On the road towards the Cristo Rey, in barrio Bellavista, lies a tennis academy with 4 orange gravel courts and a little club house.
The owner, Sigifredo Hidalgo was an ATP player back in 1988. Him and his right-hand man, Vaquero (cowboy), and bunch of young up-and-coming tennis players offer private training classes, sparring sessions and court rentals.
Classes are given to beginners, intermediate and advances players. Kids are accepted to the academy starting at age 4.
You can take out a monthly plan or just pay by the hour like I do.
For non-members, renting a court costs $13.000 per hour.
A monthly membership costs $90.000 and gives you unlimited access to the courts. Optional ball boy, sparring and training comes at surcharge.
A bolero (ball boy) will cost you $6.000 pesos for an hour.
A sparring partner will cost you $10.000 pesos for an hour. Many of these youngsters are REALLY good and will happily kick your ass. My brother in-law has played tennis his entire life and said that the first and only time he has EVER lost 6-0, 6-0, 6-0 to anyone was playing against of these kids. Of course, he’s French, so he could be lying.. but still, I think you get the point: Quality sparring for a fraction of what you would pay anywhere else in the world.
If you’re just passing through Cali and don’t have a tennis racket in your suitcase, they will lend you one, free of charge.
The courts are open every day from 6AM to late afternoon. It gets packed late afternoon and also early in the morning on weekends. If those are your preferred hours, then make sure to call ahead and make a reservation. If not, you can just show up unannounced.
Academia de Tenis
KM 1 Via Cristo Rey, Barrio Bellavista in Cali. If arriving from the city, the entrance is in a curve on the left side of the road, right in front of the entrance to the gated community Marmeyal.
Tel. 316 740 1082 – Sigifredo Hidalgo.