Theme Week Colombia – Cali

Thursday, 22 June 2023 - 12:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
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Cali as seen from Christo Rey Hills © David Alejandro Rendon/cc-by-sa-3.0

Cali as seen from Christo Rey Hills © David Alejandro Rendon/cc-by-sa-3.0

Santiago de Cali, or Cali, is the capital of the Valle del Cauca department, and the most populous city in southwest Colombia, with 2,227,642 residents according to the 2018 census. The city spans 560.3 km² (216.3 sq mi) with 120.9 km² (46.7 sq mi) of urban area, making Cali the second-largest city in the country by area and the third most populous after Bogota and Medellin. As the only major Colombian city with access to the Pacific Coast, Cali is the main urban and economic center in the south of the country, and has one of Colombia’s fastest-growing economies. The city was founded on 25 July 1536 by the Spanish explorer Sebastian Belalcazar.

Cali is located on the Cauca Valley to the west of the Cauca River and to the east of the Western Mountain Range near the hills known as Farallones de Cali. The city rests approximately 1,000 metres (3,281 feet) above sea level. Approximately 100 kilometres (62 miles) west of Cali and over the Western Cordillera, lies the port city of Buenaventura on the Colombian Pacific coast. To the northeast are the manufacturing center of Yumbo and Cali’s international airport, the Alfonso Bonilla Aragón (CLO). It is Colombia’s third-largest airport in terms of passengers, transporting 2,667,526 in 2009. Santiago de Cali is located in a valley. The city is completely bordered by mountains to the West; the Farallones de Cali mountains are the closest to the city. The Eastern part of the city is bordered by the Cauca River. To the north and south are extended plains. In the first one you can find the industrial city of Yumbo which is part of Cali’s metropolitan area, to the south you can find Jamundí, also part of the metropolitan area. The city is mainly flat, but there are areas mostly to the west that are mountainous, like San Antonio and La loma de la Cruz, which are both tourist sites. There are several rivers that descend from the Western Mountain Range and empty into the Cauca River, passing through the metropolitan area of Cali. In the western part of the city the Aguacatal River flows into the Cali River, which continues on to the Cauca River. In the south the rivers Cañaveralejo, Lilí, and Meléndez flow into the CVC south channel which also empties into the Cauca River. Farther south, the banks of the Pance River are a popular place for recreation and leisure.

Teatro Municipal de Santiago de Cali © Joaquinfranke/cc-by-sa-3.0 Ermita Church © flickr.com - marplar/cc-by-2.0 North Downtown, as seen from Cerro de las Tres Cruces © C arango Plaza de Caycedol © flickr.com - Victor Hugo Hernandez D./cc-by-sa-2.0 Cali as seen from Christo Rey Hills © David Alejandro Rendon/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Alekow/cc-by-sa-3.0
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Cali as seen from Christo Rey Hills © David Alejandro Rendon/cc-by-sa-3.0
Santiago de Cali offers historical areas with cultural variety and other attractions. In downtown Cali there are many historic churches such as La Merced and La Ermita. Cali contains a well-preserved historical center. The most important zone is La plaza de Cayzedo, considered the center of the city, which is a square surrounded by many historical and modern buildings like El edificio Otero, La Catedral and El Palacio de Justicia. This plaza is close to other tourist places, like The Saint Francis church (in Spanish: Iglesia de San Francisco), the municipal theater and La Merced church. The city is also rich in monuments, parks, squares and museums. The most emblematic sculptures are Cristo Rey, located upon a mountain range; Sebastian de Belalcazar, founder of the city; and Las tres Cruces, a place of pilgrimage during the days of the Holy Week. Other tourist attractions are:

  • Plaza de Caicedo: The main square of the city, located in downtown Cali. The plaza is named after Cali’s hero, Joaquín de Caicedo y Cuero.
  • Parque del perro: Located in the San Fernando neighborhood, this is one of the most popular areas in the city. It is full of restaurants and bars. The park gets its name because it has a dog monument in the middle of it.
  • Avenida San Joaquín: Located in the Ciudad Jardín, it is a popular place in the city.
  • Sebastian de Belalcázar’s monument: It is the most visited and popular monument in the city located in the hills overlooking the city. The monument is famous due to its pointing finger which is pointing to the opposite direction of the valley, while its face is looking down at the city.
  • Cali River: The river is located in the west and is surrounded by restaurants, hotels and museums like La Tertulia, an art museum.
  • El Gato del Río: Located next to the river, a sculpture of a cat by Hernando Tejada
  • Cristo Rey: A religious monument located on a hill that offers the best view of the city. It is 31 m high, of which 5 m belong to the base.
  • Boulevard del río Cali: (Colombia Avenue Boulevard) is located by the Cali river side in the historic center of the city of Santiago de Cali, Colombia. It carries the name of the avenue where vehicles used to transit but today is the boulevard where there is a tunnel located directly below it. This boulevard is about 980 meters long.
  • San Antonio: This is the most traditional neighborhood of Cali. In the colonial age, it was the extension of the downtown. Although it was split off by ‘La calle Quinta’ (Fifth street). The entire neighborhood is on a hill, and at the top you will find the San Antonio Park.
  • Juanchito: Host to a large number of night clubs dedicated to salsa music, motels offering hourly rates, and adjacent to some of the poorest areas of the city. Technically, it belongs to another municipality, but is often visited by and associated with citizens of Cali.
  • Farallones de Cali: A part of the city sits on hills belonging to the Colombian western mountain chain. Beyond these hills is Farallones de Cali national park.
  • La Ceiba: A large and old Ceiba tree on a street corner at the west of the city.
  • Orquideorama Enrique Perez Arbeláez: This wooded park, at AV 2 N #48-10, is the site of the large orchid show hosted each fall by Asociacion Vallecaucana de Orquideologia. In 2011, the show was to be held from 21 to 25 September and was to include international judging by the American Orchid Society. It is also a good place for birdwatching.
  • Cerro de las Tres Cruces: The Three Crosses monument sits at 1,480 m above sea level and is located in the NW part of the city. The central cross is the largest sitting at 26 m tall and 11 m wide. The two crosses besides the main cross have a height of 22 m and a width of 8 m. Visitors are known to hike the mountain and can enjoy the view of the city, a freshly squeezed orange/carrot juice, and an outdoor gym before hiking back down.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on Colombia.travel – Cali, Wikivoyage Cali and Wikipedia Cali. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.






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