Full day in traditional Cali, it was hot and the start of the food adventure :P

Cali Travel Blog

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busy Colombia Ave.
Since this would be a short visit to Colombia, I did some research about Cali and surroundings, so I'd be able to do as much as possible here, including a gastronomical one ;) First day would be about visiting traditional Cali. Cali is the 3rd biggest city in Colombia and has a lot of history. It was a good idea staying in this area, so we'd be able to start our day early with everything just walking distance.

I was expecting I'd sleep longer, since I went to bed today, hahaha. But it wasn't even 6am when I woke up. I couldn't believe it wasn't sunny, buuuu. Oh well, it was still early. Last night I was so tired that I didn't notice the shower had just 1 tab, oh oh, that couldnt' be good.
Inmaculada Chapel
And it wasn't! There was just cold water! Brrrr. No way I could wash my hair with cold water, no no no. This is the only bad thing about this hostel... well, I'll write a review about it.

Before leaving we'll do check out. According to the plan, hahaha, we'll move to another area of the city, one closer to the party area. So, I started to arrange my things and by the time I was ready, it was sunny! Yay!!! I talked to Paola and asked her where to exchange money and she told me there were exchange houses at the Main Square and also at a hotel nearby. Since next stop was Main Square and needed money for breakfast, let's go there! hahaha

We were just walking distance, cool. I'd read about the city and could recognize some of the buildings in our way to the Main Square, such as the different churches and squares.
ridiculously long receipt for exchanging US$ hahaha
I also read about the street food and it was a torture seeing so many yummy things and not being able to buy any of them, although I had money! But no the local currency, so hurry up! But I couldn't help it to take tons of pics and it was early, so the exchange house might not be open yet. Yes, it was early, but the sun was shinning a lot!

Ok, finally the exchange house. Exchanging money is different in each country, but here it was too much! It deserves a review! But to make a summary you need: ID or passport, fingerprints and to sign a declaration. Pfff, the receipt was long. I took a pic of it. So, exchanging money wasn't that quick ;) Now we had money! I felt rich! hahaha. Before keeping on with the sightseeing, it was time to eat! Yes, feed the monster! hahaha.
bofe! that's cow's lung. Didn't try it, was too much


In our way to the Main Square, we saw several eateries, so the Food Tour started. We stopped at a cafeteria and Shawn got an empanada - I had already tried them in Ecuador. Then we went to another one. We chose this one, since you could see a lot of food at the entrance. So we just pointed what we wanted, hahaha. It was so hot outside and we were thirsty. 2 juices, please! "Why do the juices look so thick?" If you don't want milk in your juice, you have to ask for it "al agua", otherwise they'll add milk. Ughhhh, I should have known it. Well, at least the food was very good. I got a "pan de bono" which is bread with cheese. It was yummy! Shawn got an arepa with egg. It was supposed to have some egg inside, but the egg was overcooked and you could see the hard egg white.
Salpicon Stall - fresh salad fruit!!!
And wasn't that tasty, so an empanada again, haha. Empanada is common in South America, but different in each place. Here the stuffing has meat and potatoes. I saw so many tasty things to try, but we were just starting, so better keep on moving, hehe.

We were just crossing the street, when I saw a stall of food with some fruit. Oh! That looks tasty and fresh! This is my kind of food. This was a common snack in hot Cai: "salpicon" which is like a fruit salad. So fresh! Perfect for the hot weather. We got our salpicones and decided to re-start the sightseeing. People were really friendly and enjoyed the fact of having me taking pics of everything, haha.

Back to the Main Square, but this time stomach was full, so it was time to take pics and went into the Cathedral.
she was selling coffee
We were about crossing the street when I saw a man carrying 2 thermos, I didn't find it strange until I saw he was pouring something in a small plastic cup. What's that? OMG! He was selling coffee. Then I realized there were several people with this thermos selling coffee aka tinto. I told Shawn what I saw and he got a cup of coffee, hahaha. First coffee in Colombia was in the traditional way they drink it, how nice!

There was another church I wanted to see and we had to walk a bit further. Colombia is crazy for the lottery! there were so many kiosks and shops about the lottery. I don't know if I saw more lottery kiosks or people with "public" cellphones. There were lot of people wearing bright color vests advertising phone calls, interesting. We arrived to another square.
La Ermita Church
It was very sunny and finding a stall selling slices of pineapple was wonderful. Of course I bought one, hahaha.

Traffic was crazy and the number of motorbikes is large. I was about saying there were many policemen driving, when I noticed that everybody, yes everyone, has to wear a bright color vest, when they are driving a bike. Interesting. We found the other church, which is a nice and charming one. Went inside, took a couple of pics and was ready to keep on moving.

