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Santiago de Cali , usually known by its short name "Cali", is the capital of the Valle del Cauca department, and the most populous city in southwest Colombia, with an estimated 2,319,655 residents according to 2005-2020/DANE population projections. The city spans 560.3 km2(216.3 sq mi) with 120.9 km2(46.7 sq mi) of urban area, making Cali the third-largest city proper and metropolitan area in population and the second-largest city by area in the country. As the only major Colombian city with access to the Pacific Coast, Cali is the main urban and economic centre in southwest Colombia, and has one of the fastest-growing economies in the country. The city was founded on 25 July 1536 by the Spanish conquistadorSebastián de Belalcázar.
Cali is also a centre for sports in Colombia, and is the only Colombian city to have hosted the Pan American Games (in 1971). Cali hosted the 1992 World Wrestling Championships, the ninth edition of theWorld Games in 2013, the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in 2014 and the World Youth Championships in Athletics in 2015.
It has been named by renown salsa singers "The World Capital of Salsa" with reference to its different schools for the musical genre—often producing world champion dancers—and the exclusive venues for dancing at its fair, held 25th to 30 December; factors which have given the city its strong musical identity.
|POPULATION :||• City 2,400,653|
• Metro 3,400,000
|FOUNDED :||25 July 1536|
|TIME ZONE :||COT (UTC-5)|
|AREA :||619 km2 (239 sq mi)|
|ELEVATION :||1,018 m (3,340 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||3°25′14″N 76°31′20″W|
|SEX RATIO :|
|AREA CODE :||2|
|POSTAL CODE :|
|DIALING CODE :||+57 2|
|WEBSITE :||Official website|
Cali is a city in southwestern Colombia, capital of the Valle del Cauca department. It has about 2 million inhabitants and it is a significant industrial and commercial center of activity in Colombia. It has a wonderful weather with beautiful, warm and sunny days and an average temperature of 26º C (79º F), that ranges from 19º C (66º F) to 34º C (93º F). Its altitude is 1003 meters (3290 ft) above sea level.
Cali is famous for its historical places, entertainment and day and night activities. it is also the World’s Capital of Salsa. Cali is known in Colombia as the capital of fiestas, street partying, dancing, and salsa as Cali's Salsa Clubs are among the most famous in the entire continent. Among many other things you can experience on your vacations, the people from Cali have developed a playful and hedonistic culture in harmony with the natural surroundings and country life.
Cali is a great place for tourism and leisure. The capital of the department of Valle del Cauca has become a mecca for tourism thanks to the beauty of its women, its historical sites, and a multitude of spots for day and night entertainment. Cali is one of the major economic and industrial centers of the country, and the main urban, economic, industrial, and agrarian city of southwest Colombia.
Cali is also known as the Sport Capital of America and host of many major sports events that take place in Colombia. Among the most important sporting events that have taken place in our city we´ve hosted the VI Pan American Games in 1971. We are also proud to have been the host of many World Championships in different sports. Cali hosted the UCI Track Cycling World Cup for the twelfth time in 2013 and, between July 25th and August 4th 2013 hosted the World Games.
Santiago de Cali offers historical areas with cultural variety and other attractions. In downtown Cali there are many historic churches such as La Merced and La Ermita. Cali contains a well-preserved historical center. The most important zone isLa plaza de Cayzedo, considered the center of the city, which is a square surrounded by many historical and modern buildings like El edificio Otero, La Catedral and El Palacio de Justicia. This plaza is close to other tourist places, like The Saint Francis church (in Spanish,Iglesia de San Francisco), the municipal theater and La Merced church. The city is also rich in monuments, parks, squares and museums. The most emblematic sculptures are Cristo Rey, located upon a mountain range; Sebastian de Belalcazar, founder of the city; and Las tres Cruces, a place of pilgrimage during the days of the Holy Week.
There is a variety of nightclubs and restaurants. In the city you can find whole districts dedicated to tourism, for example Granada, one of the most traditional districts in Cali, full of gourmet restaurants, fashion stores and boutiques. Another spot to visit is along "La sexta" or 6th Avenue and Menga which has risen to be the most popular area for clubbing. Many types of nightclubs are there, as are restaurants and hotels. This area is usually called the "zona rosa" or pink zone, and is located in the north very close to Chipichape mall. In recent years the restaurant industry has boomed, ranking Cali very close to Bogotá in first-class restaurant options.
