Ipiales is a city close to the Ecuadorian border in Colombia. It is a obligatory stop over on your way to Ecuador. There is nothing much to see except the spectacular Iglesia de las Lajas and the Laguna Verde.
The bus station is a bit out of town, but there are collectivos to the centre.
There are frequent buses from Pasto, Popayan and further north. When you come from Ecuador the border crossing is quite easy and straightforward. The Ecuadorian office is on one side of the bridge and the Colombian Migration is at walking distance on the other side. From here there are collectivos to the bus terminal in Ipiales.
Colectivos from Ipiales to the border leave from the bus terminal (1.700 COP, february 2017) They leave you at the Colombian immigration control. After the formalities in both police controls, a minivan in the Ecuadorian side will take you to Tulcán ($0.75c or 2.000 COP, february 2017). You can choose to get off at the city center or at the bus terminal.
You can also get a collectivo from the center to the border. (1700 COP July 2016). On Calle 14, on the corner of Carrera 7. Its on the second block south from the south west corner of Plaza la Pola. They leave when full. And will drop you off at the Colombian DAS Office.
The Bus company Bolivariano now has a new international route departing Ipiales each Monday (Lunas) at 11:00 A.M. for Lima, Peru. On the top floor of the main building of the Ipiales Bus Terminal (July 2016). Price of a one way ticket is 400,000COP (July 2016), and takes 48 hours. Will not sell a ticket to Quito only.
The colourful Saturday Market at the "Plaza Los Mártires", 10 minutes walk from the town center.
- Plaza La Pola (Inglesia de la Felina). The church is on the North East corner of the Plaza, the corner of Carrera 5 and Calle 13.
- Sanctuario de las Lajas, a cathedral spectacularly built on a bridge over the Guaitara river. Its construction lasted from 1916 to 1949 and was financed by local churchgoers. To get there take a collectivo (Sept 2015: COP$2200, 15 minutes) or a taxi (COP$9000). Collectivos leave from the bus terminal (white cars) and from 2 blocks east of the Cathedral. Definitely worth a visit, including the museum (COP$1500), but watch for "Gringo Pricing" at the food stands overlooking the church, ask first. There are also four hotels in the commercial centre by the cathedral, a possible alternative if you turn up to Ipiales to find the town booked out! Hotel Mary was charging $15.000COP for a single and $25.000COP for a private double with bathroom and shower as of Sept 2015.
- Laguna Verde Located next to the city of Tuquerres, it is a beautiful green lake located in the crater of the volcano Azufral.To get to Tuquerres, get a colectivo from the terminal in Ipiales (8.000 COP, february 2017). You can hike from the parque central (16 km), get a hourly bus to San Roque from the parque central (1.000 COP, february 2017), then 10 km walk or a taxi to the park entrance (20.000 COP or less, february 2017). Register at the park entrance and then the walk is about 6 km (colombian measurement). The entrance is around 3700 m high and the volcano reaches 4,070 meters over the sea. The hike down to the lagoon from the mirador is definitly worth it.
- La Paisanita, Calle 8 5-21 (Northeast corner of Plaza de la Independencia), ☎ (57) (2) 7732003. Free wifi from the plaza. Network is 'unimos' and password is 'unimos2012'. Good place to chill while you wait 6 hours for your nightbus to Cali. Full of Colombian families. Delicious chicharones. edit
- Pan de Vida: Calle 16 #7-69. For $5000 a soup, main dish, drink and dessert.
Wonderful Jugo bar just off the main Plaza to the north west -- try the Uvillo Completo (COP$3.000, and worth every penny) or the Alfalfa (COP$1.300). The "Completos" are made with home made honey, and the owners are friendly.
- Hotel Belmonte, Carrera 4a No. 12-111 (almost 700 meters (straight line distance) from the Bus Terminal. Its a 10 minute walk.). a family run hotel with clean rooms with television. A two minute walk from Plaza La Pola (Inglesia de la Felina). COP$ 18.000 single, COP$ 28.000 double. edit
- Hotel San Juan New Hotel next to the bus terminal. Nice facilities and perfect location. Privates from 40.000 COP (february 2017, double occupation).