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Ipiales

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Ipiales is a city close to the Ecuadorian border in Colombia. It is an obligatory stopover on your way to Ecuador. There is nothing much to see except the spectacular Iglesia de las Lajas.

Santuario de las Lajas by night

Get in[edit]

The bus station is a bit out of town, but there are collectivos the center.

There are frequent buses to Pasto (1h30) and further north (e.g. Popayan - 7-8h). Collectivos will bring you to Rumichaca for the bordercrossing if you go to Ecuador. The bordercrossig is quite easy and straightforward. The Colombian DAS-office is on one site of the bridge and the Ecuadorian office in on walking distance on the other side. From there are collectivos to Tulcan. Don't sell your dollars on the border, the exchange rate is bad.

Cars from Ipiales to the frontier leave from the bus terminal and cost 1,500 COP. They let you at the colombian immigration control. After the formalities in both police controls, a minivan in the ecuatorian side will take you to Tulcán for 0.75$. You can choose to get off at the city center or at the bus terminal.

Get around[edit]

See[edit]

  • The colourful Saturday Market at the "Plaza Los Mártires", 10 minutes' walk from the town center.
  • Sanctuario de las Lajas, a cathedral spectacularly built on a bridge over the Guaitara river. Its construction lasted from 1916 to 1949 and was financed by local churchgoers. To get there take a collectivo (COP$1900, 15 minutes) or a taxi (COP$9000). Collectivos leave from 2 blocks east of the Cathedral. Definitely worth a visit, including the museum (COP$1500), but watch for "Gringo Pricing" at the food stands overlooking the church, ask first.

Do[edit]

Buy[edit]

Eat[edit]

The specialty is cuy (coo-ee), which is guinea pig. Best place to eat them is in the Carco barrio (outskirts of the town, heading to the Lajas church.)

Veggie option:

  • Pan de Vida: Calle 16 #7-69. For $5,000, you get a soup, main dish, drink and dessert.

Drink[edit]

Wonderful Jugo bar just off the main Plaza to the north west -- try the Uvillo Completo (COP$3.000, and worth every penny) or the Alfalfa (COP$1.300). The "Completos" are made with honey, and the owners are friendly.

Sleep[edit]

There are a lot of hotels near the bus terminal, e.g. Hotel San Jose: double for 50,000 COP with wifi and private bathroom.

  • Hotel Belmonte, Carrera 4a No. 12-111, 2-773-2771, is a family-run hotel with clean rooms with television. Prices: COP$12,000 for a single, COP$18,000/double.

Go next[edit]

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