Cali has recently become famous for being a prime destination for people seeking cheap cosmetic surgery. In the city of Cali about 50,000 (2010) cosmetic surgery procedures occur per year, of which around 14,000 involve patients from abroad.
Pre-Columbian era and settlers
Before the arrival of the Spaniards, the region was inhabited by indigenous tribes, mostly speakers of Cariban languages. In the region between the Cauca River and the Western Cordillera, the Gorrones established themselves between the present day Roldanillo and Santiago de Cali. The biggest town of the Morrones was sited on the River Pescador near the present-day towns of Zarzal and Bugalagrande. The Morrones traded with the Quimbayas who inhabited the north of the Valle del Cauca.
On his way to Cali, Sebastián de Belalcázar first met the Timbas who ran away before the arrival of the men, leaving behind gold. After the Timbas, towards the north, the Spaniards entered the territory of the chief Jamundí and his tribe, the Jamundíes, between the rivers Pance and Jamundí. This tribe offered a strong resistance to the invaders, fighting with poisonous darts and arrows against the arquebuses and swords of the Spaniards. Eventually, the Spanish prevailed in the struggle over the central valley.
Before taking control over the region, the Spaniards had to defeat the chief Petecuy, whose tribe inhabited the area between the river Lilí and the Western Cordillera. Petecuy formed a big army with many tribes and fought the Spaniards on Holy Tuesday of 1536. The natives lost to the Spaniards and the region was divided in encomiendas.
Santiago de Cali was important for Belalcázar because it was outside the Inca empire. After the capture and execution of the Inca Atahualpa at Cajamarca,Francisco Pizarro had sent Belalcázar to take possession of Guayaquil and Quito on his behalf, but Cali, being outside the Quechua empire, was claimed by Belalcazar as his own territory. After his death, his descendants maintained possession of much of the land until the war of independence against Spain.
Founding and colonial period
The founder of Cali, Sebastián de Belalcázar, came to the American continent in the third voyage made by Columbus in 1498. In 1532, after serving in Darién and Nicaragua, he joined Francisco Pizarro in the conquest of Perú. In 1534 Belalcázar separated from Pizarro's expedition to find the city of Quito, and later in his search of El Dorado he entered the territory of what is now Colombia, founding the cities of Pasto and Popayán.
On 25 July 1536 Belalcázar founded Santiago de Cali, first established a few kilometres north of the present location, near what are now the towns of Vijes and Riofrío. Under the orders of Belalcázar, captain Miguel Muñoz moved the city to its present location in 1537, where the chaplain Brother Santos de Añasco celebrated a mass in the place occupied by the Church La Merced today, and Belalcázar designated Pedro de Ayala as the first municipal authority.
During the Colonia (colonial period), Santiago de Cali was part of the gobernación of Popayán, which was part of Quito's Audiencia. Although initially Cali was the capital of Popayán's Gobernación, in 1540 Belalcázar moved this function to Popayán due to "better" weather.
Until the 18th century most of the territory of what is now Santiago de Cali was occupied by haciendas (cattle farms and plantations of food, with some sugar cane), and the city was only a small town near the Cali River. In 1793, Santiago de Cali had 6,548 inhabitants, 1,106 of whom were (African) slaves. The haciendas were the property of the dominant noble class with many slaves dedicated mostly to stockbreeding and raising sugar cane crops. Many of these haciendas became zone of the present city like Cañaveralejo, Chipichape, Pasoancho, Arroyohondo, Cañasgordas, Limonar and Meléndez. Santiago de Cali was strategically positioned for trade, centrally located in relation to the mining regions of Antioquia, Chocó, and Popayán. In the colonial period, the first trail for mules and horses between Santiago de Cali and the port of Buenaventura was completed.
On 3 July 1810 Santiago de Cali refused to recognize the Council of Regency of Spain, and established its own junta. This local uprising predates the national one in Bogotá by 17 days. The Governor of Popayán, Miguel Tacón organized an army to control the uprising. The people from Cali called for help to the "Junta Suprema" in Bogotá, which sent a contingent under colonel Antonio Baraya to support the independence cause. For mutual defense, Cali also formed, with Anserma, Cartago, Toro, Buga and Caloto, the Confederated cities of the Cauca Valley, which declared independence from the Governorate of Popayán on 1 February 1811, although they continued to recognize the absent Ferdinand VII as their head of state. On 28 March 1811 in the battle of Bajo Palacé, the first in Colombia´s Independence, the royalist Spanish army was defeated by the revolutionary army commanded by colonel Antonio Baraya with a small dettachment of 120 soldiers from his native Cundinamarca and a huge garrison of 1.080 men from Valle del Cauca led by brothers Miguel and Francisco Cabal Barona.
