The region of Cali is not a touristic part of Colombia. However, many places have a lot to offer, and it attracts more and more visitors. Travelers will discover a region full of history, various landscapes, old ruins, and cultures. 

Observe a fantastic starry night in the Tatacoa desert before visiting the historical sites of Tierradentro and San Agustin

From Popayan, a lovely white colonial town, you can head back to Cali to appreciate the crazy nightlife and its beautiful Salsa dancers.

Or, travel South and enjoy the fresh waterfall in Mocoa, the festival Blanco y Negro in Pasto and surprising church Santuario Las Lajas in Ipiales.

 

Our Colombia itineraries for visiting the South

 

Where To Travel In The South Of Colombia

We spent 3 months in the South of Colombia. Learn about our favorite destinations in this region

  • Cali

    Cali & South

    Cali

    Cali is the biggest city in the South, and it’s the Capital of Salsa. It’s an excellent place if you want to practice, observe, and feel the salsa vibe. Don’t miss the Feria de Cali between Christmas and New year. Then, go to Pance to hike to pico Loro and do some birdwatching. Or you can book an expedition to San Cipriano!
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  • Popayan

    Cali & South

    Popayan

    Popayan is a beautiful white colonial town famous for its gastronomy. Wander among the cobblestone streets while eating the specialties and visit the different churches. Then plan an expedition to the national park El Purace to climb at 4700m above sea level, through a superb paramo. Don't forget to watch out for condors!
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  • San Agustin

    Cali & South

    San Agustin

    San Agustin is the most well-known archeological site in Colombia. More than 500 statues are representing different characters or animals. Some of them measure more than 7m. Enjoy the fresh waterfalls around and organize horse riding excursions.
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  • Tatacoa Desert

    Cali & The South

    Tatacoa Desert

    Tatacoa is the smallest of the two deserts of Colombia. Take a bus jeep from Neiva to Villavieja and explore the red and grey deserts with a tuk-tuk. Then, go to Piscilodo to cover your body of mud. It’s also a great place to admire the stars at night.
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  • Tierradentro

    Cali & South

    Tierradentro

    Tierradentro is a UNESCO archeological site where you can discover vast underground tombs and learn about an old indigenous culture. It’s less well-known than San Agustin but as much mysterious. There are few direct buses from Popayan, or you have to travel to La Plata then to San Andres.
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  • Paicol

    Cali & South

    Paicol

    A lovely and quiet colonial town with perfect weather. Stop here to plan some outdoor activities and weekend trips to Tierradentro and Tatacoa. Explore a cave or go down a river on a raft. These activities are perfect for beginners, as they don't require any specific skills. Paicol is off the beaten path.
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  • Pasto

    Cali & South

    Pasto

    Usually, travelers don’t stop in Pasto, except during the festival Blanco y Negro in January. However, it could be judicious to sleep in Pasto before crossing the border toward Ecuador. Locals say the road between Ipiales and Pasto is not safe at night.
  • Ipiales

    Cali & South

    Ipiales

    I wouldn’t advise you to travel all the way down south to visit Santuario Las Lajas. However, the church is quite surprising and near Ipiales. Therefore, you should try to visit it if you're on your way to Ecuador. You can sleep in Ipiales to cross the border faster in the morning.
  • Mocoa

    Cali & South

    Mocoa

    Mocoa is a town surrounded by waterfalls and jungles. It’s a great stop if you look at a place where you want to relax without any tourists around. Take a bus from San Agustin and admire fantastic sceneries along the road. We've got plenty of information about it. Let us know if you need any helps.

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Top Things To Do In Cali & South

Here is a compilation of the best things to do in Cali and the South Of Colombia:

  • Enjoy the Nightlife in Cali
  • Learn Salsa in Cali with Salsa Pura, a great salsa school in San Antonio
  • Observe the stars in the Tatacoa Desert
  • Eat the local food specialties in Popayan
  • Hike the National Park La Purace
  • Explore the underground tombs in Tierradentro
  • Horseride around San Agustin – Unesco site
  • Chase the waterfalls in Mocoa
  • Visit the Santuario de las Lajas

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Events in Cali and the South Of Colombia

List of the main events in Cali and the South of Colombia:

  • January: Festival Blanco y Negro in Pasto
  • February: Colombia bird fair in Cali
  • June: Festival Folclórico y del Reinado Nacional del Bambuco in Neiva
  • August: Petronio Alvarez Festival – Music Festival – in Cali
  • September: World Salsa Festival in Cali
  • September: Gastronomy festival in Popayan
  • End Of December: Cali Fair

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