Cali Colombia, officially known as Santiago de Cali, is one of the best overall cities in Colombia. It’s known as the “salsa capital of the world” and offers lots of benefits for travelers and expats.
I spent 6 months living in Cali as a local and learned lots of helpful tips and tricks during my time in Colombia. Hopefully, this guide will give you plenty of advice and knowledge before your trip.
If you are currently living in Cali, feel free to add your comments below to improve the quality of this guide.
One of the nice things about Cali is the weather. The city is located in a valley, which means warm mornings and cool evenings. It’s much warmer than Bogota but not as humid as Cartagena. If you want a nice Colombian with manageable weather, then Cali is a good choice.
The official language is Spanish but you won’t find as many English speakers here like you would in Bogota or Medellin. Understanding and speaking basic Spanish is a huge benefit if you plan to meet some beautiful Cali women.
Uber taxis are the easiest way to get around the city. Be sure to download the app to your phone and use it to book a ride. Avoid unmarked taxis at all costs. They often target tourists for robberies.
Where to Stay
Granada and Barrio San Antonio are two of the best places to stay in Cali. You can find a wide variety of hostels (for travelers on a budget), hotels or apartments.
If you are staying for only a few days/weeks, then use Booking.com to find a cheap hotel.
If you are planning to stay longer than a month, then find a good apartment/condo to rent. You can try searching for terms like:
“Cali Colombia Apartments for rent” or “alquiler de apartamentos en cali” (Spanish Version)
Here’s a list of sites to find an apartment in Cali:
*Note: Prices are usually listed in Colombian Pesos. The exchange rate is currently 1 USD = 3,100 Colombian Pesos.
Things to Do
Cali is a beautiful city with lots of things to do. When you’re not going on dates with your Colombian beauty, you can:
- Go Salsa Dancing – Salsa is life in Cali. You can take local lessons for cheap and improve your dancing skills.
- Visit Zoologico de Cali – The largest zoo in Cali with many different animals. It’s good fun for a day trip.
- Go to Cristo Rey – It’s a big Jesus statue similar to the world famous Christ Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro.
- Party at Barrio San Antonio – Home to the best bars & clubs in Cali.
The Women of Cali Colombia
Girls in Cali are known as “Calenas.” They are brown skinned morenas who exhibit stunning beauty and grace. The average Cali girl is pretty with nice hips, solid booty and a cute face. You’ll also find a nice mix of rubias (blondes) and negras (black girls) in the city as well.
If you are into some big booties, a lot of Cali girls have some junk in the trunk. “Culonas” (spanish word for big booty) are everywhere and you could call this place a prime target for black men traveling to Colombia.
Cali girls are passionate, fun loving and make nice girlfriends. However, they can be extremely jealous since Colombians men are known as notorious players. The Male to female ratio is like 3 to 1 so foreign men will get a lot of attention in the city.
However, you need to be careful since some Colombian girls are bad and will only view you as a “walking wallet.” The easiest way to prevent this is to meet Colombian girls who already have a job and some basic English. That will filter out the golddigging Colombianas fairly quickly.
Meeting Girls During the Daytime
You can meet girls in Cali around the city by going to malls, coffee shops and restaurants.
Cali is a warm city so many girls hang out at the malls for the free A/C. This is a gret place to meet some ladies. Here are the most popular malls:
- Chipichape Mall
- Unicentro Mall
- Palmetto Plaza
- Centro commercial Centenario
Chat with Colombian Girls Online
If you’re visiting Cali for a couple of days and don’t speak fluent Spanish, your main options for hooking up are pulling girls from the nightclub/bar or engaging in P4P. Don’t be surprised if some local girls ask for a “payment” before you two head back to your hotel room.
If you are living there long term, then you’ll have enough time to learn Spanish and slowly build up a contact list of Colombian girls.
However, if you’re only spending a few days/weeks then online dating is the best way to meet a beautiful Cali girl who wants to meet a foreign without paying for prostitutes.
Badoo and ColombianCupid are the two best Colombian online dating sites. Tinder is another free option but the quality is lower and it’s filled with gringo hunters (Colombian women looking to get in your pockets. Beware!)
ColombianCupid is the largest Colombian dating app in the city. You can meet tons of Cali girls who won’t ask you for money.
Much of Cali’s nightlife revolves around Salsa dancing. There are many salsa clubs in Barrio San Antonio and Granada. The problem is girls go out in big groups so it’s tough to isolate them if you see a girl you like.
What worked for me was simply opening the entire group and building some trust. That’s why speaking Spanish is a huge help. It improves your image and builds credibility. You also avoid the “creepy gringo” label.
Best Gentlemen’s Clubs
Cali doesn’t have nearly as many working girls as Bogota or Cartagena but there are 2 to 3 very good gentlemen’s clubs in the city.
- VIP Club Calenas at Calle 10 #3884, Cali, Valle del Cauca, Colombia
- Calenas Club at Cl. 10 #4645 (Open 24/7)
The girls dance for free and you only have a buy a drink (or non-alcoholic) drink to sit down and enjoy. If you want to take a girl upstairs, it’s up to you and you’ll agree to everything in advance.
You don’t know these girls very well so it’s often best to hang out upstairs as opposed to taking her back to your room. It’s best to bring back girls you meet online or during the daytime back to your room.
Cali is known as the most dangerous city in Colombia but things have improved a lot over the years. I would not recommend walking outside alone past midnight in the city. It’s not as big as Bogota and you want to avoid walking round at night (especially if you don’t speak Spanish).
Avoid walking around drunk, travel in groups at night if you are barhopping and consider investing in a fannypack to avoid pickpockets at night.
Girlproof your room by hiding your valuables or locking everything in your hotel safe.
Conclusion? Cali is a Great Place to Meet Colombian Women
It’s one of my favorite cities in South America and a good choice for long term expats who want to avoid the tourist vibe in Cartagena, plastic surgery girls in Medellin or cold nights in Bogota.
You’re also close to Afro-Colombian cities like El Choco and Buenaventura as well where you will find some stunningly beautiful black girls with jet black skin.
Cali was one of my favorite trips in South America so enjoy your stay!