In the following years there were many battles between royalists and local militia. After having been released from captivity by Napoleon, Ferdinand VII sent a large army under the command of the "Pacificador" (Pacifier) Pablo Morillo who restored royalist rule in the area by 1816.
In 1819 after Simón Bolívar defeated the bulk of the royalist army in the Battle of Boyacá, there were new uprisings in the Valle del Cauca and the Criollos took control permanently. In 1822 Bolívar arrived in Santiago de Cali. The city was an important military outpost and the region contributed many men to the war of independence that liberated the nations in the south.
In the 19th century Santiago de Cali, capital of the Valley of the Cauca River State, was a very quiet community with no more than 20,000 inhabitants. The urban center of the city was in the neighborhoods of Empedrado or Altozano, which were surrounded by La Merced and San Antonio neighborhoods.
The city was surrounded by mango plantations, pastures and communal land that were transferred from the Spanish Crown to the working classes. From the market gardens on this land the city was supplied with food resources. The economy was based mainly on livestock, sugar cane, beef, panela (jaggery), a sugar derivative, cheese and the gold mines of the Pacific; there was also a small growing industrial sector of the economy.
Around 1890 a private company, Company of Public Works of Cauca, built the Plaza de mercado (market plaza). This originated the development of a commercial area and from this came the transformation of the Plaza Mayor or plaza de Caycedo. In 1921, the market was sold to the Cali municipality. Very close to the 9th street was the principal station of the tranvia of Cali, a system which linked the city with suburban areas.
On 7 August 1956 at around 1 a.m., seven Colombian army trucks filled with 42 tons of dynamite exploded near the train station, destroying around eight city blocks. A nearby army barracks was instantly destroyed, killing all 500 soldiers. Windows were shattered for miles. More than 1,000 people were killed and several thousand injured.
In 1971 Santiago de Cali hosted the Pan American Games, an event which is considered by many as the height of the city's golden age as a model of civic orderliness: following it, Cali was named the Sports Capital of Colombia. In 1982 the government of Cali inaugurated what is now the city's largest building and the third-largest in the Republic of Colombia—"La Torre de Cali", or The Cali Tower. It stands 42 stories tall and has a hotel, offices and apartment complexes.
Under Köppen's climate classification, Cali features a tropical savanna climate. The Western Mountain Range rises from an average of 2,000 m (6,562 ft) above sea level in the northern part of the city to approximately 4,000 m (13,123 ft) to the south. Because of this variation in altitude, the weather in the northwest portion of the city is drier than in the southwest. The average annual precipitation varies between 900 to 1,800 mm (35 to 71 in) depending on the metropolitan zone for a citywide average of approximately 1,000 mm (39 in). Cali's average temperature is 25 °C (77 °F) with an average low temperature of 18.5 °C (65 °F) and a high of 31 °C (88 °F).
Due to its proximity to the equator there are no major seasonal variations. However, locals refer to the dry season as the city's "summer" in which temperatures can rise to 34 to 36 °C (93 to 97 °F) and go down in the nights to 18 to 19 °C (64 to 66 °F). There is another period called the rainy season "winter" in which temperatures can rise to 28 to 29 °C (82 to 84 °F) and go down in the nights to 16 to 17 °C (61 to 63 °F). There are typically two rainy seasons: from March to May and from October to November. However, rain can be expected to fall at any point during the year nourishing the city's permanent green and lush vegetation. The highest temperature ever recorded was 36.6 °C (98 °F) on July 1997, and the lowest temperature ever recorded was 13.4 °C (56 °F) on August 1978.
