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Cali Travel Guide - Travel S Helper


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Santiago de Cali, often known as “Cali,” is the capital of the Valle del Cauca department and the most populous city in southwest Colombia, with an estimated population of 2,319,655 people based on 2005-2020/DANE demographic estimates. Cali is the third-largest city proper and metropolitan region in population and the second-largest city by size in the nation, spanning 560.3 km2(216.3 sq mi) with 120.9 km2(46.7 sq mi) of urban area. Cali is the largest urban and economic center in southwest Colombia, and it boasts one of the country’s fastest-growing economies. It is the only major Colombian city having access to the Pacific Coast. Sebastián de Belalcázar, a Spanish conqueror, built the city on July 25, 1536.

Cali is also a sports hub in Colombia, and it is the only city in the country to have hosted the Pan American Games (in 1971). Cali hosted the 1992 World Wrestling Championships, the World Games’ ninth edition in 2013, the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in 2014, and the World Youth Athletics Championships in 2015.

Renowned salsa singers have dubbed it “The World Capital of Salsa” in reference to its various schools for the musical genre—often producing world champion dancers—and the exclusive venues for dancing at its fair, held from the 25th to the 30th of December; factors that have given the city its strong musical identity.

Cali – Info Card

POPULATION :• City 2,400,653
• Metro 3,400,000
FOUNDED :  25 July 1536
LANGUAGE : Spanish
AREA : 619 km2 (239 sq mi)
ELEVATION :  1,018 m (3,340 ft)
COORDINATES : 3°25′14″N 76°31′20″W
WEBSITE :Official website

Tourism in Cali

Cali is the capital of the Valle del Cauca department in southern Colombia. It has a population of around 2 million people and is a major industrial and commercial hub in Colombia. It offers gorgeous, bright, and sunny days with an average temperature of 26o C (79o F) that varies from 19o C (66o F) to 34o C (93o F). It is 1003 meters (3290 feet) above sea level.

Cali is well-known for its historical landmarks, entertainment, and day and nighttime activities. It is also the World Salsa Capital. Cali is regarded in Colombia as the center of fiestas, street partying, dancing, and salsa, with some of the most famous Salsa Clubs in the whole continent. Among the various activities you may do on vacation in Cali, the inhabitants have built a joyful and hedonistic culture that is in keeping with the natural surroundings and rural life.

Cali is a fantastic destination for tourism and recreation. The capital of the Valle del Cauca department has become a tourist magnet due to the beauty of its ladies, historical buildings, and a plethora of places for day and night amusement. Cali is the primary urban, economic, industrial, and agricultural metropolis in southwest Colombia, as well as one of the country’s major economic and industrial hubs.

Cali is also regarded as the Sport Capital of America, as it is the site of several big sporting events in Colombia. Among the most significant athletic events held in our city was the VI Pan American Games in 1971. We are also delighted to have hosted a number of World Championships in various sports. Cali hosted the UCI Track Cycling World Cup for the eleventh time in 2013 and the World Games from July 25th to August 4th.


Santiago de Cali has historical sites with cultural diversity as well as other attractions. Many old churches, including as La Merced and La Ermita, may be found in downtown Cali. Cali has a well-preserved historical district. The most significant zone is La plaza de Cayzedo, which is considered the city’s core and is flanked by several ancient and contemporary structures such as El edificio Otero, La Catedral, and El Palacio de Justicia. This plaza is adjacent to major tourist attractions such as the Saint Francis church (Iglesia de San Francisco in Spanish), the municipal theater, and the La Merced church. Monuments, parks, squares, and museums abound throughout the city. The most iconic sculptures are Cristo Rey, perched on a mountain range; Sebastian de Belalcazar, the city’s founder; and Las tres Cruces, a center of devotion during Holy Week.


There are several nightclubs and eateries. There are whole areas in the city devoted to tourism, such as Granada, one of Cali’s most classic districts, which is filled with gourmet restaurants, fashion shops, and boutiques. Another place to go is along “La sexta,” or 6th Avenue and Menga, which has become the most popular nightclub district. There are several sorts of nightclubs, as well as restaurants and motels. This region, known as the “zona rosa” or pink zone, is situated in the north, near the Chipichape mall. In recent years, the restaurant business has exploded, putting Cali on par with Bogotá in terms of first-rate dining alternatives.


Cali has lately gained notoriety as a top destination for those looking for low-cost cosmetic surgery. In the city of Cali, over 50,000 cosmetic surgery operations are performed every year (2010), with approximately 14,000 involving patients from other countries.

Climate of Cali

Cali has a tropical savanna climate, according to Köppen’s classification. The Western Mountain Range rises from 2,000 m (6,562 ft) above sea level in the city’s northern outskirts to around 4,000 m (13,123 ft) in the city’s southern outskirts. Because of the height difference, the weather in the northwest of the city is drier than in the southwest. The annual precipitation ranges from 900 to 1,800 mm (35 to 71 in) depending on the metropolitan zone, with a citywide average of about 1,000 mm (39 in). Cali’s average temperature is 25 °C (77 °F), with lows of 18.5 °C (65 °F) and highs of 31 °C (88 °F).

