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This largest sugar cane producer in Colombia with its all year round hot climate is the Capital of Colombia for its Salsa dancing! This city will keep you on your toes with its vibrant energy and nightlife.
Cali, the capital of the Valle del Cauca district, is set in the west of the country a close distance to the pacific coast, with a branch of the Andes to the west, blocking air fronts from the Pacific Ocean giving this City a very tropical climate.
Being an important economical hub for the south west part of Colombia, the city is more modern and industrial than historically beautiful; however, the beauty comes famously from the direction of the people who are famous for their good looks, with a large mixture of African, European and indigenous descent.
Cali also has an excellent zoo, the best in the country with beautifully laid grounds and home to over 1200 animals, many species being native to Colombia. The river Cali runs through the centre of the city and with trees lined along the side, it can make for a lovely stroll during the day.
Cali is famously known for coming to life at night, when soft breezes pass through tropical warm streets, and the Caleñas head out to party in the pulsating salsa district of Juanchito, here you can dance and party any night of the week until the early hours of the morning!
Once a remote and inhospitable jail in the 1970s, this beautifully lush island is a haven for its marine and land diversity. Its jungle occupies 85% of the island, and is home to an extensive amount of reptiles and animals.
The surrounding waters have one of the worlds most developed formations of coral reefs, and is in the migratory path for a number of sperm and humpback whales not to mention dolphins, porpoises and other rich marine wildlife occupy this area. This makes for great diving, for either experienced divers or those wanting to learn.
There are also a number of walks and hikes to do on the island, to see the flora, fauna, beaches and archaeological and historical sites that this fascinating islands hosts.
How to get there
By Plane – Flights with Avianca or Satena airlines leave from either Bogota or Cali and take you to the town of Guapi where you then take a 2 hour speedboat to the Island.
Or there are flights with Satena airlines from Bogota to Buenaventura. Once in Buenaventura you then take a boat to Gorgona.
By Bus – Buses from Cali to the seaside port of Buenaventura. Once in Buenaventura you then take a boat to the island. There are both accommodations on the island or on a boat. Booking in advance is highly recommended.
Dress code – Covered walking shoes or high boots are a must as there are a lot of serpents on the island. Long sleeved cotton shirts, long trousers, water-proof clothing and items, Sunscreen and a hat are all necessary.
A scientific haven, this island is for advanced divers only and is located 330km off the pacific shores west of Buenaventura.
Malpelo is listed as a world heritage site and due to its very rocky formation is unavailable to embark and stay upon its shore; therefore any advanced divers wanting to explore its rich underwater haven must sleep aboard a diver boat that can be arranged from the town of Buenaventura.
Here in Malpelo you can find an abundance of hammerhead, whale, reef and silky shark not to mention an extensive range of fascinating marine life making it one of the most incredible dive spots in the world.
How to get there
By boat – Dive boats leave from the town of Buenaventura and the journey is a very long 36 hours.
Note – Due to Mapelo Island being a very specific destination for advanced divers only, it is recommended contacting Mantaraya in advance to discuss your trip possibilities so we can best serve your needs.
Check out our travel guide to La Feria de Cali
Due to the warm weather, light fabric clothing is more comfortable however take a sweater for breezy nights and of course you can’t forget your party clothes! Along with good shoes for dancing!
By Plane – Flights run daily to and from Bogota for connecting national and international flights. National flights runs regularly too to most of the major cities in Colombia.
By land within the city - Traveling by taxi within Cali is the easiest and cheapest option. Be sure to ask about the fare for the ride before you get in the car because rates can vary.
Dress code – Due to the warm weather, light fabric clothing is more comfortable however take a sweater for breezy nights and of course you can’t forget your party clothes! Along with good shoes for dancing!
(3 hours) $64 USD per person
Take a fantastic shopping tour during your stay in Cali!
(5 hours) $64 USD *
Known for its Miracles, visit the town of Buga for a tour devoted to religion!
(2.30 hours) $68 USD
Learn exciting salsa dance moves from dance professionals!