Climate data for Santiago de Cali
|Record high °C (°F)||36.3|
|Average high °C (°F)||29.9|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||24.0|
|Average low °C (°F)||18.9|
|Record low °C (°F)||14.4|
|Source: Instituto de Hidrologia Meteorologia y Estudios Ambientales|
Santiago de Cali is located in a valley. The city is completely bordered by mountains to the West; the Farallones de Cali mountains are the closest to the city. The Eastern part of the city is bordered by the Cauca river. To the north and south are extended plains. In the first one you can find the industrial city of Yumbo which is part of Cali's metropolitan area, to the south you can find Jamundí, also part of the metropolitan area. The city is mainly flat, but there are areas mostly to the west that are mountainous, like San Antonio and La loma de la Cruz, which are both tourist sites. There are several rivers that descend from the Western Mountain Range and empty into the Cauca River, passing through the metropolitan area of Cali. In the western part of the city the Aguacatal River flows into the Cali River, which continues on to the Cauca River. In the south the rivers Cañaveralejo, Lilí, and Meléndez flow into the CVC south channel which also empties into the Cauca River. Farther south, the banks of the Pance River are a popular place for recreation and leisure.
Cali and Valle del Cauca constitute the third largest economic center of Colombia, being about national and international economic exchange. The City is a must from / to the south and the border with Ecuador, and is connected with the world through the seaport of Buenaventura.
The recession economy of the late twentieth century began to take shape. In addition to the war on drugs, were added the atomization of city resources, the lack of continuity in the development plans of the next government, and the lack of human and fiscal resources needed to implement the mayor plans. All this created a climate of mistrust among the population, industry and regional government. In this environment, the policy ofeconomic openness government b y Colombian President Gaviria caught the city poorly prepared.
In 1998, when the economic crisis became apparent, the national government could not respond to the call of the local politicians and mayors had to introduce austerity measures under pressure from creditors, which caused the vallecaucano development model to collapse. Additionally, the tightening of the country's internal conflict required a tax increase aimed at national war spending, leaving less room for local governments to collect, through taxes, the money required for their development plans.
In the 21st century, economic conditions in the country and the city have changed. The economic model that handled vallecaucano department until the 1980s, has been moved to the globalization of the economy, as evidenced in areas such as: capital inflows of the most important economic groups in Colombia, creating strategic alliances between entrepreneurs and multinational vallecaucanos, the concern of the companies in the region to optimize their resources and services, investment and diversification of economic groups. Faced with the loss of influence of traditional leaders in the region, the Cali Chamber of Commerce (CCC) has taken his place and served as facilitator of private sector resources focusing on civic and social programs.
According to statistics by DANE, in 1995 the annual growth of GDP of the Valle del Cauca region was almost twice the national rate. For 1997, GDP increased marginally vallecaucano even 1%. In 1999 the country's economic recession was felt with a depression that made the economy were reduced showing GDP growth of 4%. Since then GDP has grown Valley ups and downs, but its percentage share nationwide has been falling since 1995 as shown in the graph.
The department contributes significantly to the national economy. According to statistics for the year 2005 as agricultural Valley contributes 5.37% of the national production, which is relatively low compared with Antioquia (15.48%) orCundinamarca (12.81%). In fisheries products, the region ranks first with vallecaucana contributing 36% of the country's total production. As for mining, the Valley is not a metal region; however, in terms of non-metallic minerals the department contributes 8.15% of the value added across Colombia.
The industry vallecaucana contributes 13.81% of the national value added, second only to Bogotá with a 25.39% and 18.20% with Antioquia. Particularly, the industries of food, beverages and snuff are important items of the Valley's economy contributing 16% of national value added, equaled or surpassed only by Antioquia and Bogotá. On trade, nationally Bogotá has a 32.22%, 13.25% Antioquia and Valle 11.34%. In the Valley transportation services has 12.52% of value added.
The Consumer Price Index (IPC) of Cali has been since the last decade one of the lowest among Colombian cities. About 78% of Cali's people are of working age (over 18 years). In 2005 for the first time in six years the city presented an occupancy rate above 60%, which confirms the good state of the economy, led primarily by growth in manufacturing, agriculture and trade among others.
Drogas La Rebaja, one of Colombia's largest pharmacy store chains, is based in Cali.
