12 Best Things to Do in Cali, Colombia

|   Last Updated on March 10, 2023

If you are looking to experience a culturally rich, vibrant and exciting city, then why not consider Cali in Colombia. This city is popular with tourists and there is plenty for visitors to see and do here.

If this is a place you are thinking about going, it will be worth your while getting to know some of the interesting activities which are available to you here. In this article, we have created a list of all the best things to do during you stay in Cali, so that you can simply enjoy your holiday.

The city, known as Cali, has a full name of Santiago de Cali and is the largest and most populated in the Southwest area of Colombia. It is the capital of the region known as the Valle de Cauca. Overall, it is the second biggest city in all of the country, second to the capital Bogota.

Cali is famed for being the main economic centre due to its access to the Pacific ocean and has been a thriving city since the 1500’s when it was originally founded. One of it’s other traits, making it famous across the globe is its connection to sports, the city has played host to many sporting events over the years and continues to do so.

One of the major concerns of tourists when visiting Colombia is whether or not it is safe, however Cali has been said to be one of the safest cities for tourists in the entire country, making it one of the favorites.

1. La Ermita Church

For those who have a connection to their spirituality or even for those who simple appreciate stunning architecture, the La Ermita church in Cali is a must see.

This beautiful Gothic church has seen many restorations over the years especially after an earthquake in 1925 when it was almost completely destroyed. However, the original style has been preserved giving visitors the opportunity to explore the detailed white exterior which really brings this building into its own.

2. Cali Zoo

View of Pink Flamingos bending down to take a drink at the Cali Zoo.
Pink Flamingos bending down to take a drink at the Cali Zoo. Courtesy of Deposit Photos

A trip to the city zoo in Cali will certainly bring delight to all members of the family, especially the young ones. There are a huge variety of both native species and those from all around the world, such as the tapir, lions, a great range of crabs and snakes, amongst others.

The zoo has various conservation and preservation programs and invites its guests to learn more and get involved. Animals aside, there are a great selection of other activities here such as arts and crafts and a behind the scenes tour.

3. La Tertulia Museum

This museum proudly displays a brilliant collection of modern art and has an impressive display of works from Colombian artists as well as those from North America.

If you are travelling with kids then perhaps they might be interested in taking the art workshop especially designed for the younger members of the family. The 300 works of art are spread out over the three buildings which make up the museum.

4. Caliwood Museum

If you have an interest in film then why not think about visiting the Caliwood museum which is filled with displays and exhibitions related to the movies and cinema. There are guided tours available or guests can browse the collection at their own leisure. One of the most notable parts of the tour is the great array of movie making equipment which is displayed here.

5. Ecopark Rio Pance

At the ecopark Rio Pance, ecotourism is the main priority. This wonderful venue offers a wide range of activities, many of which take place on the river which runs through the location. There are ample opportunities to take part in various water sports such as rafting.

There are some gorgeous views here and the scenery is exceptional so makes for an ideal place to relax and watch the action, should you prefer. There are also some great hiking trails in the area if this is more your scene.

6. River View Park

This park is more than just a green space. Visitors to river view park will find a great selection of rides which are fun for people of all ages, making this a great place to go with the kids. There is also a wealth of food stalls and dining experiences that will appeal to all tastes.

Throughout the year there are various events being held here so it is worth checking out on the website as to what is currently going on. This one is certainly going to be a fun day out for all the family.

7. Cali Botanical Gardens

It is a regular activity when visiting many cities, to see the botanical gardens and whilst the one in Cali is relatively small that doesn’t mean to say that it doesn’t pack a punch when it comes to the plant life that can be seen here. There are a great selection of trees and plants here and one of the most interesting things about the garden is the large variety of butterfly species that call this place home.

If you want to get back to nature even more then there is a fresh juice stand in the gardens for a refreshing, natural beverage.

8. St. Peter the Apostle Cathedral

St Peter the apostle is the main cathedral in the city of Cali and really shows off the architectural heritage of the city. The cathedral was built all the way back in 1772 and has since been named as a national monument. There are regular services still going on here and visitors to the city are warmly welcomed to any of these.

9. El Gato del Rio

View of the iconic bronze El Gato statue located in a public park.
The iconic bronze El Gato statue located in a public park. Courtesy of Deposit Photos

Following on from the art museum, we stay along the same theme, with a sculpture. This impressive bronze sculpture of a cat was created in 1996 by a guy called Hernando Tejada.

It is an extremely famous landmark and meeting place for locals. The sculpture sits beside the river in a prominent location with attractive surroundings.

10. Platillos Voladores

This restaurant is famed in the local area for its brilliant selection of delicious cocktails. Aside from the refreshing drinks on offer, the restaurant offers a cosy and friendly dining room where patrons can sample one of the many items from the varied menu.

There are many excellent places to eat whilst in Cali, but the Platillos Voladores is one of our favorites.

11. La Topa Tolondra Nightclub

Are you looking for an entertaining and exciting evening out during your Cali stay? If so, then La topa tolondra nightclub will serve you well. There is a good variety of live music here and guests are invited to take part in the salsa dancing which is so popular in this country.

There is a very good cocktail menu here with a great variety which makes the perfect addition to this lively club.

12. Comfandi Cultural Center

For those who are looking for a little sprinkle of culture during their trip, the Comfandi centre offers it in bucket loads. At the venue, guests will find a range of activities including a theatre and an art gallery for casual browsing of the collection.

There are various different educational events which take place throughout the annual calendar here and details can be found on the website prior to attending.


Cali is a city which has so much to offer. Whether you like culture and history or sports and outdoor activities, there is something for everyone here. Colombia is known for its friendly welcome from the locals and Cali is no exception to this rule, tourists are welcomed with open arms so that you can get the full Colombian experience in this wonderful city.

Last Updated on March 10, 2023


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