Lago Calima was a huge disappointment. Maybe our expectations were too high, but we thought it would be much nicer.
Lago Calima is an artificial lake that was created in 1961 and is very popular as a recreational getaway. The cool climate makes for a great escape from the unbearable heat in Cali. It’s considered the best place in Colombia for water sports such as kite surfing and windsurfing. The water is always warm and lessons are available for these sports. There are also camping zones, hotels, fincas and cabins for rent, restaurants, and more all around the lake. Many of them can be found on this website.
We went to the lake on a mototaxi from the nearby town of Darién, where we stayed. It cost COP$3,000 per person and it took less than 10 minutes. If you walk, it can take 20 to 30 minutes.
Once we arrived, we saw lots of jet skis for rent, banana boat rides, and boat tours of the lake. There were also stands selling roasted corn, arepas de chocolo, and obleas. The lake itself didn’t look as beautiful as we had expected. The water was cloudy and brown and not something I would swim in. We also noticed the water level was much lower than it should have been, which probably affected the scenery greatly.
We decided to take a boat tour of the lake. It cost COP$8,000 per person and lasted about 30 minutes. The guide gave us a quick history of the lake and stopped at three points to show us some large vacation homes and cabins. The tour wasn’t very interesting but the guide was entertaining.
After the boat tour, we sat and had some of the street food from the vendors. We then called the mototaxis to come pick us up. We weren’t interested in doing any of the water sports, so it was kind of a low-key couple hours at the lake.