Cali is a city in southwestern Colombia, capital of the Valle del Cauca department. It has about 2 million inhabitants and is a significant industrial and commercial center of activity in Colombia. Being at around 1,000 meters above sea level it tends to have a warm midday and afternoon with nice Pacific Ocean breezes while nights are cool. Cali is today's world capital of salsa, claiming that competitive distinction even over Colombia's other vibrant big city party scenes, which keep the music going long into the late hours of the morning.
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 on 25 July 1536 by the Spanish explorer Sebastián de Belalcázar. Cali is also a centre for sports in Colombia, and is the only Colombian city to have hosted the Pan American Games (in 1971). It hosted the 1992 World Wrestling Championships, the ninth edition of the World Games in 2013, the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in 2014 and the World Youth Championships in Athletics in 2015. Cali will host the first ever Junior Pan American Games in 2021. Cali is the shortened form of the official name of the city: Santiago de Cali. "Santiago" honours Saint James whose feast day is celebrated on the 25th of July. The origin of the word "Cali" comes from the local Amerindians the "Calima".