City of the South Colombian West, with a population superior to the 400,000 inhabitants and capital of the department of Nariño. Pasto is one of the oldest cities of Colombia, located in the Atriz Valley, in the middle of the Mountain range of the Andes in the denominated mountainous bulk of the Pasto on the foot of Galeras volcano. The region is mountainous and surrounded by several indigenous towns.
Pasto is a city in the southwest of Colombia.
Pasto is a city where different cultures are mixed. The dominant one, without a doubt, is the Andean culture. Unequivocal evidence of this is the Black and White Carnival, in which ‘pastusos’ (People from Pasto; local denomination) celebrate with colors and joy the incredible richness of their culture. The city is located in the Atriz Valley, at the foot of the Galeras Volcano, which can be observed from any angle of the city.
Pasto is a very religious city, with beautiful temples that certainly represent the architectural wealth of the city. Some of them are very ancient and have been mixed with the modern and colonial styles simultaneously.
Crafts are an important tradition in Pasto, from which the so-called Pasto varnish is the most well-known. Leather, ceramics, and wooden products also constitute the historical and cultural legacy of the city.
- Black and White Carnival, January 2nd-7th
The Black and White Carnival is a celebration that was declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO on 2009 , in addition to its previous title of Cultural Heritage of the Nation honored by the congress of the Republic of Colombia in April 2002.
The Black and Whitre Carnival consists of various popular festivities that are held every year between the 2nd and the 7th of January by the extremely friendly and welcoming people from San Juan de Pasto (Pasto). During these days the streets of Pasto become an urban playground where men, women, children of all ethnicities and background use black, white and colour cosmetics to paint each other as a symbol of communion and joy in their ethnic and cultural differences. Besides the “painting each other” game, people enthusiatically join street parades which are the main highlight of the Carnival. Parades take place on January 4th (Castaneda family arrival), 5th (Black’s day) and 6th (White’s day) featuring floats artcrafted by local artisans and traditional dances and bands from other villages and in some cases countries like Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia.
Today the Black and White Carnival in Pasto attracts a considerable number of tourists from several parts of the world and became a “must see highlight” featured in the calendar of Colombian and World festivities. Joining the kind people from Pasto in their houses and streets to participate in parade floats and traditional dances is a togetherness experience that was treasured in the memories of lucky few and now is open to the world!
Unlike some areas in Colombia, Pasto has a ‘cold’ climate, with day-time temperatures oscillating between 13°C and 20°C most of the year. Occasionally, temperatures can drop to 10°C and rise to 25°C. It is a good a idea to carry a sweater with you.
- Average Temperature: 14ºC
- Annual average precipitation: 700 mmts
- Altitude: 2527 meters over the sea level
- Humidity: approximately 88%