|Valle del Cauca is located southwest, by the Pacific Coast with an easy access to domestic markets as well as the rest of the world's.|
Located southwest of Colombia, Valle del Cauca department geographically borders by Central and Occidental mountain ranges and is "bathed" by a number of rivers that flow into Cauca River.
The Department is broken down into four regions: Pacific Strip; Occidental Mountain Range; Cauca River Andean Valley, whose nearby lands are the most fertile in the country; and Central Mountain Range.
The Department has a surface of 22,140 square kilometers, corresponding to 1.9% of the national territory. Population as of 2005 was estimated at 4,161,425 representing 9.7% of the Colombian population. Population density in the region is 187.9 inhabitants per square kilometer.
Valle del Cauca has 42 municipalities. Its capital, political and administrative center, is Santiago de Cali city, 440 kilometers away from Bogotá, the capital of the country.
The following are some of the most important cities in the Department:
- Buenaventura: the Pacific Coast capital with 500,000 inhabitants and the most important seaport located on the Colombian Pacific Ocean that handles 56% of all Colombian imports and 28% of all Colombian exports. The economy in this city revolves around seaport activities, forest exploitation, ecotourism, and sea and river fishing industry.
- Palmira: a city located on the oriental bank of Cauca River that ranks three in importance as far as population: 296,620 inhabitants (DANE 2011 projections). Economic activity in this town is mainly concentrated on agriculture, livestock farming, industry, commerce, and mining; it is, besides, center of huge sugar mills. This city is 22 kilometers away from Cali, the capital of the Department and it is called the Agribusiness Capital of Colombia; a well-deserved epithet granted by Law.
- Tuluá: the town is located at a strategic place in the center of Valle del Cauca. It has various access roads and contact with every town in the region; it's at Pan-American road and its geographical privilege makes it equidistant to cities like Cali, 100 kilometers; Armenia, 105 kilometers, Pereira, 125 kilometers; and Buenaventura, 172 kilometers. It also has Farfán Airport that serves as a link to Medellín – Bogotá – Cali airport system. With a population of about 200,000 inhabitants, it is a commercial and service meeting place.
- Cartago: it is a city located north of Valle del Cauca Department with a population of 126,792 as of September 2011; it has Santa Ana international airport and according to regional cargo airport infrastructure information, it has the highest cargo capacity around the region because of its longest landing stripe (2,200 m) and closest to sea level (900 m) so it can operate Douglas DC-8 and Boeing 757 airplanes with an average capacity of 40 tons. Cartago economic activities are mainly agriculture, livestock farming, commerce, and small industries.
- Buga: Guadalajara de Buga city ranks sixth in the Department with 115,949 inhabitants (DANE population projections). Buga is the most important touristic destination in the southwest of the country. It also has fertile and productive lands that serve as the agricultural belt for the Department as well as for other regions around the country.
- Jamundí: the town has an area of 577 square kilometers and it is located in the southern part of the Department on the left bank of Cauca River and between Occidental Mountain Range and Los Farallones National Natural Park. Has a population of about 110,000 inhabitants and main economic activities are concentrated on agriculture, livestock farming, and mining. The agricultural sector focuses on corn, soybean, maize, coffee, rice, cocoa, and plantain. Jamundí stands out as well for having a strong industrial activity around Cali territorial border.
- Yumbo: It is the closest town to Cali; just 15 minutes away with a population of 95,509 inhabitants (DANE 2005). Known as the industrial capital of Colombia because it has over 2,000 factories settled in its territory bordering Cali. It is located just ten minutes away from the Alfonso Bonilla Aragón Airport and two hours away from Buenaventura. Thanks to its strategic location, to its road infrastructure, and tax incentives, Yumbo is considered a fundamental part of the industrial development of the Department generating over 33,000 jobs.
- Sevilla: it is a famous town for featuring different temperature gradients. It has 47,028 inhabitants. Average temperature is 20 °C which allows farming varieties, being the most common coffee plantations. Livestock farming also takes an important spot in Sevilla's economic development being the first producer of milk in the Department. The town economy is supported by income generated by remittances, coffee, commerce, agriculture, livestock farming, and the institutional and commercial sectors.
Valle del Cauca: a valley at the Pacific
Valle del Cauca is located on the Pacific Coastal region of Colombia with 218 kilometers of coast. Cultural and ethnic diversity of its population is framed into a vast potential of natural resources. This coastal area has an abundance of water, forest, fishing, and touristic resources, as well as a very representative percentage of the country and the world biodiversity. Colombian Pacific Region has been catalogued as second to Brazil in terms of biodiversity in the world and the region with the highest levels of rainfall and sun exposure hours in the world, as well.
