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Valle del Cauca
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About Location

Cali is a city in western Colombia and the capital of the Valle del Cauca Department.With a population of 2.5 million Cali is the second largest city in the country.It has one of the fastest growing economies and infrastructure in the country because of its geographical location.The city was founded on July 25, 1536 by the Spanish conquistador Sebastian de Belalcazar.

Cali is the shortened form of the official name of the city Santiago de Cali.The first part of the full name honours Saint James the apostle (Santiago in Spanish) whose feast day is celebrated on July 25.The origin of the word "Cali" comes from the local native Indian tribe the "Calima" or "Calimas" descendants of the "Chibcha" tribe.Others believe that the word "Cali" has Quechua origin and it was brought by the Yanaconas Indians that came from Quito serving Sebastian de Belalcazar.This theory is related to the fact that near Quito there is an indigenous town named Calacali.

The city was surrounded by mango plantations, pastures and communal lands that were transferred from the Spanish Crown to the impoverished class. From the market gardens on these lends the city was supplied in food resources. The economy was based mainly on livestock, sugar cane, beef, panela (jaggery), a sugar derivative, cheese and the gold mines from the Pacific; there was also a small growing industrialization sector of the economy.

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 3,280 ft. above sea level and its topography is fairly flat. Approximately 100 km west of Cali and over the Western Cordillera, lies the port city of Buenaventura on the Colombian Pacific coast; to the northeast are the industrial town of Yumbo and the city of Palmira,where Cali's international airport, the Alfonso Bonilla Aragón (CLO), is located in Palmira, Colombia. It is Colombia's third largest airport in terms of passengers, transporting 2,667,526 in 2009.

How to Reach

By Air

Alfonso Bonilla Aragón International Airport (IATA: CLO, ICAO: SKCL), located in the City of Palmira.It is Colombia's second largest airport in terms of passengers transporting (2,171,551 in 2006) and 4th in cargo.Alfonso Bonilla Aragón is located in a long, narrow valley that runs from north to south, and is surrounded by mountains up to 14,000 feet (4,000 m) high.The airport is connected to the city by a highway known as the "recta a Palmira", that in the last few years has been upgraded to make it a more accessible airport to Cali and the surrounding city centers in the region.The airport has also has been remodeled recently, some of the last significant events in those terms were the inauguration of the VIP room in the National terminal and the installation of a main electronic screen in the center of the check-in area.

By Bus

Cali is served by over 20 coach companies which gather in the Bus Central Station.The Station is centrally located nearby to the old-idle train station, which serves now as Metrocali's headquarters. Depending on the company and the destination, the vehicles range from minibuses to large coaches.Recently, in their last float renovation wave, Colombian coaches operators have opted for Brazil's Marcopolo buses.Informal stops exists for the short destination rides all alongside the way from Central Station to the town of destination. In some cases, is enough for a passenger asking to get off the bus for the bus to stop.

A massive transit system; M.I.O is based on the transportation model that consist in the use of articulated buses that runs through dedicated bus lanes running down the middle of major thoroughfares.MIO bus stations are locate in the middle of the thoroughfare, and are connected with sidewalks by dedicated pedestrian crossings or bridges.The system layout is 243 kilometers and is distributed in a main trunk, pre-trunk and complementary corridors.The system also integrated the renovation and recuperation of the public space.The MIO system was not only designed for the public transport, but built for public use with extensive new sidewalks, parks, gardens and public squares for the public to enjoy.

Key places to visit
Plaza de Cayzedo, Parque del perro, Sebastian de Belalcazar's monument, Juanchito, San Antonio, Farallones de Cali, Cali River, Cristo Rey


Places to Visit

Plaza de Cayzedo

The main square of the city, located in downtown Cali.The plaza is named after Cali's hero,Joaquin de Cayzedo y Cuero.

Parque del perro

Located in the San Fernando neighborhood, this is one of the most popular areas in the city, full of restaurants and bars.If you want to party or just have a nice dinner, then this is the place for you.The park gets its name because it has a dog monument in the middle of it.

Sebastian de Belalcazar'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 point to the opposite direction of the valley, while its face is looking down at the city.


Although many would prefer to keep it away of the list, Juanchito has made fame.This zone of Cali (which actually belongs to another municipality) might have had the largest number of discotheques and clubs of the country.It all started on the sixties, when Salsa began winning caleños hearts. Some did not like the idea of insinuating dances, but for the majority it became a cult. And Juanchito their temple.To get there, calenos must pass a bridge over the Cauca river.A simple action that has been immortalized by the music, Salsa of course.

San Antonio

It 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), it conserves its traditional aura which makes a inevitable step on the visit. All the neighborhood is on a hill, and at the top you will find the San Antonio Park.

Farallones de Cali

A part of the city seats on hills belonging to the Colombian western chain mountain.Beyond these hills there is a full new world,which is protected by the Colombian government.It is the Farallones de Cali national park. Although Caleños have not yet fully discovered it, in the recent years it has boomed as a touristic destination for a full range of different people; adventurists to escalate, walk, paragliding; naturists for its natural and life environments; or simply for those looking for 'cold' weather minutes away of urban areas.

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