Oct 29

Travel to Colombia – Calima Lake, it’s not just a lake

Calima Lake

“Calima is just a lake,” one very ill-informed friend once told me.

“Just a lake? Just a lake!?” I said, in horror.

Oh no, Calima Lake is more than just a lake – it’s one of the largest man-made lakes in Colombia, it is a lux vacation spot, a great place for kite surfing and other water sports AND it is part of a hydroelectric plant created to generate power for the whole department of Valle de Cauca.

Calima Lake
Calima Lake

And it’s gorgeous. Just a lake? I don’t think so, dear friend.

On the banks of Calima, staggered up the hillside which surrounds it, are Euro-style chalets, small hotels and cozy cottages with inviting swimming pools. Calima is a destination and a pretty shwanky one at that.  But if you want to rough it a bit you can camp on the banks of the lake, eating obleas with the locals.

Chowing on an Oblea
Chowing on Obleas

Calima Lake is about three hours from Cali and the scenery along the trip is apparently stunning. Unfortunately, I’d had a big week and saw the drive as an opportunity to catch up on some Zs. Fail.

Just gorgeous, catching some Zs on the way to Calima
What a stunner – catching some Zs on the way to Calima

But I made up for missing out on the scenery on the way there with some gorgeous landscapes as we arrived.

People pulled up along the sides of the road in their cars to take snapshots of the immensity and beauty of the lake, the quaint buildings, the waterfall that trickles along the side of the mountain.

A Portuguese friend who I was travelling with commented, “This is a world-class destination.”

He sounded surprised, too surprised I would say.

“I was not expecting this.”

He’d only been in Colombia for a week though, so we’ll forgive him just this once.

It was pretty chilly on the day we visited Calima Lake so there was no chance any of us were going kite surfing, or going anywhere near the water for that matter. But if you have a couple of lazy hours to burn, head along to the ferry. It is gorgeous at sunset.

Watching the sunset, Calima Lake
Watching the sunset, Calima Lake

When you’re done at Calima Lake for the afternoon head to the closest town Darién. Here there are more hotels, a quiet square full of restaurants and day trippers and small shops with artisan goods and grilled food.

Another beautiful view of Calima Lake
Another beautiful view of Calima Lake

Calima lake, just a lake? I don’t think so. More like a world-class destination hidden in the hills of Colombia.




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One thought on “Travel to Colombia – Calima Lake, it’s not just a lake

    Maricela on

    Totally agree, world-class destination!!


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