Three days in Cali allows you to explore Colombia’s third-largest city at a relaxed pace and see the surrounding countryside. Master the art of salsa dancing, admire colonial architecture, get your nature fix in a cloud forest or coffee plantation, and sample local life through markets and food. Here’s how to see Cali in three days.
Day 1: Sights and Salsa
Devote day one to the essential Cali experience, which involves sightseeing and salsa dancing. Get your bearings on either a walking or bus tour that provides an introduction to Cali for first-time visitors. Tours tend to cover top Cali attractions such as the National Palace, Plaza Caicedo, and San Antonio Church and Museum.
Then, dive straight into dancing with a salsa lesson in the salsa capital of the world. Choose between a shared or private lesson and upgrade to include a traditional Colombian meal and an admission ticket to a salsa performance. Top off the evening with a visit to the nightlife district of Sixth Avenue, where you find a plethora of salsa clubs and bars that stay open until the early hours.
Day 2: Escape the City
Spend your second day exploring the historic and natural highlights within driving distance of Cali. Better known as the Ciudad Blanca (White City), Popayán is among Colombia’s best preserved colonial cities and is home to one of the country’s oldest and most prestigious universities, which counts 16 Colombian presidents among its alumni. Day trips here prove ideal for history buffs and typically include round-trip transfers and lunch.
Another popular day trip option is Salento, Colombia’s coffee country. The region, which is also home to the giant palms of Cocora Valley (Valle de Cocora), is comprised of lush coffee plantations and can be visited as part of a day trip or a 2-day tour, most of which include accommodation and transport by minivan.
Day 3: Nature and Culture
Dedicate your final day to enjoying Cali’s culture and nature. Kick-start your morning with a trip to the city’s top shopping spots including Parque Artesanal Loma de la Cruz, home to artisan shops and vendors; Alameda Market, where local Colombian dishes are in abundance; and Chipichape mall, one of the largest in the region.
In the afternoon, choose between going birdwatching in a cloud forest, admiring native flora and fauna at Cali Zoo, or getting views of the city from high above on a paragliding experience. Then, once the sun sets, embark on a night tour of Cali, which provides a safe way to travel between sights at night. Tours typically include the bohemian neighborhood of San Antonio, the gastronomic district of Granada, the nightlife hub of Sixth Avenue, and Sebastián de Belalcázar hilltop.