Sneha Girap (Editor)


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2.04 million (2005)

564 km2

Sebastian de Belalcazar

Rodrigo Guerrero Velasco

Points of interest
Cali Zoo, Cali Tower, Cristo Rey

Colleges and Universities
University of Valle, Universidad Autonoma de Occidente, ICESI University, Santiago de Cali University

Santiago de Cali , usually known by its short name "Cali", is the capital of the Valle del Cauca department, and the most populous city in Southwestern Colombia, with an estimated 2,319,655 residents according to 2005-2020/DANE population projections. The city spans 560.3 km2 (216.3 sq mi) with 120.9 km2 (46.7 sq mi) of urban area, making Cali the third largest city proper and metropolitan area in population behind Bogota and Medellin and being essentially a low rise city, the second largest city by area in the country, behind Bogota. As the only major Colombian city with access to the Pacific coast, Cali is the main urban and economic centre in Southwestern Colombia, and is one of the fastest growing economies in the country. Cali is also known as the capital of Salsa music. The city was founded on 25 July 1536 by the Spanish conquistador Sebastian de Belalcazar.


Map of Cali

Cali is also a center for sports in Colombia, as the only Colombian city to have hosted the Pan American Games (in 1971). Cali hosted the 1992 World Wrestling Championships, the ninth edition of the World Games in 2013, the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in 2014, and will host the World Youth Championships in Athletics in 2015.

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Cali in the past, History of Cali

Before the arrival of the Spaniards, the region was inhabited by many indigenous tribes, mostly speakers of Cariban languages. In the region between the Cauca River and the Western Cordillera, the Gorrones established themselves between the present day Roldanillo and Santiago de Cali. The biggest town of the Morrones was sited on the River Pescador near the present-day towns of Zarzal and Bugalagrande. The Morrones traded with the Quimbayas who inhabited the north of the Valle del Cauca.

Cali in the past, History of Cali

On his way to Cali, Sebastian de Belalcazar first met the Timbas who ran away before the arrival of the men, leaving behind their towns and gold. After the Timbas, towards the north, the Spaniards entered the territory of the chief Jamundi and his tribe, the Jamundies, between the rivers Pance and Jamundi. This tribe offered a strong resistance to the invaders, fighting with poisonous darts and arrows against the arquebuses and swords of the Spaniards. Eventually, the Spanish prevailed in the struggle over the central valley.

Before taking complete control over the region, the Spaniards had to defeat the chief Petecuy, whose tribe inhabited the area between the river Lili and the Western Cordillera. Petecuy formed a big army with many tribes and fought the Spaniards on Holy Tuesday of 1536. The natives lost to the Spaniards and were divided in encomiendas.

Santiago de Cali was important for Belalcazar because it was outside the Inca empire. After the capture and execution of the Inca Atahualpa at Cajamarca, Francisco Pizarro had sent Belalcazar to take possession of Guayaquil and Quito on his behalf, but Cali, being outside the Quechua empire, was claimed by Belalcazar as his own territory. After his death, his descendants maintained possession of much of the land until the war of independence against Spain.

Geography and climate

Cali Beautiful Landscapes of Cali

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 Calis international airport, the Alfonso Bonilla Aragon (CLO). It is Colombias third largest airport in terms of passengers, transporting 2,667,526 in 2009.


Cali Tourist places in Cali

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 Caicedo, 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.


Cali and Valle del Cauca constitute the third largest economic center of Colombia, being about national and international economic exchange. The City is a must from / to the south and the border with Ecuador, and is connected with the world through the seaport of Buenaventura.

Arts and culture

  • Casa de la cultura Proartes. Since 1871 this house has been a great influence in the culture in Cali. The building was restored on 1991 and it contains exhibition saloons, scenarios and a cinema.
  • Centro cultural de Cali. Its design was under the charge of the famous Colombian architect Rogelio Salmona, who built as well the Torres del Parque in Bogota and several other buildings. Since 1997 it is considered the cultural center in the city and headquarters of the Municipal secretaries of tourism and culture.
  • Museums

  • Museo Arqueologico La Merced
  • Museo Religioso y Colonial de San Francisco
  • Museo del Oro Calima from the Rebublica bank
  • Museo de arte moderno La Tertulia
  • Museo Arqueologico de la Universidad del Valle
  • Museo Departamental de Ciencias Naturales
  • Museo Nacional del Transporte
  • Museo de Arte Religioso
  • Calis Museums guide

    California cuisine

    California cuisine is a style of cuisine marked by an interest in fusion cuisine (integrating disparate cooking styles and ingredients) and in the use of freshly prepared local ingredients.

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    The food is typically prepared with strong attention to presentation. Foods low in saturated fats and high in fresh vegetables and fruits with lean meats and seafood from the California coast often define the style. The term California cuisine arose as a result of culinary movements in the last decades and should not be confused with the traditional foods of California. French cuisine, Italian cuisine, Mexican cuisine, Chinese cuisine, and Japanese cuisine have all influenced Californian fusion cuisine, though this is by no means a complete list of influencing cultures.

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    Alice Waters, who opened Chez Panisse restaurant in 1971 in Berkeley, California, has contributed significantly to the concept of California Cuisine. Wolfgang Puck was also an early pioneer of California cuisine; starting with his work at Patrick Terrail’s Ma Maison, and further work with California-style pizza at Spago and Asian fusion at Chinois on Main. Daniel Patterson, a more modern proponent of the style, emphasizes vegetables and foraged foods while maintaining the traditional emphasis on local foods and presentation.

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    The style was notably parodied in Bret Easton Ellis American Psycho.


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