How to Spend 24 Hours in Cali, Colombia

Cali, Colombia
Cali, Colombia | © Chris Bell
Chris Bell

Cali is the swinging salsa capital of southern Colombia; a hot city near the Pacific coast which moves to its own unique rhythm and lives and breathes salsa music. It might not be as touristic as Bogotà or Medellín, but Cali has plenty to offer, and you will easily be able to fill 24 hours in the city. Here’s how to make the most of your time.

Loved by over 40s


When you arrive in Cali in the morning, head to a hostel or hotel located in or around the neighbourhoods of San Antonio or Versalles – these are where most of the best hostels are clustered, and the neighbourhoods are traveller-friendly and feature plenty of good restaurants and cafés.

Once you’ve checked in, head out into Cali for a morning of exploring the best of what the city has to offer. Make sure not to miss a walk around the San Antonio neighbourhood: sites of interest there include San Antonio Church, a pretty little whitewashed church perched on a nice little hill with great views of Cali in the background; El Gato del Rio, a small riverside park famous for its beautiful and abstract sculptures of cats by artist Hernando Tejada; and the Museo la Tertulia, Cali’s best modern-art museum.

San Antonio Church, Cali


After your trip to the museum, head a couple of blocks over to Hotel Obelisco, where you can sample some of Cali’s most typical dishes for lunch, including chuleta valluna (breaded pork cutlets), and mini-empanadas known as empanaditas.


In the afternoon, it’s time for some fun at the zoo! While many zoos are far from pleasant places, Cali’s zoo is the best in Colombia and also operates as a foundation which invests most of its profits back into conservation efforts throughout Colombia. The beauty of the Cali Zoo is that it’s a truly Colombian affair, with many of the species on display native to the country, so it’s a wonderful place to discover the magic of Colombia’s enviable biodiversity.

Cali Zoo


In the evening, there’s really only one thing you should plan to do in Cali: dance salsa! The city is the Colombian capital of salsa music, and there are dance clubs and salsa bars open every single night of the week, making for a contrast from many Colombian cities, where it could be hard to find a good night out during the week. Ask in your hostel or hotel where the recommended bar is on your night of the week – although many of the better hostels have boards listing where to go out dancing for any given night – and pop on your dancing shoes.

Recommended salsa bars in Cali include Tin Tin Deo, La Topa Tolondra, Zaperoco and Delirio. However, you can’t go wrong by simply asking a local where they like to dance salsa – most people in Cali will have a strong opinion on the subject, so you’re bound to end up somewhere good by simply canvassing the staff of your hostel! Many of the better hostels also offer free salsa lessons, so you can get a bit of experience so as to not embarrass yourself in front of the calenos and calenas!


The next morning, chances are that you will be pretty exhausted from your dancing exploits the previous night, and by now your 24 hours in Cali have come to an end, so take one last chance to take a stroll around the streets of San Antonio or Versalles, enjoy a fresh lulada juice and a pan de bono snack before heading out of town, safe in the knowledge that you have enjoyed the perfect 24-hour trip.

culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.