Weather, facilities, people, nightlife
A bit Dangerous for inexperienced Gringos.
the party destination in Colombia
Overlooking the Río Cali, Iglesia de la Ermita has become a landmark of Cali and it is certainly the most photographed church in the city. The original church, a small baroque chapel, was built here in the early 17th-century and its name was Ermita de Nuestra Señora de la Soledad del Río. It was totally destroyed in the 1925 earthquake. Today...more
Construction of the beautiful yellow Teatro Municipal began in April 1918 and it was inaugurated on November 1927 with the opera The Troubadour by the Italian company Bracale. In 1953 it was remodeled and reopened in 1954, during the 450 years of the founding of the city. Inspired by the Italian opera theatre, this neoclassical theatre holds up to...more
Cali's oldest existing building dates back to around 1538-1540 and was formerly La Merced convent but today houses the Museo Arqueológico La Merced. This archeological museum displays regional pre-Columbian pottery and a scale model of the city. In five rooms you'll find a collection of pottery of the major cultures from central and southern...more
In the corner of Carrera 5 and Calle 6 you will be amazed by a huge brick building, Centro Cultural de Cali. This is one of the most representative cultural institutions of Cali. Photography exhibitions, music festivals, salsa workshops, as well as theatre and music groups, come together in this excellent cultural space. Besides, if you like dance...more
Between two cultural landmarks of Cali, Iglesia de la Ermita and Teatro Jorge Isaacs, is found Parque de los Poetas. The park was built in 1995 in tribute to the poets of Valle del Cauca. It is used as the venue for cultural presentations of all kinds. The last Thursday of each month it becomes a meeting place of poetry lovers with writers and...more
If you are interested in Colombian cinematography, Video Charlot is certainly the place to visit. Decorated with taste, it has nicely painted walls with b&w pictures from old films, and several pieces of old furniture. They have the greatest selection of Colombian films to borrow, along with other productions. There is a also a small café (Marcela...more
This is the best place to stay in Cali. Although it's the only place I have stayed in Cali, I have...more
My husband and I stayed at Cali Plaza Hotel while visiting family in Cali. We enjoyed the hotel an...more
I got married in this hotel January 2004. I stayed at the hotel for 2 weeks+. I was very pleased...more
PITA MAJITA, what a nice surprice! walking the streets of San Antonio (Cali- Colombia)I found this amazing restaurant, brand new, this family have been working with lebannes food during all their life, but it is the first time they open their own restaurant. the service is awesome, they make you feel you are visiting them at homethe food it is...more
SaraJuana is a new café, restaurant and tertulia in San Antonio, only two blocks from Cafe Tostaky. Tertulia is a Spanish or Latin American social gathering with literature, art and music. Participants may share their recent creations (poetry, short stories and other writings, art works and music). At first tertulias were held in private homes but...more
The complete name of the restaurant El Pescador is Centro Gastronómico y Cultural del Pacifico and as its name suggests, it's not only a restaurant, but a meeting place with cultural roots, voices, flavours and rhythms of the Pacific. The restaurant has always exhibitions of paintings by artists from Pacific coast. The staff working in El Pescador...more
One evening Clara and Manku picked me up in Café Tostaky to join them to a reggae bar where their friend was supposed to play. But when we got there we found there were no live music that evening. What a pity! The place was quite nice so we decided to have a drink anyway, before moving to another place. The idea was to find a good salsa club, one...more
Cali is noted for its nightlife and salsa is king. Clubs abound and if so inclined you'll find NYC is not the only city that never sleeps. This does not fit our normal sleeping patterns and while intriguing, it never really crossed our minds to check it out despite Vinz from our hostel imploring us that it should be if we wanted to see the real...more
Vuelos NacionalesDESDE BOGOTAHorarios de salidaAvianca 05:5006:3006:5507:3508:0209:0210:0210:5012:0012:5014:0015:0015:3516:0017:0018:0018:4019:0020:0020:3021:1021:4022:0522:30Copa Airlines Colombia (antes AeroRepublica)06:1117:5521:59AIRES:08:1011:0515:0017:5021:00DESDE MEDELLIN (Rionegro)Avianca06:0013:0519:0020:20DESDE MEDELLIN (Enrique Olaya...more
With a population of nearly 2,5 million inhabitants, Cali is the third largest city in Colombia after Bogotá and Medellín. It is also the third city in the country that developed a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system. While Bogotá has TransMilenio and Medellín the Metro, Cali has MIO (masivo integrado de Occidente), the city's version of Bogotá's...more
Cali is easy to get to from just about anywhere, serviced well by bus and air. We arrived by bus from Armenia in Zona Cafetera. The four hour trip set us back 20,000 COP ($10) each. Once at the bus terminal, we grabbed a taxi to our hostel in the San Antonio area of town for an additional 8,000 COP ($4) which seemed a bit exorbitant for a 2 km trip...more
