Calima Lake

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Calima Lake
Lago Calima
Lago Calima.jpg
from the road to Darién
Location Darién, Valle del Cauca
Coordinates 3°53′40.45″N 76°29′41.58″W / 3.8945694°N 76.4948833°W / 3.8945694; -76.4948833Coordinates: 3°53′40.45″N 76°29′41.58″W / 3.8945694°N 76.4948833°W / 3.8945694; -76.4948833
Type reservoir
Basin countries Colombia
Surface area 70 km2
Surface elevation 1,500 meters (4,900 feet)

Calima Lake (Spanish: Lago Calima) is the largest artificial lake in Colombia with an area of 70 km2. It is located in the municipality of Darién in the Valle del Cauca Department.

The lake is part of a hydroelectric project for generating power for the department. C.V.C (Corporación Autónoma Regional del Valle del Cauca) started construction of the lake by 1961.

Calima Lake has become a place for water sports and leisure activities. Vacation centers, restaurants and camping zones were built near the lake, and is currently a popular place frequented by both national and international tourists, especially those from nearby cities and towns like Cali and Buga. The elevation of the lake is 1,500 meters (4,900 feet) above sea level.


There are three major routes to arrive to Darién from Cali, the closest city, by road/

  • Cali - Palmira - Buga - Darién, 108 km. This route has the best conditions
  • Cali - Yumbo - Vijes - Darién, 93 km. Although this is one of the most crowded routes, the road is in good condition and offers great landscapes alongside the Cauca River.
  • Cali - Dagua - Loboguerrero - Darién, 100 km. This route


The average annual temperature is 18.8 °C, although by afternoon and in the night can be colder. The temperature ranges from 14.0 °C to 28.8 °C. The weather is classified as humid meso-thermal with a rain period of 189 days.

Evening in Calima Lake


By the end of August, some cultural festivals and parties are celebrated in the town of Darién and near the lake. The "Black and White Sensations" electronic music festival is notable because it resembles a similar event hosted in Amsterdam. It is one of the most well-known outdoor events of its kind inland and gathers music lovers from all over the country.


Extreme sports are very popular in the Calima lake, as the winds allow for a wide variety of water sports. Kitesurfing is one of the most popular sports. Windsurfing is also practiced.


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