Cali is a city in the south of Colombia. Cali is the capital of the Valle del Cauca department and offers the following points of interest for tourists and photographers;
- Cali zoo
- El gato del rio
- Salsatecas – Cali is the home of salsa
- Calima gold museum
- Cali tower (and view of the city)
- Cristo Rey (and view of the city)
- Ermita church
- San Pedro Apostol Metropolitan Cathedral
- Chipechape shopping mall
- San Antonio old town (and view of the city)
San Antonio, Cali, Colombia
To familiarize yourself with Cali I would recommend a visit to San Antonio, the Cristo Rey and the Cali Tower. All these places offer great views of the city. San Antonio is a historic neighborhood of Cali with Spanish colonial buildings and lots of good value restaurants / bars. It’s probably the best value area to stay in Cali.
Cali is a spread out city so you’ll need to use public transport to get around wherever you choose to stay.
Getting around Cali is very easy, there is a system called Masivo Integrado de Occidente, or MIO. This is a bus system which has a separate lane to the cars and only stops at specially built stations that you need a ticket to get into. There are lots of taxis in Cali, normally the drivers are listening to salsa music whilst driving around the city. It’s easy to get a taxi, they are all metered and the driver will nearly always put on the meter without being prompted.
Cali is the Colombian city most famous for salsa dancing. If you want to learn salsa dancing, Cali is the place to learn. Even as a novice watching on in any of the famous salsa bars of Cali, you’ll be able to appreciate that Cali’s salsa dancers are the best!
In San Antonio there is a hostel called El Viajero Hostel which offers free salsa dancing lessons everyday.
El gato del rio, Cali, Colombia
Something rather strange you’ll come across in the city is Parque de los gatos (El gato del rio). These are large sculptures of cats designed and made by local artist, Hernando Tejada. If you have some time to kill or you’re a cat enthusiast then this place is worth a visit.
Cali is home to the best zoo in Colombia and it’s in the city, so normally a short ride away. My favorite animal is the sloth and there are a couple in this zoo. The sloths take a bit of finding though, you’ll probably need to ask someone and even then, they take a bit of finding!
Other places worth visiting in Cali are the historic center and also the Chipichape shopping mall. I would recommend the restaurant Leños y Carbon in the mall, if you love steak, you’ll love this restaurant.
Juan Valdez coffee shop
You’ll find lots of Juan Valdez coffee shops all over Colombia. Even if you’re not a coffee drinker, you’ll appreciate a Juan Valdez coffee! I recommend the Nevado de Arequipe, it’s not good for you but it’s delicious!
Fresh coffee in the mountains of Colombia
It’s possible for you to go on a day trip from Cali to Parque del cafe in Armenia. This is a coffee plantation and also a theme park so it makes a great day trip. The coffee plantation is sponsored by Juan Valdez. You’ll learn how coffee is grown and every process along the way to being served in Juan Valdez.
Bus from Cali to Bogotá, 10 hours, 57,000 pesos
There are many different bus companies serving Bogotá from the terminal de transportes in Cali. The journey takes around 10 hours through the mountains. I would recommend a Bolivariano service which are quite regular from Cali. There are a few other good bus services leaving from Cali, it’s a popular route. You should pay around 57,000 pesos for the service, this is negotiable.