Prices in Cali
MARKET / SUPERMARKET
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||$0.70|
|Bottle of Wine||1 bottle||$7.00|
|Dinner (Low-range)||for 2||$13.00|
|Dinner (Mid-range)||for 2||$32.00|
|Dinner (High-range)||for 2||$|
|Mac Meal or similar||1 meal||$5.10|
|Beer (Imported)||0.33 l||$1.50|
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||$0.70|
|Coctail drink||1 drink||$5.50|
|Men’s Haircut||1 haircut||$4.90|
|Mobile (prepaid)||1 min.||$0.06|
|Pack of Marlboro||1 pack||$1.50|
|Toilet paper||4 rolls||$1.65|
CLOTHES / SHOES
|Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)||1||$52.00|
|Dress summer (Zara, H&M)||1||$35.00|
|Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)||1||$65.00|
|Local Transport||1 ticket||$0.65|
36 $ per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- meals in cheap restaurant
- public transport
- cheap hotel
102 $ per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- mid-range meals and drinks
Transportation - Get In
Cali's International Airport Alfonso Bonilla Aragón [www] is located 16 km northeast of the city and can be reached by bus or taxi. Many domestic and some international destinations can be reached. There are flights to and from Medellín,Bogotá, Barranquilla, Ibagué, Pereira, Pasto and Cartagena. Foreign cities that can be reached by non-stop flights are Miami, Madrid, Panama City, San Salvador, Quito, Guayaquil and Esmeraldas in Ecuador. The airlines with international flights are : Avianca, American Airlines, Copa Airlines, LAN and TAME. The new low-cost airline VivaColombia [www] also serves the city with flights to Medellín and Bogotá.
From the Terminal de transportes you have the choice of many different regional, national and domestic destinations.
The trip from the airport to the terminal lasts around 20 minutes and you can do it either by taxi (45,000 COP) or mini-van (4,000 COP). Recommendation: Travel only by certified transport companies, like Expreso Palmira, Bolivariano or Expreso Brasilia. These companies bring you safety and comfort for you and your luggage. You may bargain with other companies, but the trip may be very uncomfortable.
- to/from Bogota : 65,000 COP / 12 hours
- to/from Medellin : 50,000 COP / 9 hours
- to/from Popayan : 12,000 COP / 3 hours or with minibus 14,000 COP / 2 hours
- to/from Pasto : 40,000 COP / 9 hours (check for safety)
- to/from Armenia : 20,000 COP / 3-3:30 hours
- to/from Pereira : 29,000 COP / 4 hours
- to/from Manizales : 30,000 COP / 5 hours
Transportation - Get Around
Taxis are a fast and affordable way to get around the city. Only use official cars and it is strongly recommended to call for one if possible (you may call the local numbers 444 44 44, 555 55 55, or 660 60 60 and ask for one, your name and destination will be registered in the head office). Make sure the driver starts the meter running. The meters count units, not in the local currency. The minimum fare during daytime is 3,700 COP, during nighttime it's 4,600 COP. 14 units equal 900 COP. Do not leave your luggage inside the taxi while you are not, it sometimes happens that drivers get off as soon as you are out the taxi and your luggage is still in the trunk. In any case, many of the taxi drivers are nice and gentle people and have some good stories to tell, so hopefully you speak or understand Spanish at a reasonable level. But be sure to pay what they ask because they would call the cops and will not let you get out until you pay the full fare.
- MIO - Masivo Integrado de Occidente: Inaugurated in March 2009, this transport system consists of large blue buses running in exclusive lanes with enclosed stations and offers the best option for local transit. All buses are air-conditioned, clean and safe. A one way trip costs 1,700 COP with no discount for bulk purchases. The system continues construction of new lanes with the eventual goal of comprehensive coverage of the metropolitan area. [www]
- There are 23 urban transport companies to travel around the city. You may ask someone for a route, the local people are very eager to help. A regular trip costs 1,500 COP.
- BEST RATED -
- BEST VALUE -
- Chipichape. Mall : a big indoor/outdoor shopping center built on an abandoned train station and warehouse north of downtown. It provides nearly everything and especially the possibility to have a drink at various outdoor bars, and to see many calenas. Its the best place to meet other foreigners, immigrants and English speaking natives. Also a great place to buy local handicrafts and souvenirs at Tu Tierra Linda store, 2nd floor. The mall has movie theaters, two food courts, supermarket, a department store and much more. A hotel is now under construction. Chimichape also has free wireless internet in the open air where all the cafe bars are located.
- Unicentro. Is the largest mall in town located 10 km south of downtown. It has over 200 stores, 30 restaurants and cafes, a Multiplex, Casino as well as office space, a supermarket and a department store. A new addition opened in October 2008 features the largest water fountain in town.