Valle is a strategic point in Colombia and South America…
- Direct access to the Pacific Basin and through nearby Panama Canal – just 20 navigation hours – to the Atlantic Basin.
- It is an ideal export platform to American Pacific countries like Canada, United States of America, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, and Chile.
- It is part of a Colombian region that comprises Bogotá, Medellín, and Cali which concentrates 70% of the national GDP and 52% of the country's population.
... and it is one of the most flourishing regions in Colombia.
- Represents 1.9 of the national territory and 9.6% of all Colombian population (4,428,342 inhabitants). Information taken from DANE's projections, 2011.
- Contributes an average of 10.6% to Colombia and 13.25% to national manufacturing GDP.
- 86.4% of Valle del Cauca inhabitants live in urban areas and the remaining 13.6% in rural areas.
The region has supported its development to a great extent on renewable natural resources:
- Biodiversity: it houses between 25% and 50% of the fauna and 11% of the flora of the country.
- Water resources: it has two basins; Pacific Basin and Cauca Basin.
- Underground water: it has 1,600 deep wells that provide 800 million cubic meters of water per year.
- Rain and sun: it has one of the highest rainfall and sun exposure indexes in the world.
- Fishing: a potential of 450,000 tons per year. Just 25% of it is currently exploited.
- Forest reserve: the Colombian Pacific represents 16% of the national total and is second to the Amazon.
The historical development of Valle del Cauca economy has gone through four basic periods that have responded to different models of development adopted in the country:
- Up to 1910: the region gravitated dramatically around large country estates. It was a period of agribusiness economy, isolated and self-sustained where Cali was a road-cross place.
- 1910 to 1940: a transition period where regional platform bases were settled that became fundament for the upcoming industrialization process and the development of Valle del Cauca corporate network. During this period, the agribusiness development of the region took place thanks to Antioquean colonization that started around Valle northern drainage basins. In parallel, sugarcane expansion and industrialization took place along Cauca River geographical valley.
- 1940 – 1990: import product substitution phase that had been started at the beginning of the 20th Century with coffee threshing and hectic sugar production with later production of other industrial goods mainly mass consumption.
- 1990 – Current: the economy of the Department as well as the economy of the country has been geared towards international markets and also to domestic markets. This is the economic opening period.
The modernization of the Department and industrial and corporate tissue re-adaptation were achieved together. State policies have been strengthening the region service infrastructure generating a corporate environment with better expectations around the regional economy as well as local and national security.90 Valle del Cauca Insights
Based on the regional strategy booklet "Valle touches us", launched by Cali Chamber of Commerce about five years ago, we would like to continue showing amazing g data about the splendid Valle del Cauca nature, its biodiversity, scientific and technical information, human resources, cultural wealth, different scenario successes, corporate success, and different Valle del Cauca citizens who are now in different parts of the planet. These insights are a sample of the drive Valle del Cauca has so you get to know them, disclose them, and start feeling a sense of belonging in this region that is as yours as it is mine, but better yet, since it is yours and mine, it become very much ours
- Did you know that in Cali there are 25 different bird species that can be seen at a given time? In other words, a person in Cali, while waiting for the bus, is able to see more bird species that an ornithology professor on the field in Canada.
- Did you know that Carlos Humberto Molina from Villa Colombia neighborhood is the first dancer at Boston Ballet and that Flavio Salazar from Panamericano neighborhood act at American Ballet Theater (ABT)?
- Did you know that Valle del Cauca workers are the ones who taught Brazilian peers in Curitiba to print phone books in that big country?
- Did you know that Carvajal S.A. is the first Colombian multinational that has had its own offices in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Spain, Ecuador, United States of America, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and Venezuela? And that in nine of those countries it has its own production plants, as well?
- Did you know that Valle del Cauca is the Colombian department with the best coverage of utilities (more than 99% in energy)?
- Did you know that Hoteles Estelar S.A., a Valle del Cauca corporation, who owns and directly manages Cali Intercontinental Hotel, totals 14 hotels, and ranks first place in that industry sector in assets, sales, equity, and profits, is the first chain of Colombian hotels?
- Did you know that scientific researcher Sócrates Herrera has been the only Latin American selected and sponsored by Bill Gates Foundation to participate in the Malaria World Conference held in France in 2005?
