86km (53 miles) N of Cali
This man-made lake was created in 1965 when a dam was built on the Río Calima, which flooded the Darién Valley and created a water reservoir for the city of Cali, whose residents then began building fincas and weekend homes in the green hills surrounding it. The weather is cooler here than down on the plains, and there’s a steady, year-round wind that brings hordes of wind- and kitesurfers. Most activity is concentrated on the northern side of the lake, with most basing themselves in and around the small town of Darién, which fills up on the weekends but is eerily quiet the rest of the week. For just a small grid of streets clustering around the main plaza, the Parque los Fundadores, the amenities are quite good with ATMs and supermarkets, plus a handful of restaurants, discotecas, and budget hotels.