San Antonio Hotel Boutique
Carrera 6 # 2 - 51, Santiago de Cali / Cali, 000, Colombia
More about Cali
Miss Long Necker
Cali's wealth is apparent here
Travel Tips for Cali
come on, do the lulada
The lulada was a local beverage sensation made primarily of lulo, a tart fruit grown only in the Valle de Cauaca. It was evidently very popular at one time but has since fallen a bit by the wayside, due perhaps to the influx of other cheaper soft drinks. Whatever the reason, it would be a shameful loss if this great drink completely disappeared so by all means, if you like such things, seek it out. It's well worth the effort. We only found it in one place called Frutas de Occidente on Carrera 5 in the heart of the downtown area. It is a thick, milkshake-like beverage chuck full of lulo. To offset the supreme sourness of this tart fruit, generous amounts of dulce de leche (sweetened condensed milk of sorts) are added along with cream I believe. The overall effect is heavenly. We had many great beverages while in Colombia, but this one was tops for us. It was a hefty 4800 COP ( nearly $2.50) and this price tag may also have something to do with its waning popularity. It is indeed what you can get a whole meal for in Colombia but that said, it is a very filling, dense drink and more or less a meal in itself. If you are in Cali, by all means try one. It may help keep this traditional drink alive. I know not only that if we go back to Cali, we'll have one but very likely it is one of the main reasons we would go back! That's how good it was.
a zoom for Cali? You betcha.
Since you will likely take a taxi from the the bus terminal or airport into town, a backpack might not offer the same advantage as it might elsewhere but if you are thinking of taking mass transit, it most likely will. Cali's warm humid climate will beckon you to wear very little and you'll break out your sandals after months in the back if you've spent a lot of your Colombian time at high elevation. While a wide angle is great to get all of the great architecture of Cali into your frame, you'll find a good zoom even more handy for taking sneaky shots of vendors and of course for capturing the gorgeous animals at the Cali Zoo. With great affordable lodging right in town it's unlikely you'll break out your tent in Cali. Thanks to D for snacking around with me in Cali and persevering to find the lulada which she quite possibly liked even more than I did.
one local keeps a tradition alive
While walking around our first evening in Cali, we lucked out by running into a woman selling the local beverage champu right from the front of her house. Though we were really in search of another drink called lulada, this was still a nice easy find. There was a big black ceramic vessel heralding the drink in bold white letters. We stopped in and ordered one, not knowing if we would like it. It was quite a dense drink, more of a desert and so thick you needed a spoon “to eat it.” It was lulo-based. This is a very tart local fruit that only grows in the Valle de Cauca. It is not however a sour drink as it is a mixture that contains pineapple, corn, and surely some sugar. It was not exactly what we expected but it was interesting and easily satisfied our urges for a sweet for the night! In our guide, it spoke about the prevalence of the both champu and lulada but it seems both have fallen a bit by the wayside as they are not so easy to find. It seemed this woman was trying to cash in on the fact that gringos that stay in San Antonio might be looking for it, and indeed at least we were. It was 2000 COP ($1) for a healthy portion of the delicacy. It was enough for both us.
Iglesia de la Merced
Iglesia de la Merced is the Cali's oldest church, laid in 1545, just nine years after the founding of the city. It's a lovely whitewashed building in the Spanish colonial style. A beautiful exterior hides rather simple interior of wood and stucco containing a long, narrow nave. It has a heavily gilded baroque high altar is topped by the Virgen de las Mercedes, the patron saint of the city.
In the same complex, in the former La Merced convent, you'll find the Museo Arqueológico La Merced.
The church is open from 06:30am-10:00am and 04:00pm-07:00pm; admission by donation.
LA FERIA DE CALI (THE CALI...
LA FERIA DE CALI (THE CALI FAIR). By the end of every year (Dec 25 - January 5), Cali, puts out its best colors and celebrate its fair. The main attraction is: The bull fights. The best matadores from the world come to Cali to present the best they got. Around this main event, Cali offers a lot of entretaiments for the people (Salsa concerts, Beauty Fashions, international food festivals, sports events and Remates of Corridas de Toros.