The village of Las Lajas, in southern Colombia, is a destination for tourists of various profiles. Known for the lovely sanctuary of the same name, it charms for preserving Colombian culture, for its natural beauties, and for being a tour that is completely outside the mainstream of South American tourist tours.
Situated in a valley, the location of this sanctuary has been the reason for pilgrimages since colonial times, in the 18th century. From those days until now, four sanctuaries have been built as a reference for visitors. The last (and largest of all) was built in 1916, and shows a strong influence from the Gothic architecture used in European urban buildings of the pre-renaissance period.
Normally, the arrival at the sanctuary is made on foot. Having been built at the bottom of a valley, the walk may be tiring for tourists that are not forewarned. Therefore, a few precautions are important before the tour: rest, a light meal, and lots of water.
The place is attractive to all kinds of tourists. It is interesting to history lovers, since the region is an important part of the colonization of Colombia and Ecuador; it also attracts fans of ecological tourism, for being situated amidst the Amazonian biome, which holds the richest biodiversity in the world.
However, the little village also holds other Colombian riches. The typical cookery is one of its immaterial goods. Both in the sanctuary and in the village, we can find cuy, a typical roast that’s the hallmark of the local cuisine.
The main lodging places are in Ipiales, a town that includes the village of Las Lajas. It’s possible to find good accommodations, with comfort and a decent structure, for accessible prices. This is due, especially, to the exchange value of Colombian currency relative to the Brazilian real.
Las Lajas is an excellent destination for various tourist profiles, and is an excellent option for knowing South America better, its culture and its history.