A short walk from the central Plaza Caicedo, Barrio San Antonio is the historic heart of Cali, a lively neighborhood lined with elegant colonial houses and overlooked by the hilltop San Antonio Church. This is not only Cali’s oldest district, but its most bohemian and the streets of San Antonio are a jumble of cosy cafes and gourmet restaurants, art galleries and street art installations, local designer boutiques and market stalls, and dance clubs blasting out salsa until the early hours.
19th-century Colombian writer Jorge Isaacs was San Antonio’s most famous former resident and today the neighborhood remains a creative hub, home to many of the city’s artists, writers, photographers and designers. Once you’ve strolled around the colorful shops and galleries, watched the musicians and cuenteros (story tellers) in the hillside park, and learnt a few steps of Colombian salsa, be sure to stick around for dinner – San Antonio is also the gastronomic center of Cali and boasts the city’s best selection of restaurants and traditional cuisine.
The neighborhood of San Antonio is located just west of downtown Cali, about 10 minutes’ walk from Plaza Caicedo.