Cali is known in Colombia as the capital of fiestas, street partying, dancing, and salsa as Cali’s Salsa Clubs are among the most famous in the entire continent. Among many other things, the people from Cali have developed a playful and hedonistic culture in harmony with the natural surroundings and country life.
Cali is a great place for tourism and leisure. The capital of the department of Valle del Cauca has become a mecca for tourism thanks to the beauty of its women, its historical sites, and a multitude of spots for day and night entertainment. Cali is one of the major economic and industrial centers of the country, and the main urban, economic, industrial, and agrarian city of southwest Colombia.
On Sundays, the calenos worship rivers. They go en masse to bathe in the cool streams and rivers that flow down the hills, the favorite being the Pance river. The daring walk upstream to the campgrounds of the Fundacion Farallones, where guides are always ready to tour the park with visitors. Lodging is available for extended stays in the park.
The climate of Cali is equatorial tropical hot. The west branch of the Andes blocks the cool, humid air coming from the Pacific Ocean. Average temperature is 26 C (79 F), with an average low of 19 C (66 F) and an average high of 34 C (93 F). The dry seasons go from December to March and from July to August; the rainy season go from April to June and September to November.
In the evening, the devotion turns to dancing. In Juanchito, Cali’s Salsa hotspot, humble mulatto floorboards have become dance-o-dromes, where tourists and locals come together to dance until dawn. The climax occurs during the Feria de la Caa and the Bullfighting Season, at the beginning of the year.
Cultural activities flourish around centers like the Instituto Departamental de Arte y Cultura, the Instituto Popular de Cultura, the Teatro Municipal, the Museo de Arte Moderno La Tertulia, the Sala Beethoven, the Escuela Departamental de Teatro, and the Universidad del Valle.
The traditional cuisine of Cali and the department of Valle del Cauca can be easily identified. It is a fusion of the region’s Spanish, Quechua, and African heritage with the culinary secrets of Antioquia. Favorites are the sancocho de gallina (hen stew), arroz atollado (pork sausage, beef ribs, and oxtail in a rice stew), tortilla soup, aborrajado (ripe plantain with melted cheese), toasted green plantain with hogao (a stir-fry of onions and tomatoes), and tamales. Sugarcane plantations inspired a variety of desserts such as cookies, manjar blanco, gelatina de pata (cows hoof gelatin with molasses), coconut sweets and champs, a beverage made from corn, the pulp of the lulo fruit, pieces of pineapple, cinnamon, and brown sugar syrup.