Even given the fact that Colombia is a country with such distinct regional characters, Pasto has always been a little different to everyone else. The landscape that has fostered this individuality is awe-inspiring. Being the main jumping-off point for nearby Ecuador, and beautifully nestled in its cradle of mountains, Pasto and its inhabitants don’t really care too much what others think: they’re more than happy just doing their own thing.
This individuality is expressed most in the local dialect (there’s even a Spanish-Pastuso dictionary), food and culture these days. The most extravagant outburst of culture in the city happens at the start of every year, with the riotous Carnival of the Blacks and Whites, a heady week of paint, powder and foam street battles; artistic expression; and, yes, a right proper party, Pasto style.
Pastusos, traditionally proud of what sets them apart, are equally keen to share it with interested outsiders. Join them to celebrate their idiosyncratic, beautiful city, and you’ll find it hard not to feel a bit special yourself.