Cali was founded in 1536 by the conquistador Sebastián de Belalcázar, but had most of its history, relatively small. In 1811 called Cali its independence from Spain, along with five other cities in the Cauca Valley.

The city of Santiago de Cali or simply Cali is one of the oldest cities in Colombia and in the American continent.

In 1536, Santiago de Cali was founded by the Spanish conquistador Sebastián de Belalcázar. In its beginnings, it was established in the north of where it is today, near Vijes and Riofrío. According to the orders of Belalcázar, the captain Miguel Muñoz relocated to the city in the place that today occupies. As an inauguration, the chaplain Fray Santos de Añasco officiated a mass in the place that today occupies the church of La Merced.

In the Colony, the city was part of the Governorate of Popayán, pertaining to the Real Hearing of Quito. Although Cali was initially the capital of the Government, in 1540 Belalcázar assigned that function to Popayán due to the temperate climate of this city.

Until the eighteenth century, much of the present territory of Cali was occupied by haciendas that were owned by the Spaniards. The town was a small village in the vicinity of the Cali River. Their lands were dedicated to the cattle raising and the planting of sugar cane. Many of these haciendas gave rise to current neighborhoods, such as Cañaveralejo, Chipichape, Pasoancho, Arroyohondo, Cañasgordas, Limonar and Meléndez.

Cali is one of the oldest cities in Colombia and America. It is located strategically in the route of the Conquest from Peru to the Northwest of Colombia. The Cauca river waterway made it a key point of conquest for other regions of the country, such as the Coffee Triangle and Antioquia.

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