This may be one of Cali’s best kept secrets. At least among foreigners. I’ve been 3 times and not once have I seen even the shadow of a gringo. But they are missing out. Delirio is spectacle and a show not to be missed. When I explain the concept of Delirio to my foreign friends they are not sure if they want to go. The excuses start rolling in… “It’s about dancing” (most vikings don’t dance), “the tickets are super expensive” (which they are), “I have a date later” (you’ll find more pretty people at Delirio – I promise)…bla bla bla.
It’s hard to explain everything that Delirio really is. Also, I don’t want to spoil the experience but saying too much. Let’s just call it a wicked crossbreed of a salsa show, a freakshow, a concert and a circus.
According to their own website, it takes place in the biggest tent that has ever been installed anywhere in Colombia, with space for more than 1500 people. Connected to the tent is the ‘lobby’ – a massive area full of pre-show entertainment. The whole setup employs 580 people, of which 180 are artists, chosen from 4 different salsa schools in Cali. The theme changes a few times a year, but the choreograhy, the coordination and the execution seems equally impressive every time I’ve been.
When & Where
The show takes place on the last Friday every month and if you are in town, you shouldn’t miss out. They just recently moved the location of the event from a park in barrio La Flora to the state’s event center, Centro de Eventos Valle Del Pacifico, located next to the highway (autopista) heading towards Yumbo north of Cali. It’s about 15-20 minutes in car or taxi from the Chipichape shopping center in northwestern Cali – if traffic isn’t too bad.. which it usually always is during the Friday rush hour.
The doors open at 7:00pm and although the main event doesn’t start before 9:00pm, I highly recommend that you arrive early to get a good table and to enjoy the pre-show entertainment in the lobby. Food and drinks are available on-site. It ends around 2:00am by which time your hands will be red from clapping, your feet sore from dancing and your head exploding with salsa music! But, it’s totally worth it… No where in the world have I seen anything like it.
Delirio sell out every single time, so make sure you’re not deciding to go in the last minute. Tickets are available here or at TuBoleta offices around Cali. They cost $170.000 pesos from April to November. In December prices go up to $180.000 and they have several performances during the Cali Feria. Please note that you have to be 18 or older to gain access.