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Every year, beginning on December 25, and for six consecutive days, visitors from around the world meet in Cali to enjoy one of the most representative celebrations of the Valle del Cauca.
The first version of the Cali Carnival was held in 1957. At the time, it was called the “Sugar Cane Carnival”, sugar being the main product in the region’s economic development.
With a tradition of more than 50 years, the Cali Carnival is today a point of reference for tourists who visit the Valle del Cauca region.
That year, and for 40 days, various events, culture showcases, and artistic expressions took over the city and gradually became hallmarks of what is now acknowledged as the most important Valle del Cauca fest.
With a tradition of over 50 years, the Cali Carnival is today a point of reference for tourists who look forward to enjoying a season of traditional celebrations, while getting to know the true character of this sugar-sweet department.
Since 1962, the horseback parade is the official opening event of the Cali Carnival, and it now attracts close to 2 million people.
Horseback parade / Photo: Flickr user FABIANCH
As part of the schedule and characteristic activities of the carnival, the horseback parade is a must. Since 1962, it is the event that marks the official opening and gathers over 2 million people to watch the horse exhibit that tours the city’s main streets.
The bullfighting season, the Cali carnival, the reunion of music lovers and salsa collectors, the orchestra festival, the classic cars parade, and the beauty pageants were gradually introduced to group visitors with diverse interests and to provide entertainment during the December festivities.
Visitors may enjoy the exquisite Valle del Cauca cuisine that is offered in the tascas.
Typical Valle del Cauca dish / Photo: Flickr user Carlos Andres Segura
Additionally, visitors may enjoy the exquisite Valle del Cauca cuisine that is offered in the tascas. These small picturesque restaurants, erected outdoors for the duration of the Carnival, offer the region's typical food, as well as international cuisine, to allow visitors to enjoy a true feast of flavors.
Cali is known as the salsa capital of the world, salsa being an integral part of the city’s cultural heritage and one of its main attractions.
Salsa dancers surprise visitors with a display of movement and talent.
This is why the shows put on by salsa dancers and folk groups, who surprise visitors every day with a world-recognized display of movement and talent, are also part of the feast that brings together the genre’s best interpreters in spectacular concerts.
Cali devotes large spaces to tourism, recreation, and sports. It is also one of the country’s principal economic and industrial centers, as well as the urban, economic, industrial, and agricultural core of the southwest.
Aside from the lovely landscapes and tourist destinations in the region, the kindness and hospitality of the caleños are an attraction for visitors.
The kindness and hospitality of the people, together with the landscapes and tourist destinations of the region, are very attractive to visitors who expect to find a welcoming refuge and to become acquainted with the local culture.
This is how Cali is the gateway to this magnificent region that invites people to spend the last days of the year in the best Valle del Cauca tradition.
Cali, capital of merriment,
Cali and its salsa,
to delight and entertain,
to get voyagers of Colombia and the world
to laugh, to dance, to sing
¡Cali, capital of merriment!
Consult the official portal of the Cali Fair for additional information.