Where to stay in Cali – A guide to the capital of salsa
Cali is the capital of the Colombian department of Valle del Cauca and the third-largest city in Colombia, after Bogota and Medellín.
It is located in the southern region of the Cauca Valley, between the western mountain range and the central mountain range of the Andean region.
Cali is one of the main economic and industrial centers of Colombia. The capital of Cauca is also the main urban, cultural and economic center of the southwest of the country and the third of Colombia.
The capital of Valle del Cauca is considered the main sports center of Colombia and is famous as “world capital of salsa”.
The foundation of Cali dates back to July 25, 1536, which makes it one of the oldest European founding cities in America.
Cali’s climate is hot and dry, with an average temperature of 24ºC (74ºF). The dry seasons are from December to February and from July to August, while the rainy season is from March to May and from September to November.
Public transport in Cali is dominated by the Massive Integrated of the West (known as MIO because of its name in Spanish), an integrated system of mass transport that consists of articulated buses that travel by means of exclusive lanes. This system is complemented by cable cars, traditional buses and private transportation (taxi and mobile applications).
San Antonio and San Cayetano are two of the best areas to stay in Cali due to its lively nightlife and culture (See accommodation in Cali).
Here’s a guide with the best areas to stay in Cali, Colombia.
The best areas to stay in Cali, Colombia
1. El Peñón, San Antonio & San Cayetano
El Peñón, San Antonio and San Cayetano are three small historic neighborhoods located west of downtown Cali.
This area of the upper middle class is considered one of the best neighborhoods for nightlife in the city.
The west of Cali stands out as one of the most attractive areas with the best quality of life. El Peñón, San Antonio and San Cayetano are the favorite areas for foreign residents to live, go out and shop.
This area, endowed with small parks, excellent restaurants, some bars, a central location, and walkable distances, has become one of the favorite places for residents and visitors of Cali.
San Antonio & amp; San Cayetano mix historic charm with modern infrastructure and lots of small and international chains of hotels.
Some of the attractions of this area include the Museum of Contemporary Art of La Tertulia, the small church of San Antonio or the park of the Hill of San Antonio with its open-air theater and its views of the city.
El Peñón, San Antonio and San Cayetano are well connected through MIO with the rest of the city.
Accommodation in this area
Hotel Puerta de San Antonio
Located 200 meters from San Antonio Park, this hotel has a restaurant that serves Mediterranean dishes, a bar and a hot tub with sauna and steam bath.
Tostaky is located in Cali and features a terrace, a shared lounge and a bar. The property is approximately 1 km from Saint Peter’s Cathedral and 1.2 km from Jorge Isaacs Theater. Free WiFi access is available.
Hotel Intercontinental Cali
Hotel Intercontinental offers beautiful rooms decorated in golden and peach tones and with free Wi-Fi. It is located in downtown Cali, 12 km from Alfonso Bonilla Aragón Airport. The property has a swimming pool and gym.
2. San Fernando & Parque del Perro
A little further south of San Cayetano is the also famous district of San Fernando and the popular Parque del Perro (Dog’s Park), one of the gastronomic and nightlife areas of the city of Cali.
Around the Dog’s Park are some of the busiest bars and restaurants in the city, frequented mainly by college students, which gives a young and bohemian vibe to the area.
Like San Cayetano, San Antonio and El Peñón, the area of San Fernando and its surroundings are safe areas to stay in Cali.
In the nearby street 5, one of the north-south arteries of the city, there are several lines of MIO.
San Fernando is an area of small and cheap hotels, with some boutique-type options.
This is one of the best areas to stay in Cali thanks to its cheap accommodation and its wide gastronomic offer.
Accommodation in this area
Hotel Parque del Perro
Hotel Parque del Perro is located in Cali, 700 meters from the Pan-American Park, and features a garden. The establishment is close to the Perro Park, the library and the Jorge Garcés Borrero artisan park.
Miguel´s House Cali Apartamento
Miguel’s House Cali is 1.1 km from Pan-American Park and offers free WiFi. Some units have a balcony and/or patio.
Hotel Torre del Viento
Located in the historic area of San Fernando, full of shops and restaurants, this property is located south of Cali. It offers rooms with free Wi-Fi, a swimming pool and table tennis.
3. Versalles, Granada & Juanambú
The neighborhoods of Versailles, Granada & amp; Juanambú are located north of the Cali River, in the northwestern part of the city.
It is an area of mixed-use, with both upper and medium-high class.
Versailles, the area located further north, is full of tall office and residential buildings.
Granada offers a wide variety of luxury restaurants, bars, and hotels.
This area is also one of the best gastronomic districts of Cali.
To the south and west of Granada are Centenario and Juanambú, two of the most pleasant residential neighborhoods, with few attractions for the foreign visitor, but a short distance from the west and north of the city.
Versailles, Granada, and Juanambú are considered safe areas to stay in Cali, but it is advisable to use the taxi at night.
These neighborhoods are connected through the MIO system.
Accommodation in this area
Travelers Suites Juanambú
Travelers Apartasuites Juanambú is a 10-minute drive from the Valle del Pacífico events center and offers free Wi-Fi and a hot tub.
Hotel Granada Real
Located in the Granada district of Cali, this hotel offers comfortable rooms with free Wi-Fi. It serves an American breakfast daily and is a 10-minute walk from Versailles Park.
Four Points Sheraton Cali
Four Points is a modern hotel located in the north of Cali, 19 km from Alfonso Bonilla Airport. It offers 2 restaurants and free Wi-Fi throughout.
4. Cali’s Historic Center
The historic center of Cali is the birthplace of the city and there are some of the most representative monuments of the capital of Santander.
Cali was founded in 1536 and developed around what is now the Templo de la Merced.
Much of the colonial architecture of the city has been demolished with the passage of time, being replaced by mixed-use buildings. However, some of the squares and corners of the Historic Center still retain part of the flavor of the Cali of yesteryear.
Some of the attractions of this historic neighborhood include the La Ermita Church, the Ortíz Bridge, the Poets Park, the Coltabaco Building, the San Pedro Cathedral, the National Palace or the Enrique Buenaventura Municipal Theater.
As it is common in many Latin American cities, the historic center or downtown is a busy place of commerce during the day, but at night it is not advisable to walk through its streets, particularly in dark or solitary places.
The western part of this area, near San Antonio, host most of the quality accommodation in the historic center.
Accommodation in this area
Casa Vintage Centenario
Casa Vintage Centenario is located in Cali, 90 meters from San Pedro Cathedral and 300 meters from Jorge Isaacs Theater. It offers accommodation with free Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV and a kitchen.
Hotel Farallones Cali
Hotel Farallones Cali is conveniently located in the center of Cali, 300 meters from Caicedo Square and 10 minutes’ drive from the Olympic Stadium. It offers free Wi-Fi and rooms with a private bathroom.
Hotel Faranda Cali Collection
Offering a fitness center and terrace, Hotel Faranda Cali Collection is located in Cali, 400 meters from Saint Peter’s Cathedral. The property has a restaurant and a bar. There is free Wi-Fi.
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