Started to walk and saw a pig! Well, not alive, it was cooked but was the whole thing. I saw heads in Peru and Ecuador, but not the whole body. It was in a small restaurant. I came closer to see it better and the owner approached. I said hi and told him I was just watching, I wouldn't buy anything.
Minigunther!
He didn't care about that and started to tell me the story of the pig and how they cook it for and why they do it, haha. At the end he even gave us a sample to try, how sweet of him!

We were going back to the square and then to the hostel, but first we stopped at my favorite sports store and ended up buying stuff, hahaha. I had a nice backpack, but wanted a purse or something to use during the day and found it here ;) Then kept on walking around the old streets and finally went back to the hostel.

When we arrived to the hostel it was almost noon, but we weren't hungry at all. Fortunately we met Paola when she was just leaving, so we were able to pay her, since we weren't sure at what time we'd leave. Haha, the taxi was more expensive than the room, haha.
bill, taxi was more expensive than the room, hahaha
Paola left and so did we. I just needed to leave all the things I bought and didn't want to carry, like coffee ;) We were staying at San Antonio neighborhood, a traditional and bohemian one. It was a MUST in my list too, but before walking around it, I'd like to see the famous "Gato Tejada" or "Tejada Cat". It's just a big cat sculpture. Yes, doesn't sound that interesting, but sort of fun. And I wanted to get pics of Minigunther there, hahaha.

It turned to be that it was just walking distance, we just had to cross the Cali River. I wasn't sure what to expect. The sculpture was big, but it wasn't all we found there. There were quite a few female cat's sculptures there. The exhibition was called "the girlfriends of the Gato Tejada". Cool! After several pictures, we'd go back to San Antonio Area.
with Minigunther over Cali River


It seems to be that the time stopped there. Everything is so charming... but in order to enjoy it the best. It's better if you climb the hill and get a nice view of the city. And that's what we did. I was thinking, ok, a small hill... Yes, it wasn't too tall, but it was so hot that it was hard to climb, pffff. Water!!! The chapel at the top was closed... so just walked around the park and started the way down. It's a nice and quiet area, wasn't even able to find a restaurant, hahaha. I wasn't hungry, but really thirsty... but Shawn couldn't help to buy a donut. Well, if you are expecting an American donut, it's not at all. It had a piece of cheese (just at the border) and jam in the middle, but just a little. I had a bite and it was very dry... now I was thirstier!!! I like to walk around this area.
another piece of urban art
It's like a small town inside a big city ;)

The idea was moving into the new hostel, but it was still early and maybe this would be the last chance to walk through downtown, so decided to go back there to buy my magnet (always a must) and grab something to eat, just a snack, not a full lunch. My list of things to do in Cali included food to try, hahaha, and I was happy to see one of the Must drinks while walking and even happier it said: "just on Fridays" and today was Friday, cool. That's what I call perfect time! I wasn't sure if I'd like the "champu". Here we have a dessert called the same, also made with corn but it's thick. In Colombia it's more like a drink and it has a regional fruit: "lulo" which turned to be the Ecuadorian naranjilla, hahaha.
lunch time, "papa rellena" stuffed potato & beer
The drink was ice cold, was really refreshing, perfect! Started to walk and ended up at a cafeteria, hahaha. Ordered just 1 papa rellena (stuffed potato), which was different than the Peruvian one. Here it's fluffy and soft. This one was deep fried and maybe it was cooked really early, because it was dry... not a very good choice, but the Colombian beer made thinks better. First beer in Colombia, cheers! Well, it was time to go back to the hostel, pick up luggage and move. Paola was already back at the hostel and she called a cab for us. Calling a cab doesn't cost extra, but it's safer not only for the passangers but also for the drivers. In the meanwhile a guy at the hostel was suggesting places to visit in the city. Ok, taxi arrived. It was time to say good bye.
hopping there would be hot water...
Maybe the hostel wasn't the best place in the world, but Paola made it a great place to stay. A review is coming soon.

Arrived to the hostel around 4pm. I made the reservation while I was in Lima, so everything was ready. When the girl was showing the hostel I paid special attention on the shower. Oh no! Just 1 tab again... well, it was so hot and water wasn't too cold. A good shower was just what I needed. I was a bit tired, but didn't want to sleep, so just organized some papers, watched some tv and was lazy, hehehe.

