Famous for its musical identity and temperate weather, Cali is a culturally-rich and ideal vacation spot. This city awakens your artistic senses and its beautiful rivers offer you a refreshing escape. If you are looking for more reasons to visit Cali, we invite you to take find out more about la Feria de Cali, the most important cultural event of the city which celebrates the region’s cultural identity, featuring its famous for salsa marathon, horse riding parades and dance parties. Take a chance and come discover this inspiring and unforgettable haven. Book your stay now at Hampton by Hilton Cali, and uncover all the things to do in Cali, Colombia.
To start off your trip, Cali has some pretty cool and interesting museums you can explore. The Orquideorama is a live orchid museum. La Merced Archeological Museum takes you through the region’s architectural history and exhibits an important collection of pre-Columbian pottery. Caliwood Museum is a fan favorite. It is Colombia’s first cinematographic museum, with a broad collection of movie artifacts and filming equipment. An interactive and innovative museum is the Museo Libre de Arte Público de Colombia, which has exhibitions throughout the whole city. You can choose a 2, 4, or 6-hour tour to observe the city’s public art and murals across 3 different neighborhoods. Tertulia Museum was the country’s first modern art museum and at the Salsa Museum you can shake your hips as you learn more about the salsa movement.
Cerro de las Tres Cruces
Hike up this hill to get the best panoramic view of the city, although you should consider this will require a significant amount of physical exertion as you must go through two mountain ranges to reach it. If you’re looking to work out while traveling this is the ideal way to do so, and we do recommend that if you’re going to try it, to do it before noon. Located in Cali’s downtown area, there are three different paths you can take to start your ascent: one at Normandía neighborhood, another at Bataclán in the Granada neighborhood, and the third is behind the Chipichape Mall. It will take you nearly an hour to reach the top but the view is totally worth the strenuous walk.
The most traditional and fun thing to do in Cali is to spend the day with your family and friends at the Pance River, only 20 minutes away from the city. Typically, families bring the food and cook at the river, spending the day eating, drinking, and refreshing in its cool water. At Pance EcoPark, there are restaurants and public bathrooms if you prefer a less rustic experience. You can also choose to camp at Pueblito Pance. However, make sure to check out La Chorrera del Indio, an impressive waterfall where you can bathe and wish away the stress.
Parque Nacional Natural Farallones de Cali
Farallones are the youngest rock formations of the Western Andes Mountain Range. More than 540 birds species live here and is the source of more than 30 rivers. Entry to the park is restricted, so, if you are interested in visiting it, you must contact its administrative offices. Once there, you will be surprised to experience 3 separate areas and climates: cold, warm, and temperate. You can choose hiking Pico de Loro, which takes several hours, and offers you a view of Cali, the Cauca River and the valley, as well as observe beautiful springs. If you are looking for more physically demanding eco-tourism, you will want to visit Punta Pance, which takes between more than 2 days to complete.
Salsa Capital of the World
Cali’s salsa is different than anything else you are used to hearing. For caleños, it is not just a rhythm or beat, it is a personality, an attitude, a way of life. In Cali, salsa is danced very specifically, it’s a way of life, and language and it has a life of its own. Salsa comes alive in this amazing corner of Earth. So, if you are in Cali, it is only logical for you to come enjoy the cream of the crop when it comes to listening, dancing or enjoying the beats and rhythms of salsa.
This bar stays true to the origins of salsa by playing jazz, blues, and Caribbean rhythms. It creates a space where fun and comradery inundate every fiber of your soul while you sweat and dance the night away. It has an intimate and personal ambience, exacerbated by its live bands and theme nights, such as Latin Jazz Tuesdays and Big Band Wednesdays. If you’re lucky, you’ll be surprised by one of their musical performances.
If you are visiting Cali, you are there for its salsa! This traditional salsa bar located in a basement offers you an underground salsa ambience that transports you from the genre’s past to its present in a single night. You will feel the blood pumping through your veins, as the dance floor beckons you. To keep you on your toes, it offers diverse theme nights throughout the week, such as live band or guaguancó (Cuban rhythms) night.
La Topa Tolondra
It is especially known for its “Friends Salsa Party” which take place every Monday, from 7 to 9 pm, where you can take salsa classes from renown dance schools with around 300 other people. It is the ideal space to meet new people who share the love and passion for salsa. Afterwards, you can stay for the real party, featuring a show put on by salsa dance schools. La Topa has an amazing stage, so this is performance you definitely do not want to miss.
Tin Tin Deo
It pays tribute to the caleño party culture based on salsa music and Afro-Latin rhythms and prides itself on being a meeting place, where people from different walks of life embrace each other. Every Friday, it hosts an instrument party where every guest is encouraged to bring an instrument to play salsa. This is the ideal spot to come dip your toes into the world of salsa.
This bar was initially created by 3 friends over 20 years ago seeking to share their love for salsa and Cuban music. It has evolved throughout the years to be a neighborhood bar and a platform for salsa bands to share their music. You can enjoy live performances in this salsa temple every Thursday.
Feria de Cali
There is another event that Cali is known for and veneered: the Cali Fair or as it’s known, La Feria de Cali. This over-the-top and larger-than-life celebration takes place annually between December 25 and 30. You will be able to dance your heart out, drink, and enjoy several flagship events, while honoring this city’s uniqueness. For starters, you will be mesmerized as you watch professional salsa dancers’ parade during the fair’s Salsódromo. At the end, you will understand why Cali is the salsa capital of the world. If you are a car buff, you will surely enjoy the parade of classical automobiles. Additional events include bullfights, concerts, and thematic troupes and choreographies.
Visit the man-made Calima Reservoir only two hours away. It is a top attraction for windsurfers, kit surfers and kayakers worldwide. It is the largest reservoir in Colombia and one of the largest in America. Located in the municipality El Darién, it has the highest wind speeds in Latin America, which makes it an ideal destination for practicing water sports. If you have time, take advantage to visit its cultural offering, including the Calima Arqueological Museum, the Nuestra Señora del Perpetuo Socorro Parish, and the Entre Pájaros y Flores Ecological Park, where you can hike or go horseback riding.
While in Cali, travel two hours to San Cipriano. This mountain town is amid a humid subtropical forest, which means toucans, monkeys, and abundant biodiversity. You will be charmed by the Venado Verde Ecological Park or the Natural Reserve San Cipriano River. Both offer you rivers, waterfalls, and hiking trails to satisfy your heart’s desires. To reach this town, you must take a bus from Cali to Buenaventura, get off at Córdoba and take a ride on “las brujitas” (the witches), which are artisanal motor trolleys that move on train tracks. This journey will take about 20 minutes, where you will pass through amazing scenery before finally reaching San Cipriano. Trust us, every second will be worth your while.
All this exploring will surely make you hungry. Lucky for you, Cali has some great gastronomical options for you. Storia D’Amore offers you love-infused Mediterranean flavors, whereas Platillos Voladores is the best fine-dining experience you will savor in Cali. At Galería Alameda there is diversity for all palates. Ringlete specializes in traditional Valle del Cauca food, Tierra de Todos has the city’s best hamburgers, and you will find the best pizza at Pizzería Carpaneto.
Cali has so much life and soul to offer you. Do not wait any longer to visit this marvelous Colombian universe. It’s warm weather, laid-back attitude, and cultural wealth make it the place to be. We guarantee you will feel like a new and refreshed person after spending your holidays in this heavenly place.