The 10 Best Museums in Cali

Ah, Cali! Known for its salsa rhythms and warm climate, it’s a city that dances to the beat of its own drum. But let’s not forget, it’s also a treasure trove of cultural gems, with museums that are as vibrant and diverse as the city itself. Whether you’re a history buff, art aficionado, or just looking for a way to spend an afternoon, Cali’s museums offer a little something for everyone.

One of the city’s most renowned institutions is the Museo La Tertulia. Nestled along the banks of the Rio Cali, this modern art museum is a feast for the senses. With its ever-changing exhibitions and stunning sculpture garden, it’s a place where the contemporary meets the serene. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Let’s dive into the top 10 museums that make Cali a cultural hotspot.

1. Museo La Tertulia

This museum is a modern art lover’s dream. Its collection boasts works from Colombian and Latin American artists that’ll leave you pondering and inspired. The museum’s architecture is a work of art in itself, with open spaces that invite the Cali breeze to flow through its halls.

2. Museo del Oro Calima

Gold, gold, and more gold! The Museo del Oro Calima shines bright with its dazzling display of pre-Hispanic goldsmith work. It’s a testament to the skill and artistry of the Calima culture, and a must-see for anyone interested in ancient civilizations.

3. Museo Arqueológico La Merced

Housed in a colonial-era convent, this archaeological museum takes you back in time. Its collection includes pottery, textiles, and artifacts that tell the story of the region’s indigenous groups. It’s a quiet spot that offers a deep connection to the past.

4. Museo de Arte Religioso

For a spiritual journey, the Museo de Arte Religioso is divine. Located in the historic San Francisco church complex, it showcases religious art from the colonial period. The intricate wood carvings and solemn paintings are truly awe-inspiring.

5. Museo Jairo Varela

Named after the famous musician and founder of Grupo Niche, this museum is a tribute to salsa music. It’s interactive, fun, and full of life, much like the genre itself. You’ll leave with your toes tapping and a new appreciation for Cali’s musical heritage.

6. Museo de la Caña de Azúcar

Set in a beautiful hacienda, the Sugar Cane Museum tells the sweet story of sugar’s impact on the region. The lush gardens and antique machinery paint a picture of the sugar industry’s history. It’s a fascinating look at the sweet side of Cali’s economy.

7. Museo Rayo de Dibujo y Grabado Latinoamericano

In the nearby town of Roldanillo, Museo Rayo is a haven for drawing and printmaking enthusiasts. Founded by artist Omar Rayo, the museum’s angular design is as striking as the art it houses. It’s well worth the trip to experience this unique collection.

8. Caliwood Museo de la Cinematografía

Film buffs, rejoice! Caliwood offers a nostalgic look at the history of cinema in Colombia and beyond. With vintage cameras and memorabilia, it’s a charming ode to the silver screen. You’ll feel like a star walking through its exhibits.

9. Museo Departamental de Ciencias Naturales

Curious minds will love the Departmental Museum of Natural Sciences. Its exhibits on the region’s biodiversity are both educational and engaging. From geology to botany, it’s a Celebration of the natural world that surrounds Cali.

10. Museo Nacional de la Salsa

While still in the works, the National Salsa Museum promises to be a cultural landmark. It aims to preserve and promote salsa culture, ensuring that this iconic dance continues to thrive. Keep an eye out for its grand opening!


  • What are the opening hours for Museo La Tertulia?

    Typically, Museo La Tertulia is open from Tuesday to Sunday. However, it’s always best to check their website for the most up-to-date information.

  • Is there an entrance fee for the museums?

    Most museums in Cali charge a modest entrance fee, but some offer free admission on certain days. Again, it’s a good idea to look up each museum’s policy before your visit.

  • Are the museums in Cali accessible for visitors with disabilities?

    Many of Cali’s museums have made efforts to be accessible, but facilities can vary. Contacting the museums directly before your visit will ensure you have all the information you need.


Cali’s museums are as diverse and vibrant as the city itself. From the modern masterpieces at Museo La Tertulia to the historical treasures of Museo del Oro Calima, there’s a wealth of knowledge and beauty to be discovered. These institutions not only preserve the past but also celebrate the living culture of salsa, art, and nature. They offer a deeper understanding of Cali’s rich heritage and are a testament to the city’s ongoing cultural evolution. So next time you’re in Cali, make sure to add these top 10 museums to your itinerary. You won’t regret it!

By exploring these museums, you’ll gain insight into the heart and soul of Cali. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, these cultural havens are sure to enrich your experience of this dynamic Colombian city.

Kurby Team

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