- Palmetto Plaza [www] is popular with the young crowd with its many outdoor bars and cafes.
- Cosmocentro has a large supermarket and a some stores.
- Parque Artesanal Loma de la Cruz: A place to buy inexpensive, sometimes cheap, artesanal figures and other stuff. Beware this park is outdoors and can be unsafe at night.
- Cholados- a delicious mix of shaved ice and exotic fruit with raspberry and sweet condensed milk sauces and a wafer cookie. Often sold from vendors that have stands that display fruit and shaved ice, and best found in Jamundi, about a 15 min drive from the southern neighborhoods of Cali.
- Pandebono - baked rings of cheese bread which is quite typical of Cali
- Buñuelos - sweet fried doughnut balls
- Sancocho de gallina - a very popular chicken soup, best found in a town called Ginebra, about one hour drive from Cali
- Manjar blanco - a candy made from cooked sugar and milk, similar to dulce de leche (Milk candy)
- Chontaduro or peach palm fruit - a local delicacy that is sold on the street, topped with salt or honey
- Mango viche - green unripened mango, which is sold on the street and eaten with salt and lemon juice
- Guarapo - a deliciously refreshing drink of freshly pressed sugar cane juice (usually the seller has a machine and extracts the juice right in front of you) served with ice and a squirt of lemon juice
- Grosellas - small sour fruits which are sold on the street in bags and are eaten with salt
- Arroz atollado - one of Valle del Cauca's most delicious dishes, almost like a risotto with chicken, sausages and potatoes
- Empanadas - corn pastries filled with meat or chicken and eaten with hot sauce (aji)
- Champus - very exotic mix of pineapple, "lulo" (see below), corn and a plant called "limoncillo"... just delicious!.
- Jugo de lulo or lulo juice - the most delicious of all local fruit juices
- Aborrajados - fried cheese-filled plantains
- Dulce de Guayaba con queso - a delicious dollop of guava paste on top of a fresh slice of local 'cuajada' cheese
- Marranitas is a delicious mix of plantain with "chicharrón" (pork`s skin fried)(The best ones are in "El champus de Lola" in San Antonio hill.
- Cali Plaza Hotel Restaurant A favorite hang-out for International Tourists, FREE Wi-Fi. Calle 15 Norte No. 6N-37 - Granada Barrio - Zona Rosa - 57 2 668 2611 - [email protected] "http://www.caliplaza.com"
- El Solar (Trattoria Faró), calle 15 Norte # 9 N-62, . until 1AM. A fun place with outdoor seating, many options in the menu. Live music on weekends. $$.
- Pacífico (Seafood), Ave 9 N # 12-18 (Granada), . Noon-3PM, 6-11PM. Well made seafood, many recipes from the Colombian pacific. $$.
- Tizones (Steaks & seafood), Ave 6 BN # 28 N - 57 (Corner across from Carvajal headquarters),. Great meat. $$$.
- Ringlete (Regional food), Calle 15 A Norte # 9N-31 Granada (in the middle of a narrow street), . Well done and served local food. Many recipes with plantains.$$.
- El Patio Verde (Local food), Cra 9 # 4-53 (San Antonio), . M-Sat 5,30-11PM. Plantain is king in this restaurant. Closed Sundays. $$.
- Faro El Patio, Calle 19 # 105-52 (Ciudad Jardin-South), . Until 1AM. Large menu, outdoor area. Live tropical bands on Fridays and Saturdays. $$.
Coffe & Drink
- Guarapo - the juice of sugar cane which grows in the Cauca river valley.
- Aguardiente - one of the favorite alcoholic beverage in Colombia, with each region has its preferred brand - the local brand is Aguardiente Blanco del Valle and is sweet and licorice-flavored.
- Chicha - slightly-alcoholic beverage made of fermented pineapples.
Cali's nightlife is on Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. There are some good clubs and bars to go out.
Visit Avenida Sexta Cali's Broadway at day & night. Some bars and dance clubs popular with the working class are located there. Many banks branches are settled here. The avenue is crowded pretty much all day long. Be careful at night, could be unsafe.
Sights & Landmarks
- Historic churches, there are many historic Catholic churches that represent different Spanish Colonial architecture of a time gone past. The city is over 450 years old, so architecture is one of the best things to see.