- Did you know that Valle del Cauca is the first national manufacturer of rubber products and that it manufactures more than 50% of all tires in Colombia?
- Did you know that Calima Lake has the third fastest winds in the world and the first fastest winds in America throughout the year?
- Did you know that Valle del Cauca has eight manufacturing sectors with the highest productivity in the national context? They are food and beverages, wood, paper and printing, chemical, non-metallic minerals, basic metals, and machinery.
- Did you know that in Cartago and Ansermanuevo there are 1,558 embroidery shops, the only ones there are in the country with this specialty?
- Did you know that Valle del Cauca is one of the most developed departments in Colombia and that it has a territory equivalent to 1.9% of the national geography, 10% of the national population, and 14.7% of industrial aggregate?
- Did you know that important international corporations, 1,100 companies with foreign capital, and about 70 multinationals have presence in Valle del Cauca with their production established in this department?
- Did you know that Valle del Cauca is a department that counts on both Occidental Trunk Road (Pan-American Road) and Pacific Trunk Road (Panorama Road)?
- Did you know that Valle de Cauca takes third place in departmental competitiveness ranking?
- Did you know that Valle del Cauca has two weightlifting world champions in the juvenile category – Oscar Figueroa and Duly Angela Medina (2001)? Also, Tuluá champion Leidy Solís who in 2010 won in Central American and Caribbean Games and in the South American Games in Medellín?
- Did you know that among the largest 1,000 Colombian companies registered by COMFECAMARAS, 126 are from Valle del Cauca with assets over 44 trillion Colombian Pesos (COP 44,000,000,000,000)?
- Did you know that Parquesoft – Cali has been renowned by the World Bank as one of the most innovative and effective information technology entrepreneurial institutions among over 80 countries that develop around the world?
- Did you know that a group of Bionanoelectronics researchers at Valle University earned the diploma granted to the best project among 154 submitted in the 11th IBERCHIP Workshop held in Brazil?
- Did you know that MAC, a Valle del Cauca company, sales car batteries to every South American country; to Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, El Salvador, Aruba, Honduras, Jamaica, and Curacao in Central America; to Canada and Mexico in North America; and that it supplies as well Kuwait, Qatar, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Ghana, and Gambia markets?
- Did you know that Cali Zoo has the most complex exhibition in the country of night animals (Owls, barn owls, vampire bats, night monkeys, opossums, spotted paca)?
- Did you know that Valle del Cauca is the only department in the country that has five airports? They are in Palmira, Tuluá, Cartago, Juanchaco, and Buenaventura
- Did you know that CIAT – International Center for Tropical Agriculture– operates in Palmira one of its 12 world agribusiness research centers with sustainable technology for food production with donors worldwide?
- Did you know that Valle del Cauca is connected to the Pacific Basin, a region that concentrates 50% of the world population and 47% of the world GDP; and with the Atlantic Basin through Panama Canal, eight hours away from Buenaventura seaport?
- Did you know that Valle del Cauca is the first department – after Bogotá City– with the best living conditions due to its economic recovery, schooling advances, alphabetization, and life hopes according to PNDH by the United Nations, 2005?
- Did you know that Valle del Cauca companies are leaders in the national scope in the application of management technologies according to the Productivity National Center 2004 report?
- Did you know that a chemical engineer from Valle University – Carlos Alberto Ruiz Soto – was granted the Luis Pombo award in 2004 for being the best graduating engineer in Colombia and now works for Tate & Lyle multinational in England?
- Did you know that Jaime Galvis, from Cali, is the current Microsoft Marketing Manager in Dubai and had this subsidiary as the best one in the world in its rank in 2011?
- Did you know that in 2004 Cardiology Congress, cardiologists Hugo Hernán Zapata and Miled César Gómez from IMBANACO Medical Center were recognized as cardiology pioneers for having a device implanted in the heart without opening it up?
- Did you know that Valle University has nine regional campuses: Buga, Tuluá, Cartago, Zarzal, Buenaventura, Caicedonia, Palmira, Yumbo, and Santander de Quilichao?
- Did you know that Raul Cuero from Valle del Cauca – a biologist graduated from Valle University – is the only Latin American scientist working for NASA?
- Did you know that Antonio Maria Valencia from Valle del Cauca – a soloist who played in Europe in the twenties – founded Valle Symphonic Orchestra and the conservatory that was named after him?
- Did you know that one hectare at Bajo Calima houses more plants, animals, microorganisms, and birds that in every British island together?
