On our way to crossing the border from Colombia to Ecuador we decided to go and see the Las Lajas sanctuary, situated just 10 minutes away from Ipiales. To make our life easier we opted to leave our backpacks at the bus terminal for 2,000 pesos per backpack.
We then took a collectivo taxi for 2,000 pesos each to Las Lajas, and the same again for the return. We were lucky enough in both instances to not have to wait too long to go as the taxis wait until they are full before departing. 15 minutes later we were dropped off at the top of the sanctuary entrance.
We spent about 2 hours looking around and climbing both sides of the viewing points but you could just as easily spent less time if you are in a hurry. They have plenty of little eateries, gift shops and toilets along the path down to the sanctuary and they seem to accept both pesos and dollars.
The biggest appeal of the sanctuary has to be its architecture, described as a gothic build, the church hangs to the cliff as if carved out of the very rocks. No where can this be seen any better than at the altar, where you literally see it carved into the rock face.
If you have a few hours to spare before going onto Ecuador, or have just come into Colombia, then it’s definitely worth a look. It is not the biggest sanctuary or the most ornate, but the views and the location are breath-taking.