohazards from crossing the border, but even this seemed random and when customs officers could be bothered.

    We joined the end of the queue on the Colombian side of the border and settled in for the long haul. A young German boy in front of us struck up a conversation, telling us all about his travels in South America during his gap year. Soon, the German boy disappeared and was replaced by one of his friends. It felt like groundhog day as we relived the same conversation with the second and third friend, with slight variations on the same theme. At least it made the three hours in line go by a little quicker.

    The next challenge was to find a taxi from the border to the town of Ipiales, the city of green clouds (la ciudad de las nubes verdes), only a short distance away. Somehow when we got to our hotel, the price had increased from the originally agreed price. We thought he had said that the price was 4 each, and we assumed he meant 4000 pesos each (about AUD$2 each), which is the normal price. At the hotel, the price became US$10 until we questioned the amount in front of the concierge. Miraculously, the price went down to 10,000 pesos, which was still 2000 more than a local would pay.

    After a night in Ipiales, we got up early to travel to a nearby church, las Lajas, which is built in the canyon of the Guáitara River. The church was built on the spot where the Virgin Mary was said to have appeared to a visually and hearing impaired girl and her mother in 1754. Legends claim that when the young girl died, the mother returned to las Lajas to pray to Mary and miraculously the daughter was revived and came back to life. Over the centuries, this place became a pilgrimage site before the current church was built in 1916. Still today, many people go in search of miracles or place plaques to ask for a miracle to occur. While we respect the belief's of others, each to their own and everything, for outsiders/atheists, we couldn't help but think that in any other context these behaviours or beliefs would be construed as a mental illness. It's all about perception!

    The non-believers, observing from afar, retreated back to their hotel, without experiencing any visions of “sacred” dead people or witnessing any miracles. It was a miracle that the church remained standing after two gay atheists entered the “holy” grounds. From an architectural perspective, the neo-gothic structure is breath-taking as it sits wedged at the bottom of the gorge, overlooking a waterfall cascading into the river below. It's not hard to see why las Lajas is a popular tourist destination for both believers and non-believers.

    Next stop: Pasto

    For video footage, see:
    https://youtu.be/hILnwfYFEWg
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  • Day93

    Entering Colombia through Nariño

    March 17, 2015 in Colombia

    Yeah, the last border of our trip and finally destination: Colombia!
    After 5 hours passing through the amazing mountain landscape of northern Ecuador, we crossed by foot the bridge between Ecuador and Colombia, entering the department of Nariño.
    Finally back in Colombia, Isa's home country and Ulf's beloved old home. But honestly, it felt rather unusual. The south of Colombia is very different from what we know about this country. Actually after independence from Spain, the department chose to become a part of Ecuador, but the new Colombian army "convinced" them otherwise. It is an extremely beautiful landscape, and Colombia's Andean or Inca's side! And the first site, is directly behind 'Las Lajas, a famous pilgrim destination consisting of a church on a bridge, so remote that most Colombians only know it from pictures. After that, we continued to Pasto the department's capital. We decided to stay two nights, to have time to visit another remote sight, the beautiful mountain lake of 'La Cocha' and enjoy the last peculiarity from the Andes we hadn't tried yet: eating guinea pig. The lake was absolutely marvelous, the guinea pig tasted rather unique...and having tried it once, is probably enough!Read more

  • Day242

    A Pause in Pasto

    March 28, 2018 in Colombia

    We arrived at the terminal de transporte in Ipiales and found the only way to get to Pasto was by collectivo / small minivans, sometimes referred to as microbuses or megabuses, depending on the size of the vehicle. We had eyed-off a transport company that had buses that were bigger than a matchbox car. But as we have become accustomed in South America, you never get what you think you are getting and we ended up squashed into the back of a “megabus”. The megabus was supposed to hold eight people but the child sitting on his grandmother's lap didn't count as a passenger.

    After about two hours of driving around mountains, watching the constant flow of Venezuelan refugees heading to the border, we were dropped off at the Pasto terminal de transporte. Pasto is the capital of the Nariño department, with about half a million residents, but surprisingly with very little on offer by way of tourist attractions. Our intention was only to stay a night to break-up the northbound journey and to take a pause from the endless bus trips around the Andes mountains.