Right now we were in a different area, Sta. Monica, which is a residential one and is close to the party street: 6th Ave. The girl at the front desk recommended a place to eat, but it was empty and the menu (actually what they offered since they didn't have a menu) wasn't that appealing.
tasty fresh salad
.. Then we saw a local fast-food. Yes, it doesn't sound interesting, but it looked good. It was about sandwiches. I'm not a big fan of sandwiches, but was ok. And this chain was popular among the locals. Shawn got a Thai Sandwich, which was a wrap and I got a salad. I was missing my veggies so much... My salad was good, but Colombia is also famous because of their sweets and I couldn't help it stopping at a bakery and getting a "cocada" whics is coconut with tons of sugar. Yes, it was a sugar bomb! hahaha

Ok, let's go back to the hostel. I was so tired, that the tons of sugar couldn't keep me awake, hahaha. I didn't even notice how hard the bed was until next morning...
yadilitta says:
Si, Ecuador y Colombia tienen comida similar. Y muy rica!
Posted on: Nov 07, 2009
Lord_Mike says:
sin leche....sounds like something I should go to church about!!!
Posted on: Nov 05, 2009
yadilitta says:
yes, empanadas are very yummy. But prefer the Peruvian and Argentinean ones.
Posted on: Nov 05, 2009
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busy Colombia Ave.
busy Colombia Ave.
Inmaculada Chapel
Inmaculada Chapel
ridiculously long receipt for exch…
ridiculously long receipt for exc…
bofe! thats cows lung. Didnt tr…
bofe! that's cow's lung. Didn't t…
Salpicon Stall - fresh salad fruit…
Salpicon Stall - fresh salad frui…
she was selling coffee
she was selling coffee
La Ermita Church
La Ermita Church
Minigunther!
Minigunther!
bill, taxi was more expensive than…
bill, taxi was more expensive tha…
with Minigunther over Cali River
with Minigunther over Cali River
another piece of urban art
another piece of urban art
lunch time, papa rellena stuffed…
lunch time, "papa rellena" stuffe…
hopping there would be hot water...
hopping there would be hot water...
tasty fresh salad
tasty fresh salad
Some stalls
Some stalls
More street food
More street food
Fruit for sale
Fruit for sale
Entrance at Inmaculada Chapel
Entrance at Inmaculada Chapel
Inmaculada Chapel altar
Inmaculada Chapel altar
Inmaculada Chapel Mudejar Tower
Inmaculada Chapel Mudejar Tower
Inmaculada Chapel side entrance
Inmaculada Chapel side entrance
empty Plaza San Francisco early
empty Plaza San Francisco early
early at San Francisco square
early at San Francisco square
San Francisco Church
San Francisco Church
San Francis
San Francis
at the entrance of San Francisco C…
at the entrance of San Francisco …
Old tiles at San Francisco Church
Old tiles at San Francisco Church
San Francisco Church ceiling
San Francisco Church ceiling
Altar inside San Pedro Cathedral
Altar inside San Pedro Cathedral
the exchange house
the exchange house
an empanada
an empanada
aji (spicy) makes everything better
aji (spicy) makes everything better
en empanada inside
en empanada inside
having breakfast - milky juice not…
having breakfast - milky juice no…
Minigunther and an egg arepa - lik…
Minigunther and an egg arepa - li…
tasty pan de bono - cheese bread
tasty pan de bono - cheese bread
not so tasty milky juices: guanaba…
not so tasty milky juices: guanab…
stuffed with cheese
stuffed with cheese
different type of bread
different type of bread
empanadas (fried pastry stuffed wi…
empanadas (fried pastry stuffed w…
the salpicon - slices of fruit - t…
the salpicon - slices of fruit - …
with the tasty salpicon
with the tasty salpicon
The tasty and refreshing Salpicon
The tasty and refreshing Salpicon
Plaza Caicedo or Main Square
Plaza Caicedo or Main Square
fountain at Plaza Caicedo
fountain at Plaza Caicedo
Don Joaquin Caicedo the responsibl…
Don Joaquin Caicedo the responsib…
Cathedral
Cathedral
San Pedro Cathedral inside
San Pedro Cathedral inside
side altar at San Pedro Cathedral
side altar at San Pedro Cathedral
St. Pedro Cathedral inside
St. Pedro Cathedral inside
a hotel in Plaza Caicedo
a hotel in Plaza Caicedo
a cup of coffee?
a cup of coffee?
another coffee stall ;)
another coffee stall ;)
relaxing at Plaza Caicedo
relaxing at Plaza Caicedo
at Plaza Caicedo
at Plaza Caicedo
Justice Palace
Justice Palace
Lottery!!!
Lottery!!!
Fresh pineapple for sale!
Fresh pineapple for sale!
Poets Park
Poets' Park
Parque de los poetas or Poets …
"Parque de los poetas" or "Poets'…