- Museo del Oro del Banco de la República, Calle 7 No. 4-69. A Museum containing archaeological exhibits of pottery and gold of pre-Columbian cultures which existed in the region. There is also a small art exhibition. The entrance is free and it's open Monday till Saturday.
- Museo Arqueologico La Merced, located in the downtown, is a Colonial-type church, with an archaeological museum displaying pre-Hispanic exhibits and religious art from ancient cultures which inhabited the region in pre-Columbian times.
- Cristo Rey, a statue located in the top of a hill, similar to Cristo de Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. Offers a great city view and climbing the mountain is a good exercise. Do not walk alone, it's not a really safe place.
- Cerro de las Tres Cruces, a hill embellished with three big crosses from which the whole city is visible makes an excellent morning hike, however, do so only on Sundays as there is generally much military presence these days, due to high number of hikers.
- Iglesia de San Antonio, colonial-type church at the top of a hill. Another great view of the downtown area. Be careful, as this area can be dodgy after dusk.
- Barrio de San Antonio, the Iglesia de San Antonio is located at the heart of this area. This place is popular because of its colonial architecture and it is located on top of a hill meaning that it is cooler up there and you can see the city of Cali from the top. Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights many people come to the area to watch performers, story tellers, people selling handy crafts and just chilling out with friends. It is a great place to stay filled with restaurants, hotels and hostels for travellers. Many Europeans and North Americans who teach at the bilingual schools and English institution's in Cali choose to live in this area.
- Estatua de Belalcazar, like its southern neighbour Popayan, Cali was founded by the Spanish conquistador Sebastian de Belalcazar. There is a statue in Belalcazar's honor in a nice residential area of Cali, where you can look out over the whole city. It's much safer than Cristo Rey.
- Statue: El gato del rio is a famous statue of a giant cat that, along with the statue of Belalcazar, the Three Crosses, and Jesus, has become a symbol for the city. It is situated across the Cali River from the barrio of El Peñon.
- Zoologico de Cali, this is an excellent zoo with many animals from around the world. The premises are very well kept and, surprisingly, it is in an up-scale side of town. The animals generally have lots of space for themselves. Do not miss : the Bengal tigers, the butterflies and the birds. Lonely Planet has called this South America´s best zoo.
- La Ermita, a Gothic-style church located in the downtown area. It was built in 1678 and then renovated in 1930.
- La Tertulia Museum of modern art with international exhibits and a movie theatre that shows many award-winning art house films, among other foreign language works.
- Plaza de Toros The city's bullfighting arena. Mostly active in December during the "Feria de Cali" festival.
- Culture Cali has many cultural offerings, like the Teatro Municipal Enrique Buenaventura, Centro Cultural Comfandi or the Teatro Jorge Isaacs.
- Nice places: Lake Calima (one and a half hour drive from city) nice place to stay for about 30 dollars night also one of the best places for windsurf in South America. The town of Jamundi, about half hour south of the city also has nice weekend homes for rent and some decent mountain hikes for those up for some time in the country.
Things to do
- Soccer Matches: In the Estadio Olimpico Pascual Guerrero is the Host place of the local teams of the city, Deportivo Cali [www] and America de Cali [www]. regularly each Sunday one of them plays a Match for the National Championship. Between the months of May–June and November–December they are in playoffs, so the matches are more exciting. It is recommended that tourists sit on the west side section, "Occidental", of the stadium. Under no circumstances should a tourist sit at the south side of the stadium as this is where the popular barras for both teams are located.
- Mountain Biking: Excellent tracks there, get information at BTT de Colombia Bike store (yellow pages ask for Julio).
- Wind or Kite surfing: The best place in South America, wind blows virtually 365 days a year find information at [www] or [www] .
- Salsa Dancing: Cali is one of the most famous or popular places for salsa in the world. You can find people dancing in the streets and every single night find a club open for salsa dancing. While salsa can be heard pretty much anywhere and at any time of the day, most popular clubs are to be found in the Menga district (North of Cali) and Juanchito (East).
- Motolombia, Ave 6 bis, 26N, #57, , e-mail: [email protected]. Motolombia is a motorcycle tour and rental business run by Danish motorcycle world traveler Mike Thomsen. Motolombia offers guided tours on ATV in the mountains surrounding Cali and Motorcycle tour all over Colombia. 396 38 49 / 668 99 86
- Cali Plaza Hotel Restaurant & Bar A favorite hang-out for International Tourists, FREE Wi-Fi. Calle 15 Norte No. 6N-37 - Granada Barrio - Zona Rosa - 57 2 668 2611 - [email protected] "http://www.caliplaza.com"
- Alterno Bar is more like a crossover type of bar, its pretty good and you can meet a lot of people there.
