Because of its bad reputation, many travelers decide not to go to Cali. What a mistake!
The city, also known as the salsa capital, is a must if you want to discover this aspect of Colombian culture.
The city has its own rhythm and its people are known to love to party. I like to think that this is linked to the climate of Cali. Indeed, it’s pretty hot during the day, but fortunately, every day around 5 pm, a cool breeze starts to blow.
It’s the daily signal that tells the inhabitants that it’s time to take a walk in the streets. Then, in the evening, people go to salsa bars to dance and have a good time.
From a historical point of view, you won’t have many places to visit. There are a few churches and museums scattered between the old center and the San Antonio district but not much more.
However, it is a fantastic place to learn salsa and an excellent base for exploring the area. Indeed, the Pacific coast is only 3 hours away, the coffee region is only 3-4 hours away and Popayan is also 3-4 hours away.
In addition, the mountains and rivers surrounding Cali offer many opportunities for activities such as hiking, canyoning, bird watching, and paragliding.
As with all large cities in South America, I advise you to take a taxi at night and not to bring valuables into view.
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.
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.
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.
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