Cali is called “the branch of heaven” for more than one reason. If you are an explorer in search of new adventures, in this city, you can find urban art, spectacular views, jaw-dropping natural spaces, and delicious gastronomy. Read on to learn more!
Here are some basics you need to know about Cali
Cali is a cosmopolitan city located in Valle del Cauca, Colombia. One of its main attractions is the rural landscapes that surround this paradise. The region has a pleasant climate throughout the year, with sunny days combined with divine breezes circulating from the Los Farallones mountain range.
Exploring the natural spaces, art, history, recreational infrastructure and connecting with the warmth of its people is an absolute pleasure! Here is a list of some of the destinations you should visit during your visit to Santiago de Cali.
8 places you’ll love in Santiago de Cali
1. Cerro de las Tres Cruces (The Hill of the Three Crosses)
The Cerro de Las Tres Cruces is the best place to start your journey if you love hiking. We’re not going to lie; the climb can be tricky! But it will all be worth it when you see the sign that welcomes you with a big “mirá vé, llegaste” (look! you made it!).
At the top, you’ll find a monument of three large crosses, as well as stunning views of the city from a height of 1460 meters above sea level. By car is an option, but it is better to go up on foot!
The Cerro de Tres Cruces is located in the center-north of the city. You can climb it from Normandía, near the Gato del Río statue (1.8 kilometers), from Granada (1.4 kilometers), which, like Normandía, has a parking lot, or from Chipichape, the longest route (4.3 kilometers).
2. Las Novias del Gato (Cat’s Girlfriends)
Imagine walking through a city full of cats everywhere… except that they’re not just any cats! They are colorful, bold, and artistic felines that you can find along the boulevard. These are Las Novias del Gato, popularly known as “Las Gatas”:
Cali has a lot of urban sculptures with a lot of history. The process began when a call was made in 2006 for artists to design and then choose the bride for the Gato del Rio, designed by Hernando Tejada.
“Fogata” was chosen as the Cat’s girlfriend, but they decided to leave the others in the neighborhood… And, look, now there are more than 27! Color still fills the city through these sculptures.
3. Cristo Rey (Christ the King statue)
The glory of Cali must be admired, and we know you won’t regret viewing it from the top of the Cristo Rey. It’s a super cool viewpoint and monument from which you can see essential points of the city.
Cristo Rey is located on Cerro Los Cristales, 1,474 meters above sea level. You can get there through a paved road with police surveillance. From there, you can also see the chapel and visit the handicraft and typical food ports. A must-see destination!
4. Río Pance (Pance River)
The Pance River, located in the southwest end of the city, is the most famous in the region to spend a Sunday with family or friends. This is a place where you can let your explorer side come out since it has a trail created for you to fall in love with flora and fauna of the area surrounding the river.
For your comfort, you can bring a camping tent to leave your things inside while you dive into the river. In addition, you can taste the typical food of Cali and the Valley: do you want a sancocho on firewood? or how about some empanadas, a papa rellena, mango biche or some fritangas? You can find all this deliciousness here.
There are many ways to reach Rio Ponce. Take a bus, a bicycle, or an ATV tour, or walk. One of the favorite ways to get there on foot is through Cañas Gordas, and below you can see a map courtesy of viajesescapados.com.
5. Zoologico de Cali (Cali Zoo)
If you love to connect with wildlife, the Cali Zoo is an excellent place to explore. This is an environmental destination that is designed to give you a unique experience of contact with the natural and cultural riches of the city.
The park has approximately 2,500 animals treated with all the care they deserve, which is why the zoo received in March 2016 the accreditation of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. You can see flamingos, llamas, marmosets, Egyptian goose, crowned cranes, Andean condors, giant otters, tigers, and much more.
The Cali Zoo is located in the west of Cali, Carrera 2 oeste calle 14 esquina – Barrio Santa Teresita, and is open daily from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Please note that a vaccination card is required to enter. You can see the complete map here.
6. Museo del Oro Calima (Calima Gold Museum)
This is a genuine exploration through history! Archeology lovers will enjoy the Calima Gold Museum, located in the Cultural Center of the Banco de la República in Cali.
It is an archeological center with at least 615 pre-Hispanic objects of goldwork, stone, ceramics, wood, shell, and other ethnographic pieces that belonged to the societies in the well-known Calima Region.
You can find educational activities for all audiences. Interesting pieces such as texts, illustrations, and photographs that complete the exhibition of the objects are waiting to be discovered by you.
The museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 09:00 to 18:00, Sundays and holidays from 10:00 to 16:00. Admission is $4,000 from Tuesday to Saturday and free on Sundays.
What is your starting point for your trip? Let us know!