Las Lajas Sanctuary in Narino

Top Tourist Attractions In Las Lajas Sanctuary

The top tourist attractions in Las Lajas Sanctuary may be little, considering the size of this attraction, but very memorable.  This iconic church straddling in the gorge between Colombia and Ecuador is one of the famous pilgrimage sites in the country, mainly due to the legend that surrounds the sanctuary.

According to local lore, an Amerindian Woman took refuge in the gorge where the sanctuary now stands with her mute daughter during a strong storm.  When the woman looked up, she saw the image of the Virgin Mary.  Right then and there, her daughter began talking and her disability was completely healed.

Shortly after, a blind man began collecting donations to build a chapel in the area.  When he got back to Las Lajas, his blindness was cured.

These local legends have inspired the townspeople to fund the construction of the Las Lajas Sanctuary from 1916 to 1949.

While Las Lajas Sanctuary is a popular pilgrimage site in Colombia, it is often overlooked by tourists visiting Colombia.  But these tourists are missing a lot.  Here are some of the top tourist attractions in Las Lajas Sanctuary:

Las Lajas Sanctuary in Narino

Las Lajas Sanctuary in Narino

The church’s architecture.  Las Lajas Sanctuary’s magnificent architecture may seem like it was built in the 18th century.  Its breathtaking façade is ornate and highly detailed, it probably looked like a displaced European basilica in the middle of a Colombian gorge.  But that’s the beauty of the Las Lajas Sanctuary.  Its uniqueness both in its architecture and location make it something worth visiting while you’re in the area.

The view below.  If you’ve seen one too many basilicas in your lifetime, Las Lajas Sanctuary may not be any different from any of them.  But take a few steps back for the door and look down.  The picturesque view of the Guaitara river canyon can be dizzying, but it makes the entire Las Lajas Sanctuary look like a hidden medieval European castle.

Its history.  What make the top tourist attractions in Las Lajas Sanctuary all the more interesting is its history and the local lore surrounding the mystic gorge the sanctuary is located in.

That makes it a mystery why the Las Lajas Sanctuary is often overlooked by tourist in a great hurry to go to Ecuador.

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