Santiago de Cali, often shortened to Cali, is the main city, municipality and capital of the Valle del Cauca, a department in western Colombia. Santiago de Cali is the third largest city in Colombia. It is a reference point inside Colombia because of its industrial and commercial development, and has one of the fastest growing economies in the country because of its geographical location. Cali was founded on July 25th in 1536 by the Spanish conqueror Sebastián de Belalcázar.
The name Santiago de Cali comes in one part to honour Saint James the apostle (Santiago in Spanish) whose feast day is celebrated on July 25. There are several possibilities of the origin of the word "Cali". Some attribute it to a mispronunciation of the word "Lili", the name of a local tribe. Others believe that the word "Cali" has quechua origin, and it was brought by the Yanaconas Indians that came from Quito serving Sebastián de Belalcázar. This theory is reinforced by the fact that near Quito there is an indigenous town named Cali Cali.