You cannot travel to Cali without getting your salsa on. Cali is the Salsa capital of the WORLD, there are dance schools throughout town one of which is owned by World Champions Swing Latino (Carrera 24 N° 28-47, Cali)
Salsa dancing is a must in Cali, whether or not you can move and shake with the best of them head to Kukaramakara, Titirifue, Tin Tin Deo or any other Salsateca to get your hips shaking. Or if you want some classic salsa head over to Juanchito.
2. Get your nails done
Cali is all about colour, the clothing, shoes, the jewellery – but it doesn’t stop there – oh no, the nails are colourful too! Spend a couple hours at a peluqueria and get your nails did! While you’re there, get a pedi, your hair washed and straightened and you’ll feel like a new woman (or man!).
I may need to invest into a new wardrobe after my visit to Cali, the food is delish, but it’s mostly fried so be prepared to stack on some kilos. Try the Empanaditas at Obelisco across the road from Museo de la Tertulia then spend the afternoon in a cafe in San Antonio munching on Marranitos, Aborrajadoand Pandebono.
4. Cry into your cocktail at Kabaret
There’s this genre of music called Musica para Planchar, which means music to iron to and I’m told that it’s music that mums and housekeepers listen to while they iron. It’s sad and about being broken hearted and the torments of love and loss. Kabaret just plays Musica para Planchar and groups of friends spend the whole night drinking and singing, reminiscing of loves lost. There are huge TVs with the film clips playing all night and they are hilarious – think guys with moustaches with romantic facial expressions and longing eyes.
5. Cali Zoologico
I spent a good few hours at the Cali Zoo and while there are some animals look like they should be out running and flying out in the wild, it is a good opportunity to see some native animal life. There are bears, lions, a butterfly house, an aviary and flamingos!!!
6. San Antonio
San Antonio is the historic side of Cali, there are narrow streets lined by colonial-style buildings. There is a park with the famous San Antonio Church and a gorgeous view of the city which is even more beautiful by night. Visit Macondo Cafe for a coffee or hot chocolate then meander down San Antonio’s windy streets.
7. Walking around the city
The streets of Cali are wide and lined with trees and perfect for a good stroll. Walk along the river and pass by El Gato del Rio then make your way to the Museo de la Tertulia – which is a museum that also shows films throughout the week.
I’m not just talking alcohol, although that is probably a must too, but there are a whole host of tasty drinks to try in Cali including Luladas, Champus and other refreshing juices. Perfect for those balmy Cali days.
9. Catch the Mio
This is Cali’s bus system, it’s cheap and a great way to see the city. Hop on one and ride around until you’re done with your unofficial bus tour around town.
10. Miss your flight and stay longer
Why not have a big weekend of partying and then miss your flight so you can enjoy Cali for an extra day? Ok, it was completely unintentional but totally worth it!