Tuluá has a bad vibe all around. We made a quick lunch stop there on our way to spending a few days in Cali and couldn’t wait to get out of the place. It was not the friendliest place we’ve been and didn’t seem too safe in parts. There is no reason to stop here at all.
Plaza de Boyacá
Located just 90 minutes from Cali, Tuluá is a city of around 200,000 people. The heart of the city is Plaza de Boyacá. This mostly concrete plaza has a some trees in it along with a statue of Simón Bolívar.
We were hoping to visit the Iglesia de San Bartolomé, which sits on the plaza, but it was closed.
We continued a block to the east to see Parque Céspedes. This nice park is full of trees. A café is located on the southern end. At the northern end is a courthouse, Palacio de Justicia. In the center is a library, Biblioteca Pública Municipal.
On the eastern end of the park across the street are some juice stands and a small overlook to the Río Tuluá which runs through the center of the city. It’s nothing special.
Iglesia Nuestra Señora del Carmen
A few more blocks east across the river is Iglesia Nuestra Señora del Carmen. This is a beautiful brick structure that sits across the street from a small park, Parque de los Franciscanos. The neighborhood didn’t look that great.
Outside of the city center are a couple of parks that we drove past but didn’t visit. Lago Chillicote is a small artificial lake with an island in the middle. On the island is a huge tree. Apparently that was one of the recommended places to visit. Another one was Parque de la Guadua at the southern entrance to the city. The well-maintained cemetery across from Parque de la Guadua seemed to be the most beautiful park in the city.
Our lunch was at Los Arcos, a traditional Colombian restaurant a block east of Plaza de Boyacá. We had the lunch special which was sancocho, frijoles, and beef. It cost us COP$6,000 each.
The bus terminal is located not too far west of Plaza de Boyacá. It was the best sight in Tuluá because I knew I would be leaving. A direct bus to Cali cost COP$8,000 per person.
Tuluá had a terrible problem with violence in 2010 and 2010. This was due to rival drug gangs fighting for territory. The problem seems to have subsided but Tuluá is still not considered very safe.