Cali, Colombia is the state that has Salsa in their blood, but also they have other recreational adventures to explore if you should ever go.
Are you looking for things to do in Cali, Colombia?
While on a vacation in Cali, aside from dancing to salsa music all night or dancing to the numerous Latino music flavors throughout the night, I had told my girlfriend that I wanted to go somewhere outside the city. After all, Cali is not really known to tourists as a place that had many "touristy" attractions. When you are in Cali, you are surrounded by the Andes mountains which rise high into the sky and makes you wonder, if you are adventurous, if it is possible to travel or camp in those mountains. Sadly, I have not figured it out to travel to the highest mountain, but it is possible to go to a recreational park called Yanaconas.
Yanaconas is off the beaten path of the traditional tourist sights. It is beyond the point that lays a place called Cristo Rey but fortunately also on the same road. You are able to get to Yanaconas in taxi from the center of Cali for around 35,000 pesos, around $10 (You will need to negotiate that price or some taxis' will try to charge 50,000 pesos). However, in some cases, you can also take a "collectivo" for around 8,000 pesos, but I do not recommend that transportation method because you will have a unpleasant ride all the way to there. Finally, it would just make sense to take the taxi and split the bill with another companion(s), just will just make your life much easier.
When you arrive to the Yanaconas, you are greeted by the Portero (the front guard), and you can tell them that you are their to camp overnight. They will insist that you go to the reception where you can pay the fee for the camping and the tents. Which brings me to this issue that if you have a tent yourself, please bring it. Yanaconas has two price structure for their tents. One being low-season and high-season. Fortunately we went during the low season...in December and the tent was $10 to rent. To stay the night is another $10 dollars (Please be advised that right now the dollar is high in Colombia $1 = 3,300 pesos at time of writing). However, despite the price, Yanaconas is a beautiful place and I did not see even 1 foreigner walking about the place, just pure 100% Colombian people. So, the experience will be a local Colombian fair, and I assume that is a good thing for most international travelers such as Mike and myself. Upon arriving to the camping grounds we decided to talk a walk and get to know the area, What was there was pretty amazing. Yanaconas has two beautiful swimming pools, a main one and a smaller one. There are restaurants that serve traditional Colombian cuisine such as Bandeja Paisa, Churrsco, Patacones and soups such as Ajiaco, Mondongo and Sancochos. The main restaurant was never open for the public and I can only assume that it was because of low season. I would call Yanaconas more of a resort that has that camping feel rather than just be for pure camping because if you wish to not camp, you could always stay in the hotel they have for a more luxury sleep. The staff had set up our tent within the hour and we were free to leave our belongings inside the tent and roam the resort. They told us that dinner is served from 6-8 then after dinner there will be a "Fogado" which means a campfire from 8-9 and shortly after the campfire is over they will open up the tavern for drinking and dancing. The dinner was nothing special and for the price of $3, I guess i couldn't complain, but for what it was, dinner was hearty. The campfire was a great experience because it included some of the staff telling stories and doing comedy for us which was excellent to me; the campfire is a big thumbs up for me. Then finally in the night was the Tavern where my girlfriend and I went to have some drinks with other people in the resort. Overall, to me, Yanaconas in Cali, Colombia was a beautiful experience and I would happily go again. I suggest going on a Saturday night because Sundays has a crazy amount of people in the swimming pools and the resort plays music and it basically reminded me of a Las Vegas pool party but in the mountains instead of desert. If you have gone, please leave some comments to share about what you thought of the experience Yanaconas Cali offered.
Yanacona is great for things to do in Cali, Colombia. Definitely visit this wonderful place if you are in Cali.