What to do in Cali

A bit of context: City of salsa – a bit crazy and not much to see 

Places to visit:

–       Cerro de Las 3 Cruces – can walk/ run up from San Antonio. Considered safe (I did it alone but there were lots of other people walking as well. Plus there is police presence). At the top there are juice stalls and an open air gym. An approx. 3hr roundtrip.

–       San Antonio Park in the early evening is fun to relax in

–       Petronio Alvarez festival in early August – absolutely incredible. It’s a music and culture festival dedicated to the Pacific Coast Afrobeat music. Stay with Kingbird Hostel and you’ll find yourself at the party

–       Los gatos – Cali is famous for this…not sure why – a bunch of cat statues alongside the river that make for a good excuse for a stroll along there.


Salsa classes:

–       Salsa Pura school in San Antonio was great – small groups and individual lesson options

–       Went to Manicero for a group class – big class and hard to see instructors.  Maybe alright once you know a bit, but not good for beginners (I learnt the hard way)


San Antonio

–       El Buen Alimento: a veggie place with 3 course meal for COP 10k ($3).

–       Tostaky Hostel has nice international food.

–       Pita Majita: nice Turkish food

–       Lengua de Mariposa: artesenal icecream with bizarre flavours

–       The arepa and kebab street food under the bridge on Calle 5, just the other side of the road from Kingbird Hostel was amazing!

–       Try Guarapo: refreshing sugar cane lemon drink – scrumptious


I loved where I stayed, Kingbird Hostel (Cra. 10 #486, Cali) – homely and easy to travel around from there.


Taxis – better to call them (your hostel can help), hailing not considered secure

Buses operate up and down the main streets

I didn’t manage to do these but these trips from Cali came recommended

–       Day trip to Rio Parce – there are local buses that go up there

–       Lago Calima for kitesurf a few hours away (so to go for a few days) – didn’t go there but nearly did

–       Apparently no point doing a tour of the city as not much to see



For the full collection of notes I collected while exploring Colombia, head to Over to you: Tips for Travel in Colombia 

(Includes Santa Marta, Tayrona National Park, Ciudad Perdida (Lost City) Trek, Cartagena, Bogotá, Medellín, Cali, Isla Providencia, The Coffee Region, La Guajira and great Colombian music, books and festivals to aim for)

Hope you enjoy!! Please do share with anyone you think might find them useful.


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