Colombia’s third most populous city is home to a bustling art scene, breathtaking history, and most importantly? Salsa! Santiago de Cali—known to most as simply “Cali”—is best known as the world’s capital of salsa dancing. Although its title is an exciting one, Cali does have something of a rugged history with an unsavory reputation. The good news: Cali’s crime rates are dropping at an impressive rate. Though still somewhat gritty, Cali is a must-visit for anyone traveling through Colombia with a flair for dance.
Know where to avoid—and where to party!
Cali is one city where it’s not a bad idea to stay on the beaten path—neighborhoods like Ciudad Jardin and Barrio El Peñon are traveler-friendly with Instagram-worthy photo ops worthy of the best cities in Colombia. San Antonio is home to salsa clubs on every corner, with thumping beats pouring into the streets. Normandia is a great place to stay, with plenty of Airbnbs and hotels for travelers of all types. Like any city, however, Cali has a few places to steer clear of. For instance, you likely won’t want to be wandering around Siloe, Aguablanca, or Terron Colorado
Uber is always a safe bet
Uber is a great way to get around Colombia, and Cali is no exception. Some travelers report being overcharged or having communication issues with regular cab drivers, so Uber can help avoid this hassle altogether, and can help you stay safe on your Colombian adventure.
Safety starts where you stay
When you stay in Cali, you might want to consider staying somewhere with a doorman or a front desk area. Options like hotels, hostels, and nicer apartment buildings will likely have someone to greet you before you enter your room. This ensures no one is entering your building who shouldn’t be—thus keeping you safe on your Colombian sojourn!
Most crimes are those of opportunity
Petty crime is by far the largest issue in Cali, and petty crime relies largely on
Learn the local lingo
Want to know an awesome way to ensure your safety, get where you’re going, and make new friends? Learn some Spanish! When you’re hitting the dance floor in one of Cali’s salsa clubs, you’re going to want to know your
- “Where is …”→“¿Dónde está …”
- “How much is …”→“¿Cuánto es …”
- “I need help”→“Necesito
- “Thank you”→“Gracias”
- “Where is the bathroom”→“¿Dónde está el baño?”
- “Do you speak English?”→“¿Habla
Ready to plan your own Cali adventure? Reach out to one of our local travel experts or message us directly to create your own personalized travel itinerary. And before your trip, make sure to check out: