Santiago de Cali, Valle del Cauca Department, Pacific Region, Colombia

Tourist Industry | Economy | Current statistics

🇨🇴 Santiago de Cali, or Cali, is the capital of the Valle del Cauca department, and the most populous city in south-west Colombia. Cali is the third most populous after Bogotá and Medellín. As the only major Colombian city with access to the Pacific Coast, Cali is the main urban and economic centre in the south of the country, and has one of Colombia's fastest-growing economies. The city was founded in 1536 by the Spanish explorer Sebastián de Belalcázar.

As a sporting centre for Colombia, it was the host city for the 1971 Pan American Games. Cali also hosted the 1992 World Wrestling Championships, the 2013 edition of the World Games, the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in 2014, the World Youth Championships in Athletics in 2015 as well as the inaugural Junior Pan American Games in 2021.


Tourist Industry Santiago de Cali offers historical areas with cultural variety and other attractions. In downtown Cali there are many historic churches such as La Merced and La Ermita. Cali contains a well-preserved historical center. The most important zone is La plaza de Cayzedo, considered the centre of the city, which is a square surrounded by many historical and modern buildings like El edificio Otero, La Catedral and El Palacio de Justicia. This plaza is close to other tourist places, like The Saint Francis church (in Spanish, Iglesia de San Francisco), the municipal theater and La Merced church. The city is also rich in monuments, parks, squares and museums. The most emblematic sculptures are Cristo Rey, located upon a mountain range; Sebastian de Belalcazar, founder of the city; and Las tres Cruces, a place of pilgrimage during the days of the Holy Week.


Economy The economic transformation of Cali and the Valle del Cauca during the twentieth century and its crisis of the century, and the outlook to the new century have been the subject of deep analysis of financial and academic institutions. This section is based on the analysis and recommendations of the report Cali Colombia – Toward a City Development and Strategy published by the World Bank in 2002, and the Regional Economic Situation Reports (ICER) published quarterly by the DANE.

Traditionally, Cali and the department have been space farm, the same as during the colonial times out with the mines, production shaft. In the early twentieth century the city's economy was concentrated in the production of sugar, based on an agricultural model in which large tracts of land were cultivated with minimum use of labor. As a result, a few families owned vast areas of land in one of the most fertile regions of the country. This was an important factor in determining the power relations and the organization of the city through the twentieth century.

In the period 1910–1930, the city's economy shifted its focus from an agricultural model to become a commercial node at the national level through the development of basic infrastructure such as construction of the railway to Buenaventura and the creation of the department of Valle del Cauca with Cali designated as its capital.

Although the industrial vallecaucana revolution of Cali did not begin until the third decade of the twentieth century, some companies had already begun to build the industrial development of the region, as the printing company Carvajal y Cia (which began operations in 1904). In 1929 there is the creation of Soap Varela Hermanos, in the 1930s other industries begin to grow as large scale factories of gas and beer, printing and cigarettes. Smaller companies also appeared focusing on textile clothing, chemicals, chocolates, building materials, leather articles and furniture.

In 1940, Cali had already ceased to be a single point of trade and its economy was focused on industry. A few years before the decade began a major investment of foreign capital led to the establishment of many factories and local business grew to multinational corporations; as Croydon in 1937, Cementos del Valle in 1939, and Carton Colombia in 1941; Goodyear and Colgate-Palmolive came from the US in 1941. Later came other corporations like General CEAT (Centelsa) in 1955, and pharmaceutical laboratories were based in the Cauca Valley between 1940 and 1960, as Tecnoquímicas and Baxter.

The flourishing industrial city attracted waves of immigration in the 1950s and 1960s. In these decades there were important partnerships between the public and private sectors, as productive sector support to programs of business administration at the University of Valle. The growth of the University training professionals and technologists, as well as infrastructure development, were crucial for the further development of industry and trade in the Valle del Cauca. This trend continued in the 1970s and early years of the next decade. Public investment in infrastructure reached significant levels benefiting not only the production sector but also the growing population, this made Cali and Valle del Cauca models further development across the country.

In 1998, when the economic crisis became apparent, the national government could not respond to the call of the local politicians and mayors had to introduce austerity measures under pressure from creditors, which caused the vallecaucano development model to collapse. Additionally, the tightening of the country's internal conflict required a tax increase aimed at national war spending, leaving less room for local governments to collect, through taxes, the money required for their development plans.


Current statistics According to statistics by DANE, in 1995 the annual growth of GDP of the Valle del Cauca region was almost twice the national rate. For 1997, GDP increased marginally vallecaucano even 1%. In 1999 the country's economic recession was felt with a depression that made the economy were reduced showing GDP growth of 4%. Since then GDP has grown Valley ups and downs, but its percentage share nationwide has been falling since 1995 as shown in the graph.

