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Where to stay in Santiago de Cali: The best places

Do you know the best areas to stay in Cali We recommend you to book your hotel in one of these areas: Centro – Plaza Caicedo, El Peñón, San Antonio and San Cayetano, San Fernando – Parque del Perro, or the neighbourhoods of Versailles, Granada and Juanambú.

The best areas to stay in Santiago de Cali

The most touristic areas and the highest density of hotels to sleep in Cali are located in the western part of the city, from Granada neighborhood to Ciudad Jardín, following the avenue or Calle 5.

The largest number of regulated places, more or less half, are aparthotels or apartments, followed by hotels and then, in smaller numbers, hostels, hostels and some villas or houses for rent.

1.Centro-Plaza de Caicedo

South of the river Cali and the Barrio de Granada, the Plaza de Caicedo and surroundings is one of the most touristic areas of the city and is usually a place where big events are held for Caleños.It is very well connected by Avenida Uribe and the Calle 5 itself to the west.

The square and the surroundings have several accommodations to stay in Cali, but in a lower density than the neighboring neighborhood of El Peñón, to the west, or the mentioned neighborhood of Granada itself.

The place was called Plaza Mayor until 1813, when it was called de la Constitución.Its current name is due to the Colombian liberator Joaquin de Caicedo, who died during the liberation of the Valle del Cauca area. Today the square has a statue of the martyr in its center.

Precisely around the statue -and so the square is also very visited- there are many tall palm trees.In addition, the square is composed of buildings of great tourist interest such as the Cathedral of San Pedro, the National Palace, government and judicial headquarters with a museum inside.

Not far away, a few blocks to the west is the Church of Mercy, one of the first Christian temples in the city built in the sixteenth century.

This area of Cali is well stocked with shops and malls. Some are more of a neighbourhood type while others have a more luxurious character like Cosmocentro in Plaza de Caicedo itself, or Centro Comercial Elite, to the southeast.

In the shopping centres mentioned there are several restaurants. Outside them and near the Plaza de Caicedo, the restaurant specialising in Kokorito chicken, between the Church of San Francisco and the cathedral, or Las Delicias de Will’s, is worth a visit to see the local cuisine.

The range of nightlife on offer, Cali being the capital of salsa, is very varied.

Another place, in this case for lovers of more electronic music, is Sonido Central, north of Plaza Caicedo.And for dancing salsa, a classic is Ecstasy Club, on Carrera 9.


2.El Peñón

This small neighborhood is south of the river Cali and north of San Antonio, with excellent connections to the rest of the city on Carrera 1, which has been a tourist area for years and has a good offer of accommodation to sleep in Cali, especially apartments and aparthotels.

El Peñón is one of the four gastronomic areas of Cali, next to Granada, San Antonio and Parque del Corazón, in fact it is a neighbourhood designed for this purpose and has some of the best restaurants in the city.One of them is the open air exhibition of a set of cat sculptures on the north side of the river. The statues (a big cat and “his girlfriends”) were designed by the local artist Hernando Tejada.

At precisely the same height, on the south side of the river Cali you can visit the Museum of Modern Art La Tertulia, and a little further south the Statue Sebastian de Belalcazar.And on Carrera 4, number 3, is the birthplace of Jorge Isaacs, a romantic writer and poet of the 19th century.

Although the biggest attraction of the neighborhood are its restaurants, the area also has numerous shops, especially on Carrera 2 and surroundings.

As for the restaurants, there are a huge number of them and they offer all kinds of cuisine.Among them are the Faro Pizza Bar Peñón, Tortelli, La Diva Cervecería, Café Macondo, of a more local character, La Tartine, Grosella or Monchis Café.

The advantage of this neighbourhood is that, as it is small, visiting cafés and restaurants does not take long, although, especially on weekdays, the closing time is early and at midnight there are hardly any open.

The timetables and the fact that the area is more oriented towards gastronomy means that the possibilities for going out at night are not as extensive as in other areas.

However, near the river you can enjoy the night in La Social Cali, a cocktail bar with good music; Roset, also a cocktail bar, with a terrace and more oriented towards spending a quiet night, or Sagsa, a small nightclub right in front of the river.

As a curiosity, after certain hours of the night, it is common to see private security people in the streets, but their attire is not very orthodox, as they may carry large truncheons and are not usually dressed in any kind of uniform.

3.San Antonio and San Cayetano

Just south of the Peñón neighbourhood is the Colina de San Antonio, a totally residential and traditional area dotted with villas, small apartment blocks and the odd half-built house.

From El Peñón, access to these two neighborhoods is through small steep streets that reach the top and then down to Miraflores, an upper class area.