    Next stop: Popayán.

    For video footage, see:
    https://youtu.be/-SnxxtQCnBI
    Read more

  • Day13

    Pasto

    May 26, 2015 in Colombia

    Even though it is a 6h-ride, I had to go from Popayán to Pasto by day, since it is one of the 3 routes that are not safe at night, so again I had to get up at 5am to make something out of the day.
    When I arrived at the hostel, there was nobody except one other girl (which I thought was working here :D). She let me in and showed me around, but didn't no much about the place either, not even how to get to the city (the hostel is on Chachgüí, around 30 minutes north of Pasto). I decided to try it out and walked to where I thought might be passing buses, and immediately found a colectivo which leaves every 10 minutes for only 4500 pesos (=1.60€).
    In town I walked around a lot, seeing a bunch of churches, the main plaza (Parque Nariño) and Plaza del Carnaval. I also went to Casa Taminango, a Museum about the culture and traditions of the region Nariño.
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  • Day14

    Chilling at Chachagüí

    May 27, 2015 in Colombia

    Today was incredibly lazy. I was trying to sleep late, but, since I'm used to getting up really now, I couldn't. The whole day was basically chilling out at the hostel with the few other people (Max from Amsterdam and Sarah from California) there, with the exception of going out for breakfast and walking around the area in the afternoon.
    In the evening, Max showed us his work, which consists in finding sustainable companies and writing about them. Learn more at: connectinglasamericas.com (it's pretty interesting!)
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  • Day15

    Lago de La Cocha

    May 28, 2015 in Colombia

    At this lake, around 1h from Chachgüí, we had a real fun day trying canoe and kayak (while some of the hostel guys almost turned there boat around). Our route took us to Isla Corota, an island in that lake with the smallest ecological park in the country.
    In the evening I had a really interesting talk with Max and a girl that is working in the hostel. She explained us a lot about the security and political situations in Latin America, especially about the guerrilla here in Colombia (I will collect more information on this during my trip and post something at the end). Now I have to pack for my flight tomorrow.Read more

  • Day156

    The boarder!

    September 27, 2018 in Colombia ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    It took me and Kirsty 6 hours to cross the boarder. Absolute nightmare! By a weird twist, Malvin had left his hard drive in the hostel in San Agustin and he had to go back for it. The up shot for him was he ended up on the night bus across the Trampoline, got to the boarder super early, bribes is way to the front of the queue and ended up in the hostel 12 hours before us. We had to get a shite hostel close to the bus station, to get going early the next day. Another reason for hanging around was to go and see the church at Ipiales. It’s something to behold!
    We got to Ipiales terminal, ditched our bags, and headed in a collectivo taxi to the church. Luckily it’s 15 minutes away, so an easy thing to do, and worth it. The only drawback was that it put us into primed queuing time at the boarder.
    With all boarders you need to check out of one country, then into another, standard right? This was not really different. The only thing was, here, there were 3 queues, one for families, one for people with passports and then a huuuuuge queue for Venezuelan nationals traveling on ID cards. These queues then went into the building to 4 windows, crazy! Later, once we got inside the building after 4 hours of queuing, that there were also people checking into the country too. This queue was tiny, but they held everyone outside. People were queuing for hours when they could have just walked in. Bah!
    We got within touching distance of the front of the line, literally 4 people in front of us, then the window shut and he guy disappeared. I’d say there were about 500 people queuing for the window that was now shut. Great! The Venezuelan line was close to 1200 people outside, it was crazy!
    We cleared out, finally, and headed over to the Panama side. The plan was to get to Quito before it got dark. The sun had already gone down before we crossed the bridge.
    It took us 5 minutes to check in and find a bus to Tulcán. We then lucked out and found a bus to Quito, it was going to be another late check in! Finally got to bed at 1:30am, that was a long travel day. Good job we were in the Masaya hostel with awesome beds, the same people who had the awesome place in San Agustin, good planning!
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Departamento de Nariño, Departamento de Narino

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