The department contributes significantly to the national economy. According to statistics for the year 2005 as agricultural Valley contributes 5.37% of the national production, which is relatively low compared with Antioquia (15.48%) or Cundinamarca (12.81%). In fisheries products, the region ranks first with vallecaucana contributing 36% of the country's total production. As for mining, the Valley is not a metal region; however, in terms of non-metallic minerals the department contributes 8.15% of the value added across Colombia.

The industry vallecaucana contributes 13.81% of the national value added, second only to Bogotá with a 25.39% and 18.20% with Antioquia. Particularly, the industries of food, beverages and snuff are important items of the Valley's economy contributing 16% of national value added, equaled or surpassed only by Antioquia and Bogotá. On trade, nationally Bogotá has a 32.22%, 13.25% Antioquia and Valle 11.34%. In the Valley transportation services has 12.52% of value added.

The Consumer Price Index (IPC) of Cali has been since the last decade one of the lowest among Colombian cities. About 78% of Cali's people are of working age (over 18 years). In 2005 for the first time in six years the city presented an occupancy rate above 60%, which confirms the good state of the economy, led primarily by growth in manufacturing, agriculture and trade among others.

Drogas La Rebaja, one of Colombia's largest pharmacy store chains, is based in Cali. Banco de Occidente,A Grupo Aval company, has head office in cali.

Santiago de Cali, Departamento del Valle del Cauca 
Santiago de Cali, Departamento del Valle del Cauca
Image: Aleko

Santiago de Cali is rated Sufficiency by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC) which evaluates and ranks the relationships between world cities in the context of globalisation. Sufficiency level cities are cities that have a sufficient degree of services so as not to be overly dependent on world cities.

Santiago de Cali was ranked #878 by the Nomad List which evaluates and ranks remote work hubs by cost, internet, fun and safety. Santiago de Cali has a population of over 2,227,642 people. Santiago de Cali also forms the centre of the wider Valle del Cauca department which has a population of over 4,475,886 people. Santiago de Cali is ranked #298 for startups with a score of .

To set up a UBI Lab for Santiago de Cali see: Twitter:

Santiago de Cali is a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network for Media Arts see:

Twin Towns, Sister Cities Cali has links with:

🇻🇪 Caracas, Venezuela 🇪🇨 Guayaquil, Ecuador 🇺🇸 Honolulu, USA 🇵🇪 Lima, Perú 🇵🇭 Manila, Philippines 🇨🇴 Medellín, Colombia 🇺🇾 Montevideo, Uruguay 🇪🇸 Palos de la Frontera, Spain 🇪🇨 Quito, Ecuador
Text Atribution: Wikipedia Text under CC-BY-SA license | GaWC | Nomad | StartupBlink

Antipodal to Santiago de Cali is: 103.468,-3.452

Locations Near: Santiago de Cali -76.5324,3.45179

🇨🇴 Cali -76.536,3.453 d: 0.5  

🇨🇴 Yumbo -76.495,3.583 d: 15.2  

🇨🇴 Jamundí -76.55,3.267 d: 20.7  

🇨🇴 Palmira -76.25,3.583 d: 34.6  

🇨🇴 Santander de Quilichao -76.483,3.017 d: 48.7  

🇨🇴 Buga -76.302,3.9 d: 56  

🇨🇴 Buenaventura -77.079,3.89 d: 77.8  

🇨🇴 Tuluá -76.197,4.084 d: 79.6  

🇨🇴 Popayán -76.617,2.45 d: 111.8  

🇨🇴 La Plata -75.3,2.983 d: 146.4  

Antipodal to: Santiago de Cali 103.468,-3.452

🇮🇩 Pangkalan Balai 104.41,-2.891 d: 19893.3  

🇮🇩 Bengkulu City 102.264,-3.792 d: 19876.3  

🇮🇩 Bengkulu 102.25,-3.783 d: 19875  

🇮🇩 Palembang 104.733,-2.97 d: 19864.7  

🇮🇩 Liwa 104.083,-5.033 d: 19826.5  

🇮🇩 Jambi 103.617,-1.6 d: 19808.5  

🇮🇩 Jambi City 103.6,-1.583 d: 19806.8  

🇮🇩 Pringsewu 104.961,-5.356 d: 19746.3  

🇮🇩 Bandar Lampung 105.267,-5.45 d: 19716.5  

🇮🇩 Cilegon 106.011,-6.003 d: 19615.2  

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