Tuluá (pronounced /toolu-wA/ ) is a city located in the heart of the Cauca Valley, Colombia Valle del Cauca, Colombia. A major industrial and commercial center, it is the region's fourth largest city after Cali, the department capital, Buenaventura and Palmira. Founded around 1741 by Juan de Lemos y Aguirre, it has a population of approximately 200,000 inhabitants. It is also known as the Corazón del Valle (meaning 'The Heart of Valle'), as La Villa de Céspedes ('Town of Céspedes', named after the naturalist Juan María Céspedes) and Tierra Fácil ('Easy Land' in the native language).
It is well known throughout Colombia and many parts of South America as a major center of salsa dancing.
The Tuluá River runs through Tuluá's urban area. The city is located 269 miles from Bogotá, the capital of Colombia, 63 miles northeast of Cali and 108 miles from the important harbor city Buenaventura, Colombia, which is situated on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. Although it covers a relatively small urban area, Tuluá's metropolitan area is comparatively big. The city lies between the two westernmost Cordilleras of Colombia, about 50 miles east of the Pacific Ocean port of Buenaventura.
Located just three degrees north of the equator, the weather in Tuluá is very tropical, with hot, sunny days punctuated by intense storms. Temperatures average 28 degrees Celsius and above. The nights are cool, though. Thanks to the diverse climate, a lot of different vegetables and fruit can be grown in Tuluá.
Crime is a big problem in Tuluá. According to press reports there have been several massacres in the city in 2010 and 2011, with gunmen using automatic rifles to fire indiscriminately at crowds of people. The surge in murders is allegedly due to rivaling paramilitary gangs Los Urabeños and Los Rastrojos fighting for control of the city's lucrative drug trade.
The University of Valle has a branch campus in Tuluá. The main campus is based in Cali, the department's capital. The UCEVA (Central University of the Valley of Cauca) have his main campus in the city.
The closest airport is Cali's international airport, which in fact is in Palmira, Alfonso Bonilla Aragón International Airport (CLO) or Palmaseca. Nine airlines provide service for the airport, including American Airlines, AeroRepública and Avianca, Colombia's largest airline. Tuluá also has a regional airport, Heriberto Gíl Martínez Airport (ULQ).
Botanical garden (Jardin Botánico) called Juan María Céspedes in Mateguadua Village. Chillicote Lake is famous for its herons. The soccer stadium 12 de Octubre has a capacity of 17,000. It is used by the local soccer team Cortuluá, which plays in the Colombian first division.
The Tuluá Festival (Feria de Tuluá) takes place every June in the second or third week. Music plays an important role with bands, artists and singers performing. A music performance is held every night.
There is a variety of menus and typical meals at very low cost in Tuluá. Some famous beverages are the Chicha de maíz, Masato and Champús. Typical foods include "Sancocho", "Marranitas", "Empanadas", "Arepas con todo", "Arepa de choclo", "Pandebono", "Tamal", etc. This includes such desserts as "Manjarblanco", "Natilla" and "Trasnochado" (maize, cheese, yucca and arracacha).Faustino Hernán Asprilla, soccer player
Gustavo Álvarez Gardeazábal, writer
Poncho Rentería, journalist
Diego Salazar, Olympic medal winner
Alberto Galeano, physician
Carlos Hernan Penilla, soccer player
Carlos Alzate, professional cyclist