The capital of Valle del Cauca is Cali, whose official name is Santiago de Cali, also known as the “Sucursal de Cielo”. Which translated means branch of heaven on earth. Founded by Sebastián de Belalcázar in 1536, it is located on the Cordillera Occidental in a warm climate, adorned by the hills of Cristo Rey and Tres Cruces and San Antonio Hill.
It is the third most important city in Colombia, after Bogota and Medellín. The warmth of its climate means it has a sunny and pleasant weather all year round, which is also reflected in its inhabitants, that are open to receive the visitors who come every day to this cosmopolitan city. Its culture is reflected in innumerable theaters, and delicious food that is product of a cultural mix, and in Salsa music and dance.
In this city innumerable salsa schools are established, which give the people of Cali the opportunity to become professional dancers, as well as to tourists and visitors, the possibility of knowing and learning this dance. It has become part of its image and a patrimonial reference for the city, being the cradle of innumerable orchestras and musical groups among which are “Fruko y sus Tesos”, “Son of Cali”, “Grupo de Niche” among others; Which today are not only known in the country but also internationally.
On the other hand, the city has been changing. In San Antonio, located on a small hill, you can observe examples of colonial and republican architecture, while other neighborhoods like Granada, has become a new gastronomic destination, with a variety of restaurants with an innovative and creative cuisine. Likewise, there are examples of modern architecture, which show its cosmopolitan character, integrated with the landscape, with rich gardens and green public spaces as a system of natural protection against the climate, as well as to give people a nice pass-time.
In addition, in its rural areas as well as in neighboring municipalities, it is still possible to discover haciendas producing sugar cane, mainly preserving the character of previous centuries, but at the same time maintaining the productive character of these rural areas.
The city is located near Buenaventura, the main Colombian port on the Pacific, becoming a big city, due to a strategic position for trade and business, being a necessary stop of many of the products that arrive to the country.