- Did you know that the only Colombian sportswoman who has won a gold medal in the Athens Olympic Games was Maria Isabel Urrutia from Valle del Cauca?
- ¿Did you know that in Cali, just seven minutes away from Caycedo Plaza there is a Botanical Garden that in just 12 hectares has over 100 bird species, 20 mammal species, and 150 day butterfly species?
- Did you know that we rank second in the world on tropical butterfly species?
- Did you know that in Yotoco, Valle del Cauca, there are 125 recognized migrating bird species?
- Did you know that out of the 800 humpback whales that arrive every year to the Colombian Pacific, most of them concentrate at Valle del Cauca Pacific which allows an easier sighting near the beach?
- Did you know that Valle del Cauca concentrates high geographical, ethnical, cultural, end corporate diversities thus becoming one of the most important touristic destinations in the country preferred by foreigners? The number of arrivals in the first semester of 2011 increased 8.3% as compared to same period of the previous year?
- Did you know that our Botanical Garden keeps seeds to reforest Cali and Valle mountains because from just a single tree there is possible to get up to 90,000 seeds that can be planted where the species existed?
- Did you know that due to thermal and dynamic conditions offered by Valle del Cauca is possible to guarantee hang glider safe flights throughout the year?
- Did you know that the movie The King, directed by Antonio Dorado, a Valle University professor, won three national awards and one international award in 2005?
- Did you know that Valle University has 180 research groups recognized by COLCIENCIAS and ten of them classified at the highest scientific ranks?
- Did you know that the Japanese colony at Valle del Cauca is celebrating their 80th arrival anniversary since the first five immigrants arrived in 1929 attracted by the "beautiful Valle del Cauca landscape" described by Jorge Isaacs in Maria, his novel that was translated into Japanese by Yuso Takeshima?
- Did you know that Parquesoft – Cali is the entrepreneurial institution that leads the largest 'information technology cluster in the Andean Community, Central America, and the Antilles?
- Did you know that Colombia ratified its roller-skating potential in Yeosu – Korea, 2011, with Andrés Felipe Muñoz from Valle del Cauca, ranked as the fastest world roller skater in the world in 2010?
- Did you know that in 1995 in order for Cali to prepare actors and actresses for local TV, the Theater School was founded in Bellas Artes with Spanish Director Cayetano Luca de Tena and with Enrique Buenaventura as physical theater professor?
- Did you know that Valle del Cauca Pacific is the greatest biological vein in the world? In 75,000 square kilometers there are between 7,000 and 10,000 bird species – 2,000 of them endemic; and 100 of them do not exist anywhere else?
- Did you know that Valle del Cauca is so important in sports that in professional male volleyball, judo, and wrestling Valle del Cauca Selection are 80% of the National Selection?
- Did you know that Mauricio Rivas is the fencer that has reached most achievements regionally, worldwide, and in the Olympics; he was born in Cali and has won twice in Class A circuits in France, the most important fencing country in the world?
- Did you know that with Valle del Cauca tobacco production Simón Bolívar sponsored the independence war?
- Did you know that 8 national federations – triathlon, gymnastics, underwater activity, swimming, wrestling, weight lifting, and taekwondo – have their headquarters in Cali?
- Did you know that Parquesoft – Cali was the first entrepreneurial South American institution with offices in Silicon Valley, the world information technology Mecca?
- Did you know that coffee is part of Valle del Cauca agricultural diversity and it is the fifth national producer with 8.9% of the national total?
- Did you know that The Lord of Miracles Basilica in Guadalajara de Buga is the religious place most visited in Colombia by over 2,000,000 people a year?
- Did you know that the only aniba perutilis – the most precious American wood that is about to become extinct – museum is located in the first ecological laboratory at Nirvana Natural Reserve?
- Did you know that Valle del Cauca is the only region in the country that has public recreational parks in every town and in some suburban counties?
- Did you know that Andrés Jaramillo, born in Cali, is one of the 2,000 most influential scientists in the 20th Century due to his research on nanotechnology?
- Did you know that COOMEVA, the largest cooperative in the country, was founded in Cali 45 years ago by 27 Valle del Cauca practitioners?
- Did you know that Sara Brut macro-project is a fresh water reservoir that supplies drinking water to five towns? They are Bolívar, Roldanillo, La Unión, Toro, and LA Victoria.
- Did you know that the largest bean gene bank in the world is located at CIAT – Tropical Agriculture International Center in Palmira?
- Did you know that Valle del Cauca is the Colombian department with the highest number of intermediate cities with over 100,000 inhabitants each? They are Cartago, Tuluá, Buga, Buenaventura, and Palmira.
