Cerro de los Cristales is a mountain to the west of Cali that you can get to by car or taxi. The primary attraction on Cerro de los Cristales is the Cristo Rey statue that is a point of reference when navigating through the busy streets of the city. It takes around 20 minutes to reach the car park near the statue, driving up winding roads through very poor neighbourhoods. The view is impressive, spanning across the whole of Cali and beyond. You can also walk down behind the statue to other viewpoints looking over the road up to KM18 (pictured above). There are numerous stalls selling food and drinks and the statue itself is surrounded by flags from around the world and is quite beautiful. A must for tourists to Cali! However, visiting the mountain or the statue is not recommended late at night for safety reasons.
Another reason I like this mountain is because it has numerous pizza places dotted up the main road overlooking the city. These are much lower down than Cristo Rey so take far less time to get to by car/taxi. Our favourite restaurant is called 'La Curva' and is open-plan with two floors overlooking the city which is particularly beautiful at sunset. Although they are nothing particularly special, the quality-price ratio on the food is very good so it is worth a visit.
Finally, the last attraction on this mountain is the Adoke butterfly farm which is at KM 6 of the main road up the mountain. The roads are not the best to get to it so make sure you have a good car. It costs $12.000 per person and you can spend as long as you like there. The guide (pictured below) was very knowledgeable about the butterflies and the various plants that sustain them. I saw some of the biggest butterflies I had ever seen at Andoke, so big I thought they were bats! They also have a hummingbird viewing/feeding area which, if you have the patience, will give you some great shots of these beautiful birds. The last part of the tour involves an interactive map of Colombia that they built into the hillside with different coloured rocks depicting rivers and mountains, sculptures of various native animals and emblems for the main cities. It's a refreshing little day visit away from the hustle and bustle of Cali and would be great for kids.