The 10 Best Things To Do In Pasto

Nestled in the Highlands of Colombia, the city of Pasto often flies under the radar, but it’s a hidden gem that’s ripe for exploration. With its vibrant culture, stunning architecture, and breathtaking landscapes, it’s a place where every turn offers something new and exciting. Whether you’re a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, or simply looking to soak up some local flavor, Pasto has a little something for everyone. Let’s dive into the top 10 things to do in this enchanting city.

1. Marvel at the Las Lajas Sanctuary

Perched on a bridge spanning a deep gorge, the Las Lajas Sanctuary isn’t just a place of worship; it’s a work of art. The Gothic-style basilica, with its intricate stone carvings and stunning location, is a sight to behold. It’s easy to feel a sense of awe as you approach the sanctuary, and the interior is just as impressive with its beautiful artwork and peaceful ambiance.

2. Explore the Galeras Volcano

For the adventurous at heart, a visit to the Galeras Volcano is a must. It’s one of Colombia’s most active volcanoes, and the surrounding national park offers a variety of trails for all skill levels. The views from the top are nothing short of spectacular, with the city of Pasto spread out below and the Andes stretching into the distance.

3. Wander Through the Gold Museum

History enthusiasts will be in their element at the Gold Museum. It’s home to an impressive collection of pre-Columbian artifacts, including gold pieces that tell the story of the region’s rich cultural heritage. The museum is small but well-curated, making it a perfect spot to spend an hour or two.

4. Enjoy the Carnaval de Negros y Blancos

If you’re lucky enough to be in Pasto during early January, you’re in for a treat. The Carnaval de Negros y Blancos is a UNESCO-listed Celebration that’s all about cultural expression and Unity. The streets come alive with music, dancing, and elaborate floats, and everyone—locals and visitors alike—is encouraged to join in the fun.

5. Relax in La Laguna de La Cocha

Just a short drive from Pasto, La Laguna de La Cocha is a serene lake that’s perfect for a day trip. You can rent a boat and explore the tranquil waters, visit the small island of La Corota, or simply enjoy a leisurely lunch at one of the Lakeside restaurants. The surrounding scenery is stunning, with lush greenery and rolling hills framing the lake.

6. Savor the Local Cuisine

No visit to Pasto would be complete without sampling the local cuisine. Try the cuy asado (roasted guinea pig), a regional delicacy, or indulge in a plate of empanadas de pipián—small pastries filled with a spicy peanut Sauce. And don’t forget to wash it all down with a glass of canelazo, a warm and spiced alcoholic beverage that’s especially popular during the carnival.

7. Visit the Pasto Cathedral

The heart of the city is home to the Pasto Cathedral, a beautiful church with a striking white façade. Inside, you’ll find a peaceful sanctuary with lovely religious art and stained glass windows. It’s a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city for a moment of quiet reflection.

8. Take a Craft Workshop

Pasto is known for its traditional handicrafts, particularly the intricate barniz de Pasto, a type of lacquerware. Many local artisans offer workshops where you can learn about the craft and even try your hand at creating your own piece. It’s a unique way to connect with the local culture and bring home a one-of-a-kind souvenir.

9. Hike to the Volcanic Crater Lake

For those who love the great outdoors, a hike to the volcanic crater lake of Laguna Verde is an unforgettable experience. The trek can be challenging, but the reward is a stunning Emerald-green lake set in a crater at the top of the volcano. It’s a natural wonder that’s well worth the effort.

10. Stroll Through the Historical Center

Last but not least, take some time to simply wander through Pasto’s historical center. The colonial architecture, colorful houses, and cobblestone streets are charming, and there’s a surprise around every corner. Whether it’s a small café, a hidden courtyard, or a street mural, you’re sure to find something that captures your heart.


  • When is the best time to visit Pasto?

    The best time to visit is during the Carnaval de Negros y Blancos in January for a truly unique cultural experience. However, the city is beautiful year-round.

  • Is Pasto safe for tourists?

    Like any city, it’s important to take precautions, but Pasto is generally safe for tourists. Exercise common sense and stay aware of your surroundings.

  • What’s the best way to get around Pasto?

    Most attractions are within walking distance in the city center. For longer trips, taxis are readily available and affordable.


In conclusion, Pasto is a city that may not be on every traveler’s radar, but it certainly should be. From the awe-inspiring Las Lajas Sanctuary to the festive atmosphere of the Carnaval de Negros y Blancos, there’s an abundance of experiences waiting to be discovered. The city’s rich history, stunning natural beauty, and warm hospitality make it a destination that offers more than meets the eye. Whether you’re exploring the depths of a volcano or savoring the flavors of local cuisine, Pasto promises an adventure that’s as rich and varied as the landscape itself. So pack your bags, bring your sense of wonder, and get ready to explore the best things to do in Pasto—you won’t be disappointed.

Kurby Team

The Kurby Content Team is a diverse group of seasoned real estate experts dedicated to providing insightful, reliable information for homebuyers, real estate investors, and real estate agents. With backgrounds ranging from real estate brokerage, property investment, and residential home buying, our team combines decades of experience with a passion for demystifying the real estate world. We at Kurby are committed to helping you make informed, successful real estate decisions. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or a real estate professional, count on the Kurby Content Team to deliver the most relevant, actionable real estate content you need.