The capital of the Department of Nariño stands upon a high plateau in the southwest, 88 km from Ecuador. Pasto (full name San Juan de Pasto), is overlooked from the west by Galeras Volcano (when not in cloud) and to the east by green hills not yet suburbanized by the city, and enjoys a very attractive setting. Surrounded by hills and swirling clouds, it still retains some of its colonial character, but has not been helped by several serious earthquakes in the meantime. A little unfairly, the people of Pasto have a reputation throughout the rest of Colombia as being very stupid and are the butt of many jokes. What is fair to say is that they are extremely friendly.
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