Palmira, Valle del Cauca

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Flag of Palmira
Coat of arms of Palmira
Coat of arms
Location of the municipality and city of Palmira in the Valle del Cauca Department.
Location of the municipality and city of Palmira in the Valle del Cauca Department.
Palmira is located in Colombia
Location of the municipality and city of Palmira in the Valle del Cauca Department.
Coordinates: 3°35′N 76°15′W / 3.583°N 76.250°W / 3.583; -76.250
Region Pacific Region
Department Valle del Cauca*
Founded 1824
 • Total 1,123 km2 (434 sq mi)
Elevation 1,001 m (3,284 ft)
Population (2012)
 • Total 245,109
 • Density 220/km2 (570/sq mi)
Demonym Palmirano
Postal code 76520000
Area code(s) 57 + 2
Website Official website (Spanish)

Palmira (pronounced pälmē'rä) is a city and municipality in southwestern Colombia in the Valle del Cauca Department, located about 17 miles (27 km) east from Cali, the department's capital and main city.



Palmira is located in southwestern Colombia, lying in the Cauca River valley. 3°31’48” north altitude and 76°81’13” longitude west of Greenwich. The city covers an area of 448 square miles (1,160 km2). The average temperature is 23°C (73°F) and its altitude is 1000 m (3284 ft) above sea level.


According to the historian William Mallama Lugo, the city of Palmira arises in 1813 when Don Pedro Simón Cárdenas gave the name of Villa de las Palmas. Its inhabitants are called "Palmireños" or "Palmiranos".

Industry and Recreation[edit]

Sugar cane plantations.

Important agricultural products are sugar cane, coffee, rice, corn, and tobacco. The burning of the waste cane is the main source of air pollution in the city. In 2005, Palmira opened its first large and post modern shopping mall Centro Comercial Llanogrande Plaza, popularly called "La Catorce", after the department store 'La 14' located in the mall. The indoor/outdoor shopping center has become very popular among Palmireños since its opening as there are no other large shopping malls in the city. Nevertheless, Palmiranos can still do their basic shopping in La Marden or any of its other stores located all throughout the city, specially in El Centro. Before the mall was built, Palmireños had to travel to Cali to many of its shopping centers such as La Catorce De Calima and Chipichape. Llanogrande has many restaurants, several outdoor bars, an indoor cinema, casino, and a small amusement park. It is located on the city's southwest side. Its address is Calle 31 No. 44-239. Palmira is also known for having many beautiful parks.


Alfonso Bonilla Aragón International Airport, which serves Cali, is located in Palmira. The citizens' most common method of transportation are the bicycle and motorcycle. There are so many of these in the city, that cars on the street have to drive slow and carefully in order to avoid hitting a pedestrian or a cyclist. In fact, the big quantity of motorcycles has become a new business since the past 5 years. Since there are a lot of motorcycles, their owners have started to offer their service of transportating people from one place to other as if they were a taxis. This at the same time, has created a big fight between taxis and "mototaxis", as many people call them, because it has reduced the demand of people willing to pay the cost of a taxi. Similarly, another method of transportation that is very common, but mostly used as an attractive of the colonial architecture, are the white chariots which tourist can pay to get a tour of the city. Also, another similar type of chariots, without seats and with a loading part at the back, are used as wagons to transport materials for construction. These other chariots would play the role of mototaxis with taxis, but this time it will be with dump trucks.


It is also famous for having many colleges, as it has been called "The University City". The Agromomy School of the Universidad Nacional de Colombia is located here. Also located near Palmira, is the headquarters of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) founded in 1967.

Famous residents[edit]

  • Claudia Palacios, a Colombian journalist and newscaster, lived in Palmira until she was 15 years old. She now works for CNN en Español in Atlanta, Georgia and resides there with her son Pablo.
  • Santiago Eder, 19th century industrial pioneer and founder of Manuelita sugar mill.
  • María Catalina Robayo Vargas is a Colombian beauty queen who was crowned Miss Colombia 2010, the official representative to Miss Universe 2011.
  • Juan David Lopez, Colombian male model that lives in the US.
  • DJ Greg The Colombian, Born in Palmira and raised there until age 14. A prominent electronic DJ throughout New York City nightclub scene, during the nineties; the first and main DJ at the world wide famous nightclub known as Webster Hall. He temporarily retired from the DJ world to attain a Masters Degree in Social work, and now divides his time between his DJ passion and helping the less fortunate.
  • Elizabeth Eder de Zobel de Ayala wife of Filipino billionaire Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala Miranda whose cousin is Inigo Zobel de Ayala Urquijo, owner of Sotogrande in Andalucia, Spain and grandson of Juan Urquijo, former owner of Banco Urquijo

References and notes[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 3°35′N 76°15′W / 3.583°N 76.250°W / 3.583; -76.250