Cali, Colombia

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Cali, Colombia

Region: Valle del Cauca

Geographic Coordinates: 3.420600, -76.522200
Temperature Range: 20.0°C to 35.0°C (68°F to 95°F)
Climate: Cali, Colombia has a tropical climate with consistent temperatures throughout the year and a rainy season from April to November.
Population: 2471474
Language: Spanish

Cali, Also known as Santiago de Cali, Is a bustling city located in the southwestern region of Colombia. It serves as the capital of the Valle del Cauca department and has a population exceeding 2.2 million people. The city sits in a valley surrounded by mountains and is renowned for its warm climate, Salsa music, And rich cultural heritage. One of Cali’s primary attractions is its salsa music and dance scene. With its thriving dance culture spread throughout various neighborhoods, It’s been dubbed the salsa capital of the world.

Visitors can take lessons at numerous dance schools or watch live performances at local clubs. Another popular attraction in Cali is its historic district that includes landmarks such as San Antonio Church, La Ermita Church, And La Merced Chapel. These buildings showcase colonial architecture from the 16th century and are well-preserved examples of Cali’s history. Cali also boasts several museums that offer insight into Colombia’s past and present. The Museum of Modern Art showcases contemporary Colombian art while Museum La Tertulia displays pre-Columbian artifacts dating back to 500 BC.

For nature enthusiasts, Cali offers many opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking or birdwatching at Farallones de Cali National Park or swimming at Pance River waterfall. The food scene in Cali is diverse with traditional dishes such as sancocho (a hearty soup), Empanadas (stuffed pastries), Arroz con pollo (rice with chicken) being popular among locals. Additionally, Visitors can find international cuisine options including Italian pizza joints or sushi restaurants throughout different neighborhoods.

transportation within Cali consists mainly of taxis or buses; however, There are also bike-sharing programs available for tourists who prefer cycling around town while taking in all that this beautiful city has to offer!

Important Landmarks

  1. Cristo Rey is a large statue of Jesus Christ that sits atop a hill overlooking the city.
  2. San Antonio is a historic neighborhood in Cali, known for its colorful houses, restaurants, and church.
  3. Cali Zoo is a popular attraction that boasts over 2000 animals from 200 species.
  4. La Ermita Church is a beautiful colonial-era church located in downtown Cali.
  5. Gato de Tejada is an iconic bronze statue of a cat that has become synonymous with the city.
  6. Plaza de Caicedo serves as the main square in Cali and hosts numerous events and festivals throughout the year, surrounded by historic buildings.
  7. Museo del Oro Calima showcases pre-Columbian gold artifacts from the region around Cali and serves as an archaeological museum.
  8. La Tertulia Museum features works by local and international artists alike, making it one of Colombia’s most important contemporary art museums.
  9. Sebastian de Belalcazar Monument honors the Spanish conquistador who founded Cali back in 1536 with an impressive statue.
  10. Parque del Perro (Dog Park) offers visitors an urban park experience complete with cafes, bars, restaurants and live music venues at night time – popular among locals and tourists alike for its lively atmosphere!

Noteable History

  1. The founding of Cali in 1536 by Spanish conquistador Sebastian de Belalcazar.
  2. The Battle of Palmira in 1820, which was a key battle during the Colombian War of Independence.
  3. Jorge Isaacs, a famous Colombian writer and poet who wrote the novel Maria which is considered one of the most important works of Latin American literature.
  4. The salsa music movement that emerged in Cali during the 1970s and 1980s, which helped to establish the city as a cultural center for music and dance.
  5. Rodrigo Lloreda Caicedo, who served as Mayor of Cali from 1992 to 1994 and was instrumental in transforming the city into a modern metropolis with improved infrastructure and services.
  6. The drug cartel wars that plagued Cali during the late 20th century, including infamous figures such as Pablo Escobar and Carlos Lehder.
  7. Santiago de Cali University (Universidad del Valle), one of Colombia’s leading public universities known for its research programs in science, technology, engineering, arts and humanities.

