The vibrant capital of Valle del Cauca has a myriad of attractions to keep visitors entertained, but with just 3 days in Cali, you’ll need to plan your trip carefully to fit it all in.
Day 1: Take a walking tour
Cali’s small center means it’s easy to get around on foot and a good place to start a walking tour of the city is the central Plaza Caicedo, home to the grand National Palace and the Metropolitan Cathedral. From here it’s a short walk to landmark sights like the riverfront Cat Park (Parque del Gato), the La Tertulia modern art museum and the richly decorated Gothic church, La Ermita.
Head west to the bohemian district of San Antonio for lunch, where you’ll find the city’s largest choice of cafes and restaurants, then spend the afternoon taking in the views from the hilltop San Antonio Church and browsing the neighbourhood’s many shops, market stalls and galleries.
Day 2: A pilgrimage to Buga
Escape the city for a scenic drive through the sugarcane and coffee plantations of Valle del Cauca, stopping off at the idyllic Hacienda el Paraíso, one-time home of Colombian writer Jorge Isaacs. Next, continue to the charming colonial town of Buga, where you can pay a visit to the Basilica del Señor de los Milagros (Basilica of the Lord of Miracles) to view the famous Sacred Heart of Jesus statue, or explore the surrounding countryside with a hike in the Laguna de Sonso Natural Park or a dip in the natural pools of the Los Pailones waterfalls.
Day 3: Get a view of the city
Make an early start and take a hike to one of Cali’s most memorable lookout points—either the mountaintop Cristo Rey statue, Cali’s version of Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer, or the hilltop Cerro de las Tres Cruces, a trio of giant crosses overlooking the city. Alternatively, take a taxi to the Sebastian de Belalcázar Statue, where you can enjoy an equally impressive view without the steep climb.
Spend your final evening discovering why Cali is known as the World Capital of Salsa, by checking out one of the many local salsa clubs or enrolling in a class and learning a few moves to impress your friends back home.