Cali

Cali is a city in southwestern Colombia, capital of the Valle del Cauca department. It has about 2 million inhabitants and it is a significant industrial and commercial center of activity in Colombia. It has a wonderful weather with beautiful, warm and sunny days and an average temperature of 26º C (79º F), that ranges from 19º C (66º F) to 34º C (93º F). Its altitude is 1003 meters (3290 ft) above sea level.

Understand

Cali is famous for its historical places, entertainment and day and night activities. it is also the World’s Capital of Salsa. Cali is known in Colombia as the capital of fiestas, street partying, dancing, and salsa as Cali's Salsa Clubs are among the most famous in the entire continent. Among many other things you can experience on your vacations, the people from Cali have developed a playful and hedonistic culture in harmony with the natural surroundings and country life.

Cali is a great place for tourism and leisure. The capital of the department of Valle del Cauca has become a mecca for tourism thanks to the beauty of its women, its historical sites, and a multitude of spots for day and night entertainment. Cali is one of the major economic and industrial centers of the country, and the main urban, economic, industrial, and agrarian city of southwest Colombia.

Cali is also known as the Sport Capital of America and host of many major sports events that take place in Colombia. Among the most important sporting events that have taken place in our city we´ve hosted the VI Pan American Games in 1971. We are also proud to have been the host of many World Championships in different sports. Cali hosted the UCI Track Cycling World Cup for the twelfth time in 2013 and, between July 25th and August 4th 2013 hosted the World Games.

Get in

By bus

From the Terminal de transportes you have the choice of many different regional, national and domestic destinations.

The trip from the airport to the terminal lasts around 20 minutes and you can do it either by taxi (45,000 COP) or mini-van (4,000 COP). Recommendation: Travel only by certified transport companies, like Expreso Palmira, Bolivariano or Expreso Brasilia. These companies bring you safety and comfort for you and your luggage. You may bargain with other companies, but the trip may be very uncomfortable.

By plane

Cali's International Airport Alfonso Bonilla Aragón is located 16 km northeast of the city and can be reached by bus or taxi. Many domestic and some international destinations can be reached. There are flights to and from Medellín, Bogotá, Barranquilla, Ibagué, Pereira, Pasto and Cartagena. Foreign cities that can be reached by non-stop flights are Miami, Madrid, Panama City, San Salvador, Quito, Guayaquil and Esmeraldas in Ecuador. The airlines with international flights are : Avianca, American Airlines, Copa Airlines, LAN and TAME. The new low-cost airline VivaColombia also serves the city with flights to Medellín and Bogotá.

Get around

By taxi

Taxis are a fast and affordable way to get around the city. Only use official cars and it is strongly recommended to call for one if possible (you may call the local numbers 444 44 44, 555 55 55, or 660 60 60 and ask for one, your name and destination will be registered in the head office). Make sure the driver starts the meter running. The meters count units, not in the local currency. The minimum fare during daytime is 3,700 COP, during nighttime it's 4,600 COP. 14 units equal 900 COP. Do not leave your luggage inside the taxi while you are not, it sometimes happens that drivers get off as soon as you are out the taxi and your luggage is still in the trunk. In any case, many of the taxi drivers are nice and gentle people and have some good stories to tell, so hopefully you speak or understand Spanish at a reasonable level. But be sure to pay what they ask because they would call the cops and will not let you get out until you pay the full fare.

By bus

See

Do

Learn

Buy

Shopping centers

Souvenir store at Chipichape
Colorful handbag made with materials crafted by natives

Other shopping

Eat

Restaurants

Deliveries

Drink

Local Drinks

Cali's nightlife is on Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. There are some good clubs and bars to go out.

Visit Avenida Sexta Cali's Broadway at day & night. Some bars and dance clubs popular with the working class are located there. Many banks branches are settled here. The avenue is crowded pretty much all day long. Be careful at night, could be unsafe.

Bars

Dance Clubs

Sleep

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Stay safe

In 2011 there have been a number of murders and car bombs related to the ongoing mafia war between drug cartels in the city. Shopping centers all over the city have been scenes of shoot outs between rivaling mafia factions. It is advised to avoid shopping centers with poor security, although some of the biggest and most well guarded malls in Cali have been scenes of murders too.

As of 2011 the guerrilla movement FARC-EP has urban militias in the city and surroundings. Extreme caution is advised due to the risk of explosions, gunfire and kidnappings. U.S. citizens have been targets of kidnappings.

In November 2010 the U.S. State Department issued a travel warning regarding Cali, warning of a surge in crime, general insecurity and kidnappings.

Cali is considered more dangerous than most other major cities in Colombia; therefore, keep your eyes open at day and night. Try to take a taxi at night.

Avoid backstreet in the downtown (El Centro) and Sucre neighborhoods. This area is especially dangerous. I was mobbed by half the neighborhood (April 2011). Once I had been tackled by a group of four teenage delinquents, another 15 or so nearby bystandards nearby came to join in and help rob me (including women and children). The police station was only a block away, but they either didn´t hear me yelling ¨¡Policia!¨, or they didn´t care.

Walking alone at night at Avenida sexta can be unsafe.

As in most other cities, it is unwise to walk with jewelry or let people around you know you have cash on you. Most places around hotels are safe.

Try not to talk on cellphones while walking through streets; that might lure in robbers. Also do not use iPod:s or other valuables in public.

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has issued a warning to travellers to reconsider their need to travel to Cali because of the uncertain security situation in the area.

Cope

Fundación Clínica Valle del Lili. Interior gardens

There is a great high tech hospital in town: Fundación Valle del Lili with many bilingual doctors.

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Monday, March 21, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.