Introducing Cali

In Colombia altitude defines attitude. While Bogotá (2650m) is perpetually chilly and Medellín (1485m) enjoys eternal spring, Cali (1005m) remains sultry 12 months of the year. And that's why Colombia's third-largest city wears less and parties more than its rivals. In their relentless pursuit of a good time, caleños have adopted salsa music as their own, and in the Juanchito district you can dance until dawn seven nights of the week, no questions asked.

While largely modern and industrial, the city does have some interesting colonial buildings, and the tree-lined banks of the Río Cali make for a fine stroll. A hidden gem is the city's excellent zoo, which is devoted almost exclusively to Colombian wildlife. If you were a caged mammal in South America, this is where you'd want to be.

While the city itself isn't breathtaking, Cali famously claims to produce the most beautiful women in Colombia. If it's true, it's thanks in no small part to a remarkable mixture of African, European and indigenous gene pools. However, wealthy caleñas don't hesitate to get considerable help from Dr Lookgood - breast implants are a form of highly conspicuous consumption. Augmented or not, the city's residents take to the streets when remarkably reliable breezes dissipate the heat of the day and usher in soft, tropical evenings.

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