- Did you know that Federico César Sequeda is young 18-year old student from Cali that became sub-champion in the World Mathematics Olympics held in Switzerland in 2005?
- Did you know that Nirvana Natural Reserve located in Buitrera, a Palmira suburban county, has the largest collection of heliconias in the country with over 90 species?
- Did you know that Cali Zoo is positioned as the first one in Colombia and as one of the first ones in Latin America?
- Did you know that Valle del Cauca is one of the few departments with two mountain ranges and every possible temperature gradient from sea level to endless snow?
- Did you know that at least 80% of Cauca River basin provided by CVC with infrastructure for agricultural production, turning it independent of rainfall regimes through irrigation channels, flow regulation, etc.?
- Did you know that Yuri Buenaventura is a famous singer in France and the artist who spread salsa throughout Europe?
- Did you know that Cali is the city of the seven rivers and Valle del Cauca is one of the departments with the highest water wealth both by volume and number of tributary rivers?
- Did you know that the Fair and Feast corridor of the 42 Valle del Cauca municipalities is celebrated throughout the year??
- Did you know that Valle de Lili Foundation along Valle University is advancing researches to successfully isolate pancreatic cells that are to be implanted later on into diabetic patients in order to avoid having to perform procedures as complicated as transplants?
- Did you know that Jackeline Rentería, a weightlifter from Cali, in her first Olympic presentation in Beijing beat the Rumanian Ana Paval 5-0 through immobilization to conquer the bronze medal?
- Did you know that 50% of all Colombian birds are found in Valle del Cauca with 800 classified species?
- Did you know that Valle del Cauca, with Buenaventura and the Pacific Coastal Region, has one of the most important tuna fish reserves in the world and is the second wood producer in the country?
- Did you know that Borojo's scientific name is Borojoa Patinoi to honor the memory of Víctor Manuel Patiño, his discoverer for the world of science, who is a Valle del Cauca ethno-biologist? (Zarzal 1901, Cali 2001).
- Did you know that Jaime Lerner Curitiba (Brasil) emblematic mayor once said about the marine breeze that blows everyday in Cali at 5 pm that it should be "sold as a franchise to other cities around the world so everyone could be able to enjoy it"?
- Did you know that United Nations G-77 granted its first Science, Technology, and Innovation Award to Pedro Prieto Pulido, a Valle del Cauca physics professor due to his work on super-conductivity and magnetism in 2005?
- Did you know that the first Pan-American champion Colombia had in sports history was Jaime Aparicio, a Valle del Cauca representative in 1971?
- Did you know that Colombina candy factory after strengthening its markets in the United States of America, Venezuela, and Andean countries conquered far-away customers in Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, Gambia, Morocco and that every day, among many other products, 2,776,000 candies are shipped out of the factory to be sold all over the world?
- Did you know that Nubia Muñoz Calero, born in Valle del Cauca and a graduate from John Hopkins University in the United States, directs the Cancer Research International Agency, based in France, and is one of the persons in the world most knowledgeable on uterus cancer?
- Did you know that Valle del Cauca is pioneer in educational portals through Edunet, an ERT – Telecommunications Regional Company – a Valle del Cauca mixed economy enterprise?
- Did you know that Valle del Cauca counts with the only private stadium there is in the country and it is owned by Cali Sports Club?
- Did you know that Valle de Lili Foundation has undertaken 9 vertebral column surgery journeys with 84 high-complexity surgeries performed on 67 children who are part of low-resource families and over 500 checkups?
- Did you know that Cali Ermita (a country chapel at the time) is the only church in Colombia with bell servo-control system that can synchronize the sound of the bell so much as to play Hail Mary?
- Did you know that Valle del Cauca vehicles were the first ones in the country to use biodiesel made of sugarcane?
- Did you know that Valle del Cauca takes first place in the world in biodiversity in hanging plants and creepers?
- Did you know that currently over 50 Valle del Cauca athletes participate and represent Colombia in Sweden, Germany, Australia, and the United States?
- Did you know that Valle del Cauca has 37 higher education entities; among them, Valle University is the third research university with one of the best medicine schools in the country?
- Did you know that Cali Zoo is the institution with the highest success rate in the world reproducing giant river otters?
- Did you know that Valle del Cauca was the second department in the 18th National Sports Games with 385 medals achieving 8 national records, 5 in swimming, one in athletics, one in weightlifting, and the other in underwater sports?