Parque Artesanal Loma de la Cruz is located in the most traditional part of the city. Little shops and stands line the streets around Loma de la Cruz, making it the best place to buy traditional handicrafts and other locally made inexpensive goods. More than 60 artists and craftsmen exhibit their creations, everything from paintings, music...more
It is normal in Cali to think of a shopping mall as a touristic place. Most of them are built like urban boulevards, with open-air walking corridors that look like a 'Main Street' side walk. With large facilities providing full amenities, Caleños love just talking walks in them, enjoying the fact that everything is at their hands. There is...more
Being the third Latino American city with the biggest density of African population after Havana (Cuba) and Salvador de Bahia (Brazil), Cali has got the honour to be the seat of Festival de la Marimba. Marimba is believed to have originated in Africa, but it has been a part of Colombian culture since a long time. The chonta (palm tree) marimba is...more
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...more
Every year in December La Plazoleta del CAM is a scene for the celebration of Día del Pacífico, where the communities of African descendants of Valle del Cauca and the Pacific coast of Choco represent their culture and traditions. In 2009 this was a festival within 52 Feria de Cali but usually it takes place earlier in December. The sound of...more
Cali is a big city and one in South America so there are precautions that need to be taken but probably not more so than in similar cities of its size, especially on its continent. We spent two nights there and had no problems whatsoever. It was about the sixth week of a two month trip to Colombia which had gone without incident aside from a...more
The name Rio Cali conjures up something beautiful in my mind and its setting in town, running right through the scenic Centenario is stunning but you will notice something when crossing it from any bridge, and that is its smell. It seems all of the city's sewage is dumped into it in raw form, such is the stench of the mighty Rio Cali.more
More a tourist attraction than a tourist trap: Popayán gets really crowded during Easter time. In Colombia, the most famous Semana Santa celebrations take place in Popayán and Mompox, where the Spanish colonial forces built six churches and a chapel, all used in the Semana Santa observations. Monday through Thursday of Semana Santa are taken up with religious processions, retreats, sermons and other celebratory events. On Thursday, the Last Supper is reenacted, following by the Viernes Santo (Good Friday) crucifixion with masses and solemn rites. Sábado de Gloria, or Saturday, is filled with anticipatory prayers and rites, processions and religious fervor. Domingo de Resurrección, (Easter Sunday) is a joyous day with masses, eucharistic rites and processions.
Luggage and bags:
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.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: 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.
Photo Equipment: 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.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: With great affordable lodging right in town it's unlikely you'll break out your tent in Cali.
Miscellaneous: 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.
Hidden deep in tropical rainforest on the Pacific side of the mountain range, San Cipriano is a little town of 500 inhabitants of African descendants, a couple of hours from Cali, just off the Cali - Buenaventura road. Remote and almost inaccessible, it has no roads and the river is too shallow. To overcome this problem, locals have invented a...more
one of the most notable works of the Romantic movement in Spanish literature is the novel, Maria, by Jorge Isaacs which was published in 1867. This book tells the story of Maria who actually lived in this hacienda many years ago. For a small fee, you get to enter the home, get a tour (in spanish), and can walk through the gardens. This is where I...more
Though the lulada has to rank as our favorite thing in Cali, the Cali Zoo was probably our favorite sight. There was a time when zoos were a very big thing for me. I had grown up going to the Philadelphia Zoo in my hometown and it was always a favorite family excursion. It was about the closest thing to nature I was exposed to and if anyone had...more
As chance would have it, while looking for a breakfast place to suit both of our tastes we stumbled across a fruiteria that had a variety of desayuno options. We enjoyed great meals to start our day but oddly enough did not notice the lulada on their menu until after we had ordered. It was quite pricey but we made a mental note to come back if we...more
But these kids were different, somehow cuter. The truth of the matter is, they are a bit better behaved than their North American counterparts too. Another thing I guess that enamored us with them was their fascination with us. I guess they don't get so many gringos at the Cali Zoo and these youngsters were getting as much of a kick out of...more