Santiago de Cali

Cali, officially Santiago de Cali, is the capital of Valle del Cauca, the country’s second largest city after the capital and the third largest city in Colombia. It covers an area of 564 square kilometers and a length of 17 km from north to south and 12 km from east to west. The city is part of the metropolitan area of Santiago de Cali, together with the municipalities bordering on it. It was founded on July 25, 1536 by Sebastián de Belalcazar, making it one of the oldest cities in America.

It is one of the fastest growing economies and infrastructure in the country due to its geographical location, the city is 115 km from Buenaventura, the most important seaport of Colombia in the Pacific. Cali is one of the most important economic and industrial centers of Colombia, next to the main urban, cultural, economic, industrial and agricultural center of the southwest. As a provincial capital, the headquarters of the governor of Valle del Cauca, Departementale Court, the attorney general, institutions and agencies of the state, is also home to companies such as EMCALI municipal officer.

It is also the most important sports center in Colombia. It was the only Colombian city to host the Pan American Games, seven World Track Cycling stops, the World Figure Skating and the ninth edition of the World Games, is the first Latin American city to host this event.

It has been named by the best salsa singers in the world as “The World Capital of Salsa” because despite being that of the Cuban or Puerto Rican, is in Cali, where it has become increasingly popular.

Place names

The city has built a name in the style of almost all Spanish foundations in America. Santiago honors the apostle Santiago. Cali was founded on July 25, the day on which the date of St. James, the main patron of Europe is held. So it is given this name to the city. The name of Cali, however, has different readings: the language may come from paez Caly or possibly refer to one of the Indo-American people or the name you gave to the region and a river south of the city, Lili. It was also thought were indigenous Aztecs to serve the conquerors who gave the name to Cali, the Nahuatl calli or possibly a word Quechua introduced by the Yanaconas Indians that were offered by Sebastián de Belalcazar founder of Ecuador, interpretation supported by the existence from an indigenous population of the name “Cali Cali” near Quito. The most likely etymology is the Paez, since different names of Valle del Cauca find their meaning in that language, especially if the old dictionary Eugenio del Castillo and Orozco remain.


The climate is tropical savannah. The western mountain range blocks humid air fronts of the Pacific Ocean, but it is noteworthy that the sea breeze comes to the city. The West Cordillera has an average altitude of 2000 m in the north of the city and reaches 4,000 m in the south, this means that in the southwestern region of the city more rain than the northwest. The average annual rainfall varies from 900 mm in the drier areas to 1,800 mm in the wetter areas, with 1000 mm on average the largest part of the metropolitan area of ​​Cali. The average temperature is 25 ° C with an average minimum of 15 ° C and an average maximum of 32 ° C, with an absolute maximum of 36 ° C and an absolute minimum of 13 ° C. The dry season from December to February and July-August and the rainy season from March to May and September to November.

The highest measured in Cali temperature was 45 ° C on August 16, 1979 and the lowest was 4 ° C on June 18 of that year. Cali recorded twice only traces of snow in the years 1979 and 1983.

Santiago de Cali National Anthem

The Cali National Anthem was written by Góngora Martan Hilkia and his music was composed by Santiago Velasco Llanos. In 1980 the song was chosen to win the national competition organized by the municipal council. The February 16, 1980 national anthem was officially approved and released to mark the death of Simon Bolivar in the Cali City Theater.

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