Overall, Cali has a rich history filled with significant events that have shaped its culture over time.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Museo La Tertulia is a contemporary art museum that showcases a diverse collection of Colombian and Latin American art.
  2. Cristo Rey is an awe-inspiring statue of Jesus Christ that stands tall on a hill, overlooking the city.
  3. Museo del Oro Calima is dedicated to showcasing the pre-Columbian Calima culture through gold artifacts and other archaeological finds.
  4. San Antonio neighborhood boasts colorful colonial architecture, artisan markets, and restaurants serving traditional Colombian cuisine.
  5. Gato de Tejada Monument is an iconic bronze sculpture of a cat by Hernando Tejada located in the center of Cali’s El Peñon neighborhood.
  6. Parque Artesanal Loma de la Cruz offers handmade crafts and souvenirs from local artisans at an open-air market.
  7. Iglesia La Merced is an 18th-century church with ornate Baroque architecture and stunning frescoes on its ceiling that exude beauty and grandeur.
  8. Zoologico de Cali houses over 300 species of animals from around the world, including lions, tigers, giraffes, and monkeys for visitors to admire up close.
  9. Parque del Perro is a popular park in Granada neighborhood known for its lively atmosphere with street food vendors selling empanadas among other snacks for visitors to enjoy while people-watching or relaxing under shady trees.
  10. Centro Cultural Comfandi Ciudadela del Sur offers exhibitions, workshops, concerts, and other cultural events throughout the year as part of their commitment to fostering creativity in all forms within their community.

Sports Teams

  1. Deportivo Cali is a historic soccer team in Colombia, founded in 1912. They have won nine Colombian league titles and reached the Copa Libertadores finals twice.
  2. América de Cali, another team from Cali, was founded in 1927 and has won thirteen Colombian league titles.
  3. Cimarrones de Chocó is a basketball team from Chocó that plays in the Colombian Professional Basketball League. They were founded in 2015.
  4. Toros de Sincelejo is a baseball team from Sincelejo that plays in the Colombian Professional Baseball League. They were founded in 1979 and have won four league titles.
  5. Jaguares de Córdoba is a relatively new soccer team from Montería, founded in 2012, but has already reached the semifinals of the Colombian league playoffs twice (in 2016-II and 2019-I).

Cultural Events

  1. Feria de Cali is a week-long festival that celebrates salsa music, dance, and culture.
  2. Carnaval de Cali is a colorful parade that features traditional Colombian costumes and music.
  3. Festival Internacional de Teatro de Cali showcases local and international theater productions.
  4. Festival Mundial de Salsa is a competition featuring the best salsa dancers from around the world.
  5. Festival Petronio Álvarez celebrates Afro-Colombian music and dance.
  6. Día del Pacifico celebrates Colombia’s Pacific coast culture with food, music, and dance.
  7. Feria del Libro y la Cultura promotes literature and culture in the city through an annual book fair.
  8. Semana Santa (Holy Week) features religious processions throughout the city during Easter week.
  9. Dia De Los Muertos (Day of The Dead) is a traditional Mexican holiday celebrated in Cali with parades, altars to loved ones who have passed away decorated with candles and flowers.
  10. Festival Nacional e Internacional De Danza Contemporánea brings together national & International dancers for performances throughout the city as part of a contemporary Dance festival.


  • Sancocho is a hearty soup that combines chicken, plantains, yucca, and corn.
  • Chontaduro is a fruit that’s boiled and served with salt and lime.
  • Lulada is a refreshing drink made from lulo fruit.
  • Bistec a caballo features steak topped with fried eggs.
  • Empanadas are turnovers that can be either fried or baked, stuffed with meat, cheese or veggies.
  • Arroz con pollo is a dish of chicken and rice cooked in broth with vegetables and spices.
  • Ceviche de camarones consists of shrimp marinated in lime juice served alongside onions, tomatoes, cilantro and avocado.
  • La Hacienda del Bosque restaurant serves traditional Colombian cuisine such as bandeja paisa (meat platter), chuleta valluna (pork chop), sancocho de mondongo (tripe soup).
  • El Faro restaurant specializes in seafood dishes like ceviche mixto (mixed seafood ceviche) and arroz con mariscos (seafood rice).
  • La Comitiva restaurant offers fusion cuisine combining local ingredients with international flavors like duck confit arepas or pork belly tacos al pastor style.

  • Parks and Recreation

    1. Parque del Gato – a park with cat sculptures and playgrounds for children.
    2. Parque de los Poetas – a park dedicated to famous Colombian poets.
    3. Parque de la Salud – a health-focused park with exercise equipment and walking trails.
    4. Jardin Botanico de Cali – a botanical garden with over 1,000 species of plants.
    5. Parque Artesanal Loma de la Cruz – an artisanal market selling handmade crafts and souvenirs.
    6. Pance River Natural Park – a nature reserve with hiking trails and waterfalls.
    7. Farallones National Park – a protected area for wildlife and outdoor activities such as camping, trekking, bird watching, etc.
    8. Zoologico de Cali – the city’s zoo featuring over 1200 animals from around the world.
    9. Parapente en San Antonio- paragliding experience in San Antonio hill offering scenic views of the city.
    10. Caliwood Museum- A museum showcasing the history of cinema in Colombia’s history.


    Dream, Travel, Repeat.

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