Santiago de Cali, or simply Cali, is Colombia’s third most populous city, and capital of the Valle del Cauca department. It is located southwest of Bogota, which is about an hour away by plane. On a clear day the farrallones de Cali that border the city to the west offer a truly picturesque skyline. Approximately 2.4 million people live here.
Cali is characterized by excellent summer-like weather (minus the humidity) which lends itself to open-air everything – restaurants, malls and apartment complexes. Sports enthusiasts will find just any sport they can imagine – including hockey!
Cali’s easy access to the Pacific coast means you can hop on any of the many buses to the port city of Buenaventura and surrounding beaches for whale watching or lounging. It also means that Cali is heavily influenced by Pacifico culture, known for delicious seafood, melodious marimba music and various other rich African-descended traditions.
Besides its unique culture and warm people, one of the things travellers most enjoy about Cali is its low cost of living. It is common to find full meals for under $5.00 USD, and $300 USD a month can land you a one-bedroom apartment in one of Cali’s more expensive neighbourhoods.