Because of its bad reputation, many travelers decide to skip Cali. What a mistake!

The city, also known as the Capital of Salsa, is a must to visit if you want an insight into the Colombian culture. While it’s damn hot during the day, a cool breeze starts blowing around 5 pm. It’s the daily signal that tells locals it’s time to hang out in the streets. Then, at night, folks head to salsa bars for practicing their move and spend a good time.

From a historical point of view, you won’t get many things to do. There are a few churches and museums scattered between the Center and San Antonio. 

However, it’s a fantastic place to learn about Salsa and an excellent base to explore the area. Indeed, the Pacific Coast is only 4 hours away, and the mountains and rivers around offer many activities like hiking, canyoning, and paragliding. 

Like any big city in the South of America, I advise you to take a cab at night and don’t show off with your valuables.


Our Colombia itineraries for visiting Cali


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Where to stay in Granada

Granada is the party district of Cali. It's also one of the wealthiest. Most of the tourists don't know about it. Therefore, you won't meet many of them. There are delicious restaurants and it's one of the safest areas in Cali.

  • Pelican Larry


    Pelican Larry

    Perfect location. Many activities like Salsa and bike tours. Great common area and breakfast.
    Get the best price
  • Guadalupe



    White colonial house. Clean and well located in Granada. Large rooms with comfy beds.
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  • Casa Centenario


    Casa Centenario

    Economical option with a perfect location and a delicious breakfast. Good staff.
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  • Leclerc

    Hotel boutique


    Upscale hotel with lovely bedrooms. Great value for money. Small and personalized services.
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  • Movitch



    One of the best hotels in Cali. Fantastic staff and facilities. Tasty breakfast. Location.
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Where to stay in San Antonio

San Antonio is the kingdom of the backpackers. They like to hang out in the park, drinking cheap beers at night from the shops around. Locals love to do it. There are many good restaurants and lovely cafes, which are perfect stops after a short wander in the district. Be cautious when it's late at night.

  • El Viajero


    El Viajero

    Famous hostel with a pool and a salsa studio. Good if you're looking for parties.
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  • Ruta Sur


    Ruta Sur

    Upscale hostel. Private room only. Lovely courtyard. Delicious breakfast and staff.
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  • San Antonio

    Boutique Hotel

    San Antonio

    Excellent value for money and perfect location. Comfy rooms and delicious breakfast.
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Where to stay in San Fernando & Pance

San Fernando is an up and coming district. There is no tourist. Many local bars and restaurants near Parque del Perro. Pance is a small town located in the mountains, at 2 hours from Cali. It's a perfect option to get some fresh air and swim in cold water.

  • Oasis



    Many social events and tours. Salsa studio. Clean with many social areas. Breakfast
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  • Batara

    Hotel in Pance


    Small hotel with a great view. Birds everywhere. Natural pool. Awesome owners!
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Things to do in Cali

While there are not many things to do in the city of Cali (expect dancing Salsa), the surroundings offer many great activities and day trips.

  • Salsa



    Learn the basic steps of Salsa then go looking for partners in bars and practice! Great vibes
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  • City tour


    City tour

    There are not many highlights in Cali. A quick city will help you to get the most of it.
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  • Food tour


    Food tour

    Alameda is the biggest market in Cali. Try fruits and street foods. Buy magic potions.
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  • Aero Fenix


    Aero Fenix

    Impressive aircraft collection from before WWII. Perfect to spend a couple of hours
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  • Caliwood



    How did the industry of cinema begin in Colombia? Lots of film posters and projectors.
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  • La Tertulia


    La Tertulia

    Art museum. Interesting and interactive. Three floors. Cool activities and cafe nearby.
    Learn more
  • Salsa History


    Salsa History

    Learn about the history of the Salsa and why it became such a thing in Cali.
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  • Salsa & Art


    Salsa & Art

    If churches and old building are not your things, wander in Cali while learning about other stuff.
    Learn more
  • Christo Rey


    Christo Rey

    A short cab ride from the center. Cool view of Cali, especially at night. Site closes at 8 pm.
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  • 3 Cruces


    3 Cruces

    Sunday hike. Do it early so you won't get burnt. Don't do it alone during the week.
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  • Andoke



    Admire thousands of beautiful butterflies. Specific hours for the tours. Good explanations.
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  • Loma de la Cruz

    Social event

    Loma de la Cruz

    People meet every Thursday at 7 pm for Andean dancing. Fun moments. Handcrafts shops.
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  • Parque El Peñon

    Social Event

    Parque El Peñon

    Musicians get there around 5 pm to perform live music. Lovely and safe area. Good music.
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  • Birdwatching



    The areas of Cali are extremely famous for observing birds. Wake up early and enjoy!
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  • San Cipriano


    San Cipriano

    Go to San Cipriano for chasing waterfalls and going down the river on an inner tube.
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  • Paragliding

    Extreme sport


    The best view is always from the sky. Run till the cliff and jump. Don't forget your glider.
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  • Canyoning

    Extreme sport


    With its 7 rivers, canyoning is a must around Cali. Rappelling, toboggan and big jumps.
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  • Pico Loro


    Pico Loro

    A fantastic view of the Valle del Cauca, the Andean mountains. 4-5 hours hike. Medium.
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  • La Sirena


    La Sirena

    Located 2 hours away, El Danubio offers some gorgeous natural pools. Take your swimming shorts!
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  • Pance

    Weekend trip


    2 hours away from Cali, Pance is small town perfect for taking a deep breath of fresh air.
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  • Pacific



    From Cali, the Pacific is only 4 hours away. Explore these black sand beaches. Raw nature.
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More travel ressources

We spent 2 months in Cali and wrote about our travel experiences.

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More things to do in this region

Cali & South

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