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Cali Tourism

Cali: Tourism in Colombia – Welcome


Located on the Pacific Coast, Cali is one of the most important cities in Colombia and is the principal urban, economic, industrial and agronomic centers of south-west Colombia. Due to its fame for being the world-capital of Salsa, tourism in Cali has increased noticeably in recent years. Many of the visitors come to Cali with the idea of learning or, at least, seeing the dance of Salsa.


Climate of Cali

The climate in Cali varies greatly throughout the year, but it is always pleasant, especially for those who like warmth. The temperature goes from 23 to 35 centigrade, and the warmest months are July and August. In Cali, as a tourist, you can stroll around in shorts and short-sleeves even at night, although I recommend that you bring a light jacket since the climate is quite variable here and when it rains here it tends to be quite windy.


How to get to Cali?

You can get to Cali by plane or by bus, though unfortunately we have some bad news for those traveling on a tighter budget: the budget airlines don’t fly to Cali from other major Colombian cities. To fly from Bogotá to Cali will cost you around 55 U.S. dollars for a one-way ticket and takes about 45 minutes. To make this trip in a bus will cost you about 28 U.S. dollars for a one-way ticket, which takes about 8 to 9 hours from Bogotá.


Cali, the capital of Salsa

When we talk about Cali, we tend to think of Salsa and parties. Cali has earned this reputation as a “party-animal” over the years and this is symbolized by the quick steps used in Salsa of this city, to the rhythm of the bongos and timpani. Salsa came to Cali thanks to the United States’ Navy, in fact, who brought the rhythms from New York and Cuba.

Over time, more and more Salsa clubs opened throughout Cali, and musicians of great talent started to form famous Salsa groups that wrote catchy and spirited songs that caused the folks of Cali to host the famous “agua e’ lulo” house-parties of the 60s and 70s. In these parties, they celebrated in the houses of family members, frequently with grills and barbecues, and they danced Salsa ’till they dropped. The younger generation escaped from their houses or schools to go to these “agua e’ lulo” parties. It was in such parties that a kind of musical revolution took place, and the Salsa of Cali became exceptionally quick and gained international fame in the dancing world.

Today, the most popular place to meet up for those that live for Salsa is the popular Juanchito (You can find this on the Tourism map of Cali). This spot can be found in a neighbourhood near the edge of Cali that we describe to you in our article about what to do in Cali.


Cali Tourism Center

When you go to the center of Cali, one can see that they have conserved churches and buildings since they were built. Some of the places that conserve their architecture and are very worth visiting are the following:

The Hermitage Church: This is one of the classic architectural landmarks of Cali. This church is a must-see. It can be found beside the river Cali and one block away from the Park of the Poets. It is a really highly recommended place for tourists visiting Cali. The address of the church is on the first avenue, street number 13.

What to do in Cali - The Hermitage Church: Beautiful church of gothic style located in the center of Cali.
What to do in Cali - The Hermitage Church: Beautiful church of gothic style located in the center of Cali.

Enrique Buenaventura Municipal Theater: This theater is striking because, apart from its classic Italian architectural style, it is decorated with national and international works of art. You can find it in the center of avenue 5 with street 6, number 64.

National Palace:
this palace also has an architectural style that is quite striking. It was designed in 1928 by the Belgian architect Joseph Martens. You can find it on avenue 4, street 12, number 04.

Como estos lugares, en Cali hay muchísimos más lugares turísticos que puedes ver en nuestro artículo. Lee aquí: Qué hacer en Cali.


Dangerous places in Cali

In Cali, as in many cities of the world, there are areas that aren’t suitable for tourism, and some of those areas are:

Area in central Cali, avenue 13 with street 10: when you visit Cali, try to avoid coming here as this is a place with a lot of “raponeros” – that is to say, thieves.

Transportation Terminal: because there are some dangerous neighbourhoods near to the terminal, it’s best if you don’t go walking around this terminal.

Fifth street bridge at first avenue: This bridge is close to The Hermitage Church in the center of Cali, but it is really not recommended that you visit the bridge – it’s a bit of a quiet area and it’s possible you may meet a nasty surprise on the bridge!

Second North Avenue Bridge: This is the sector where street-dwellers and the homeless are found; therefore, for obvious reasons, you shouldn’t go walking here.
Now that you know about the few parts of Cali to avoid, you can concentrate on the plentiful opportunities for tourism that there are. You can find more information below!