- Blues Brothers Bar, , e-mail: [email protected]. Is a big and popular bar, live music on Thursdays. Avenida 6A Norte # 21-40 Barrio Santa Mónica.
- Casa del Arte, . Is a lively bar and restaurant with a mixed age crowd, mostly gay costumers. Closed Mondays. Calle 44 #4-31 Norte Cali [www].
- El Faro is the place to go if you like classic rock/heavy metal. Located in "El Limonar" A "Jirafa" (Lot of beer) is about USD3.
- Eliptica is an outside bar settled on a hill at the outskirts of Cali. The views are beautiful and this is a good place for an after party. Open till six or till the police shuts it down.
- Fanaticos Sport's Bar is the IN place @ Palmetto Plaza Shopping center, where college guys and young professionals meet to watch their favourite sports games. Great beer and good prices, open every day until 3AM.
- Forum is a popular club for electronic music with an energetic atmosphere.
- London Tavern is busy only on a Thursday night when there is a live salsa band playing.
- Martyn´s Bar is a classic rock bar that has been around since the early ´80s.
- Roosters is a brand new Rock Bar/Pub with own Micro Brewery, imported beer and drinks, live rock music and major sports games on big screen - European run. Ave 6 Bis, 26N, #21. Open Tuesday to Saturday until 18:00-02:00
- Zaperoco is an excellent salsa club just off Avenida Sexta ( Av 5N # 16-46 || Tel: 661 2040). Salsa, rumba y son [www].
- Chango is a popular salsa club in the famous Juanchito sector in the other side of the Cauca River. Best salsa party in town.
- Kukaramakara is a great local club with excellent mix of Latin music and good looking locals. Get a bottle and a table and enjoy [www].
- Lulu - Electrónica is a popular gay club for the young in the middle of Granada neighborhood, not far from Avenida 6ta. Calle 16 Norte # 8N-46 [www].
- Lulu - Latino a fun disco with Latin dance music alternating with the 80's. Address: Antigua vía Yumbo just a few meters after -and across - discoteca Praga. Big and safe parking lot. [www]
- Praga is a popular club which plays mix of all types of music called crossover. Located in the neighbor town of Yumbo not far from Cali.
- Tin Tin Deo is a very comfortable and almost magic place where people can enjoy the classic salsa music and other Caribbean rhythms.
- La Matraca (Tango bar and dance), Carrera 11 # 22-80 corner (Barrio Obrero), . 8PM-2AM. $$.
Safety in Cali
In 2011 there have been a number of murders and car bombs related to the ongoing mafia war between drug cartels in the city. Shopping centers all over the city have been scenes of shoot outs between rivaling mafia factions. It is advised to avoid shopping centers with poor security, although some of the biggest and most well guarded malls in Cali have been scenes of murders too.
As of 2011 the guerrilla movement FARC-EP has urban militias in the city and surroundings. Extreme caution is advised due to the risk of explosions, gunfire and kidnappings. U.S. citizens have been targets of kidnappings.
In November 2010 the U.S. State Department issued a travel warning regarding Cali, warning of a surge in crime, general insecurity and kidnappings.
Cali is considered more dangerous than most other major cities in Colombia; therefore, keep your eyes open at day and night. Try to take a taxi at night.
Avoid backstreet in the downtown (El Centro) and Sucre neighborhoods. This area is especially dangerous. I was mobbed by half the neighborhood (April 2011). Once I had been tackled by a group of four teenage delinquents, another 15 or so nearby bystandards nearby came to join in and help rob me (including women and children). The police station was only a block away, but they either didn´t hear me yelling ¨¡Policia!¨, or they didn´t care.
Walking alone at night at Avenida sexta can be unsafe.
As in most other cities, it is unwise to walk with jewelry or let people around you know you have cash on you. Most places around hotels are safe.
Try not to talk on cellphones while walking through streets; that might lure in robbers. Also do not use iPod:s or other valuables in public.
The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has issued a warning to travellers to reconsider their need to travel to Cali because of the uncertain security situation in the area. [www]