As for the attractions of the hill -declared a National Monument – and its surroundings, in the northern area the Church of San Antonio, from the 17th century, in baroque style and on one of the highest points, is worth mentioning.

From the neighbourhood of El Peñón to the church it is also advisable to walk through the “cobbled sector”: streets, walls and parts of houses that use a special cobbled stone typical of this area of the city. In addition, the design of the houses is also a tourist attraction and, in some of them, important personalities of the culture of the country lived.

Further south of the hill, the open-air theatre Los Cristales or, in the area of San Cayetano, the church of the same name, from where you can get a good view of Cali.

In addition to the San Antonio Park, which houses the entire hill, these two neighborhoods, in their lower areas (east and south) also have a good variety of restaurants and at the level of the neighborhood of El Peñon.Recommend El Zaguan de San Antonio, in the east and specialized in “valluna” or Valle del Cauca food.not far away is La Antigua Contemporánea and Zea Maiz, specialized in arepas empanadas and ideal for families.

Nightlife is even less common than in El Peñon and is more located in the north, precisely on the border with the mentioned neighborhood.However, there are places like La Colina or the Tertuliadero La Colina, both at the foot of the San Antonio hill.


4.San Fernando – Parque del Perro

Rafael Palacios/Wikimedia CommonsCC BY-SA 3.0South of Miraflores is the Parque del Perro, which is to the north of the San Fernando neighbourhood.It has residential areas with schools and institutes and more touristic areas.

The Parque del Perro (Dog Park) – formerly known as the Parque del Corazón (Heart Park) because of its shape – is named after a statue of a canine in the middle of the park.

Further to the southwest, there are also other places of interest such as the Flag Park and the Pascual Guerrero Football Stadium, as well as other sports facilities.It is usually frequented by Caleños and Caleñas.

As for shopping in the area, in Carrera 34, between Pascual Guerrero stadium and Pedro Grajales athletics stadium, is located the Centro Comercial Centrour Plaza, a place with several shops and restaurants.

Back to the surroundings of the Parque del Perro, the Carrera 34 towards Calle 5 is a good place to go shopping in clothes and fashion shops, or in the Mall La Terraza, a space with public parking, several shops and restaurants like Sushi or La Cervecería.

The neighborhood also has many more restaurants between the Parque del Perro and the downtown area of San Fernando: El Arca de Pascual San Fernando, Primos, La Comitiva or Go Go Ramen!

In general, Carrera 34 and its surroundings is the most recommended area for eating or going out at night to places like Allegro Bistro Bar Restaurant Música Jazz, almost on Carrera 5, or Tierra Mestiza, a cultural centre where there is live music.

Following precisely the Carrera 5 to the south there are two good places to dance salsa like El Escondite and Tintindeo.

If you are looking to sleep in Cali in this area, around the Parque del Perro and in the Carrera 39 (and adjacent streets) there is the highest density of accommodation.


5.Versailles, Granada and Juanambú

The last areas we will talk about are north of the Cali river, west of the city and well communicated with other cities by the Tuluá – Cali road and the Avenida 4 Norte with the south of the city.

At one time it was a residential area almost on the outskirts of the city and today it has become one of the most touristic areas thanks to its restaurants and places to go out.It also has a good offer of hotels, apartments and hostels to stay in Cali at good prices.

Juanambú, the Granada and Versailles neighborhoods are at the edge of the city on the northwest side and border the Cerro de las Tres Cruces, which has a viewpoint and a bakery where you can get your strength back with milkshakes.

Further north, you can also go hiking in the Bataclan Natural Park, which is almost an Andean area.Back in the neighbourhoods, in Juanambú you will find places of cultural interest such as the Jairo Varela Sauce Museum, the Aves del Río Monument and the Simón Bolívar Park, where the Cali River crosses.And in Versailles, don’t miss the Parque del Café, which, in addition to a cafeteria, has a garden and a museum where you can get to know the coffee culture, which is very extensive in Colombia.

You can also enjoy shopping in the area. In shopping centers, there are several: Centenario in Juanambú; Granada Plaza, small but famous for its Penthouse, one of the best discos in the city, and the Centro Comercial La Pasarela, in Versailles.In addition, Avenida 6 Norte, as well as 8 Norte, are quiet and have many small shops.

Like the neighboring neighborhood of El Peñón, any of the three neighborhoods mentioned is ideal to enjoy a good meal.

And to enjoy the Cali night, especially on Avenida 9, the number of pubs, discos and bars is quite dense: Bourbon St. Bar, with very good opinions and atmosphere for more adult people; the Fonda Mi Dios se lo Pague Karaoke Bar, for younger people or, further south, something quieter like Zaperoco Bar.

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