Because of its near to the equator, there are no significant seasonal fluctuations. However, residents refer to the dry season as the city’s “summer,” when temperatures may reach 34 to 36 °C (93 to 97 °F) during the day and drop to 18 to 19 °C (64 to 66 °F) at night. There is also a rainy season known as “winter,” during which temperatures may reach 28 to 29 °C (82 to 84 °F) during the day and drop to 16 to 17 °C (61 to 63 °F) at night. There are two rainy seasons in the United States: March to May and October to November. Rain, on the other hand, may be anticipated at any time of year, supporting the city’s everlasting green and lush vegetation. The highest temperature ever recorded was 36.6 degrees Celsius (98 degrees Fahrenheit) in July 1997, while the lowest temperature ever recorded was 13.4 degrees Celsius (56 degrees Fahrenheit) in August 1978.

Geography of Cali

The city of Santiago de Cali is situated in a valley. To the west, the city is totally surrounded by mountains, the nearest of which are the Farallones de Cali. The Cauca River runs through the city’s eastern outskirts. Plains stretch to the north and south. The first one contains the industrial city of Yumbo, which is part of Cali’s metropolitan region, and the second contains the city of Jamund, which is also part of the metropolitan area. The city is primarily flat, although there are some hilly places, particularly to the west, such as San Antonio and La Loma de la Cruz, both of which are popular tourist destinations. Several rivers flow from the Western Mountain Range and discharge into the Cauca River, passing through Cali’s urban area. The Aguacatal River runs through the city’s western outskirts and merges with the Cali River, which drains into the Cauca River. The rivers Caaveralejo, Lil, and Meléndez run into the CVC south channel, which likewise flows into the Cauca River in the south. Further south, the Pance River’s banks are a popular spot for amusement and leisure.

Economy of Cali

Cali and Valle del Cauca are Colombia’s third major economic centers, with national and international trade taking place. The city is a must-see from / to the south and the border with Ecuador, and it is linked to the rest of the globe through the Buenaventura harbor.

The late-twentieth-century recession economy started to take form. In addition to the drug war, there was atomization of municipal resources, a lack of continuity in the next government’s development goals, and a lack of human and economic resources required to accomplish the mayor’s objectives. All of this contributed to an environment of suspicion among the general public, industry, and regional government. In this context, Colombian President Gaviria’s economic openness agenda caught the city off guard.

When the economic crisis hit in 1998, the national government was unable to react to the request of local politicians, and mayors were forced to implement austerity measures under pressure from creditors, causing the vallecaucano development model to fail. Furthermore, the tightening of the country’s internal struggle necessitated a tax rise directed at national war expenditures, leaving less opportunity for local governments to gather the funds needed for their development plans via taxation.

Economic circumstances in the nation and city have altered in the twenty-first century. The economic model that handled the vallecaucano department until the 1980s has been replaced by globalization of the economy, as evidenced by capital inflows of Colombia’s most important economic groups, the formation of strategic alliances between entrepreneurs and multinational vallecaucanos, the concern of companies in the region to optimize their resources and services, investment, and diversification of economic groups. Faced with the loss of power of the region’s traditional leaders, the Cali Chamber of Commerce (CCC) has stepped in to act as a facilitator of private sector resources focused on civic and social projects.

According to DANE figures, the Valle del Cauca region’s yearly GDP growth rate in 1995 was over double the national average. GDP climbed by vallecaucano even 1 percent in 1997. The country’s economic crisis was felt in 1999, with a slump that caused the economy to be diminished, with GDP growth of 4%. Since then, the Valley’s GDP has expanded with ups and downs, but its percentage share of national GDP has been declining since 1995, as indicated in the graph.

The department makes a considerable contribution to the national economy. According to 2005 figures, the agricultural Valley produces 5.37 percent of national productivity, which is quite low when compared to Antioquia (15.48 percent) or Cundinamarca (15.48 percent) (12.81 percent ). In terms of fishery goods, the area ranks first, with vallecaucana accounting for 36% of total output in the nation. In terms of mining, the Valley is not a metal area; but, in terms of non-metallic resources, the department produces 8.15 percent of Colombia’s value added.

The vallecaucana industry accounts for 13.81 percent of national value added, behind only Bogotá’s 25.39 percent and Antioquia’s 18.20 percent. Food, beverage, and snuff sectors, in particular, are key components of the Valley’s economy, accounting for 16 percent of national value added, a figure matched or exceeded only by Antioquia and Bogotá. In terms of commerce, Bogotá has a national share of 32.22 percent, Antioquia has 13.25 percent, and Valle has 11.34 percent. Transportation services have a value added of 12.52 percent in the Valley.

Cali’s Consumer Price Index (IPC) has been among the lowest among Colombian cities over the past decade. Approximately 78 percent of Cali’s population is of working age (over 18 years). For the first time in six years, the city’s occupancy rate over 60% in 2005, confirming the city’s strong economic performance, which has been driven mostly by expansion in industry, agriculture, and commerce, among other sectors.

Cali is home to Drogas La Rebaja, one of Colombia’s major pharmaceutical shop chains.



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