This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Palmira. To help you make friends with Palmira before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
Palmira is a city in the Valle de Cauca department in Colombia. It’s 27 kilometres east of Cali, the departmental capital. Palmira is in southwestern Colombia, in a low-lying river valley. It is an agricultural capital, producing mostly sugar cane, rice, tobacco, and coffee. There is also serious air pollution from the sugar cane waste.
The main airport for Cali, Alfonso Bonilla Aragon International Airport, is in Palmira so if you are anywhere else in Colombia, this is by far the easiest way to get here. If you prefer travelling by bus, an intercity one will go to Cali, where you can change for a regional one. In town, the preferred mode of transportation is a mototaxi, or motorcycle taxi.
There are a few hostels here in Palmira. Most are in or near the city centre, some are by the university district and Las Americas neighbourhood. Don’t expect hostels in the city to be like a traditional backpacker hostel - they are more like bed and breakfasts or pensions with shared facilities for the private rooms. There are also a few ecoturismo hostels on the outskirts of town; these will be more like farmstays or the fincas in the mountains.
Palmira is a beautiful city with several large plazas, boulevards, and historic buildings. One of the city’s historical highlights is the cathedral, near the Plaza de Bolivar. There are also some nature parks within the city, which are perfect places to relax in the afternoon after exploring the city. If you haven’t had your fill of a modern shopping mall in awhile, there is a new one in Palmira. It is a popular place for Colombians to come on a weekend! Finally, if you’re a sports fan, Palmira is a great place to watch a local soccer (football) game. There are several teams that play regularly. The new Estadio Deportivo Cali fills up with fans and the atmosphere is charged - it’s a don’t miss experience.
Written by local enthusiast for Palmira hostelsJakob Lombardi