Colombian Tobacco Company
Colombian Tobacco Company
crossing Colombia Ave.
crossing Colombia Ave.
small bus in Cali
small bus in Cali
side view of La Ermita
side view of La Ermita
Nice windows inside La Ermita
Nice windows inside La Ermita
La Ermita Church inside
La Ermita Church inside
pulpit inside La Ermita
pulpit inside La Ermita
La Ermita Church detail of a side …
La Ermita Church detail of a side…
La Ermita Church inside
La Ermita Church inside
Mobile Police Station
Mobile Police Station
cute coffee truck!
cute coffee truck!
The Gluttons Restaurant, hahaha
The Gluttons Restaurant, hahaha
oh!!!
oh!!!
stuffed with rice and meat
stuffed with rice and meat
some of the stuffing of the pok
some of the stuffing of the pok
buildings at Pza Caicedo
buildings at Pza Caicedo
Minigunther was a cowboy, sorry co…
Minigunther was a cowboy, sorry c…
quiet streets
quiet streets
so kind way to ask for tip: We ca…
so kind way to ask for tip: "We c…
buildings
buildings
Av. Colombia
Av. Colombia
waiting...
waiting...
Cali River
Cali River
the famous Gato Tejada or Tejada C…
the famous Gato Tejada or Tejada …
Cats girlfriends
Cat's girlfriends
Arrested Cat
Arrested Cat
Anabella, star cat
Anabella, star cat
Bandit Cat
Bandit Cat
Bandit Cat
Bandit Cat
the cat with 7 lives
the cat with 7 lives
lucky cat
lucky cat
Minigunther in action
Minigunther in action
so cute!!!
so cute!!!
going up the hill
going up the hill
another view of Cali from San Anto…
another view of Cali from San Ant…
nice San Antonio chapel
nice San Antonio chapel
view of Cali from San Antonio hill
view of Cali from San Antonio hill
Calis Coat of Arms
Cali's Coat of Arms
cool urban art
cool urban art
Some urban art, cool!
Some urban art, cool!
a traditional bakery
a traditional bakery
Colombian donut ?
Colombian donut ?
delicious champus only on Fridays …
delicious champus only on Fridays…
the delicious champu!
the delicious champu!
detail of the stuffed potato, not …
detail of the stuffed potato, not…
the small cafeteria
the small cafeteria
Thai Sandwich (?)
Thai Sandwich (?)
Cali Sights & Attractions review
Traditional and Bohemian San Antonio Neighborhood
When you are in Cali visiting this area is a MUST! This is the center of the art, discussion and Bohemian area in the city. Here you can find cozy … read entire review
Cali Sights & Attractions review
Nice square with lovely church and chapel - San Francisco
Located a couple of blocks away of the Main Square, this square is also popular. Empty early in the morning, it gets busier during the day. There … read entire review
Cali General Tips & Advice review
Exchanging money in Colombia
Exchanging money is different in different countries and Colombia wasn’t the exception. This might have been the most “interesting” place where … read entire review
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Street food in Cali (Colombia)
Food is a way to know the culture of a country. At least I like to think this way, so I won’t feel guilty of eating, hehehe. And there’s no better… read entire review
Cali Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
Eating at Bakeries in Cafeterias in Cali near Plaza Caicedo
If you don't like to eat while you are walking, you can go to one of the many bakeries/cafeterias/eateries in the city. This review is about the on… read entire review
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Taking a taxi in Cali (Colombia)
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Cali Sights & Attractions review
Gothic-style Church in Cali - La Ermita
Cali is a Catholic city, so it's not a surprise to find churches and chapels here. For me, this one is the most beautiful one. It's located in the … read entire review
Cali Sights & Attractions review
A big cat at Cali River - Gato Tejada
In the west part of the city near the traditional San Antonio area and next to the Cali River, there's a big sculpture of a cat: El Gato Tejada or Gat… read entire review
Cali Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
Local Fastfood Chain - tasty Sandwich Qbano
If you are in Cali and other Colombian cities, you'll find bright locations of this local chain. I'd always suggest to try the traditional food, bu… read entire review
Cali Sights & Attractions review
Cali's Main Square - Plaza de Caycedo
Plaza de Caycedo is the Main Square of Cali. It's located in the historic downtown. It's a big square with nice palms and a fountain in each corne… read entire review
Cali
photo by: timbo