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Santiago de Cali, called Cali for short, is the third largest cities in Colombia, a great place to visit and was founded by Sebastián de Belalcázar in 1536. It is also a major industrial and commercial center in Colombia and is one of the fastest growing economic centers in Colombia. This city has many amazing sights to see such as colonial architecture, churches and modern buildings.
Before the arrival of the Spanish many different native groups inhabited that areas. They built small towns and mined gold. Sebastián de Belalcázar arrived in the Americas in 1498 with Columbus on his third trip to the New World. In 1532 after serving with Darien and Nicaragua Belalcázar joined up with Francisco Pizzaro on his conquest of the Inca Empire in Peru. In 1534 Belalcázar separated from Pizarro to found the city of Quito and then on a search for El Dorado, the lost city of gold, he set off into Colombia. After battling the different tribes in the area he founded the city of Santiago De Cali on July 25, 1536.
The Belalcázar family controlled most of the commerce in the city until independence. Although the city was pretty small for most of the 17th and 18th century, even though the city was located on a strategic position connecting different economic centers. The city was a center of support for independence and was the spot for many bloody battles. In the 20th Cali started to grow into the powerhouse it is today and it 1971 the city hosted the Pan American Games.
La Plaza De Caycedo considered the city centre. This is a large square with many historical and modern buildings located around its edges. The plaza is also near many other famous sights.
The city is located in a valley with 2,000-metre high mountains to the north and 4,000-metre high mountains to the south, which allows the city to have a fresh cross breeze that comes from the west. This gives Cali a semi-tropical climate with variation depending on altitude in the city, with less rain fall in the higher areas. The city has a temperature range of 19 °C to 30 °C depending on the rainy season. Due to being so close to the equator the city has very little seasonal variations. Locals tend to call the dry season summer and the rainy season winter. There are two rainy seasons the first one from April to May and the second one October to November, although rain can be expected year round.
Alfonso Bonilla Aragón International Airport (CLO) also known as the Palmaseca International Airport is the second largest airport in Colombia. This airport has regular service to many cities in Central and South America plus a few cities in North America and Europe. The easiest way to get to and from the airport is by taxi.
There is an extensive bus network around the city that is easy to use. There is also an articulated bus network, the MIO (Masivo Integrado de Occidente) with stations distributed from North to South and integrated routes.
There are not many bike paths, but cycling is popular and safe in the southern part of the city. Different people gather in the Ciudad Jardín area and ride their bikes to either La Buitrera or Jamundí on Tuesday & Wednesday nights and on Sunday mornings.
|Café Tostaky||Carrera 10 1-76 Barrio San Antonio||Guesthouse||83|
|Calidad House||Calle 17N No. 9AN -39 Barrio Granada||Hostel||-|
|Casa Agua Canela||Carrera 24 A # 2 A - 55, Barrio Miraflores||Guesthouse||91|
|Casa Blanca Hostel||Avenida 6 bis, Calle 26n, Santa Monica Residencial||Hostel||-|
|Hostal Santa Rita||Avenida 3 Oeste No. 7-131||Hostel||93|
|The Pelican Larry Hostel||Calle 23 Norte#8n-12 Santa Monica Residencial||Hostel||83|
Internet cafes are easy to find in any city or town. Expect rates to run about $1,250-2,500 (around $US 0.50-1.00) per hour, depending on how much competition there is (i.e., cheap in Bogotá, expensive in the middle of nowhere). Quality of connections varies enormous and tends to better in populated places and tourist areas. Wifi is getting more and more popular in some hotels, restaurants and bars, but don't count on it and be careful regarding your privacy.
See also International Telephone Calls
The country calling code to Colombia is: 57. To make an international call from Colombia, the code is: 005.
Using your own phone and SIM card is expensive so if you are planning to do quite a few calls, buy a phone or just a SIM card. It's simple enough to get a SIM card and even an unlocked phone at the international airport in Bogotá, although there is, of course, a price hike. They're not hard to find in any city either, just ask your hotel or hostel staff where to go. Topping up is also easy, and can be done pretty much on any street corner. The carriers you'll most likely see are Claro, Tigo, and Movistar. Claro is the most expensive (by a little bit), but has the widest coverage in the country, if you expect to get off the beaten path.
4-72 is the unusual name of Colombia's postal service. They have post offices throughout the country, which are open usually from 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday and sometimes on Saturday mornings as well. That doesn't apply to all offices though, only the larger ones in the big cities. But for example along the Caribbean coast, offices tend to close between noon and 2:00pm. But even at the ones that are officially open all day long, it might be difficult to get anything done during those hours. For domestic services, sending letters and postcards is mostly reliable but takes days, for international services don't hold your breath. Eventually, a postcard or letter might arrive in the country of destination but it's almost not worth it. For parcels, you are better off using companies like FedEx, TNT, DHL or UPS.
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