Discover Cochabamba during your price guaranteed Bolivia vacation. All of our Bolivia tours have daily departures and are fully customizable.
Why travel to Cochabamba
Known as the “city of eternal spring,” Cochabamba lies in the heart of Bolivia, halfway between the tropical plains of the east and the high Altiplano of the west. The city’s name derives from the Quechua khocha pampa, meaning “swampy plain.” Despite a recent and ongoing construction boom, the historic center of Cochabamba still retains much of its colonial character, including churches and government buildings. Cochabamba is filled with parks and natural attractions, and is a great destination for sightseeing and relaxation on a Bolivia vacation.
The region around Cochabamba plays a vital economic role in Bolivia. The Cochabamba valley is the region’s agricultural breadbasket, and thanks in part to this tremendous productivity, the city is known to have the best food in Bolivia. Excellent regional dishes to try when you travel to Bolivia and Cochabamba include sopa de maní, pique macho, silpancho, and picante de pollo.
The tropical lowlands of the Chaparé to the east account for a large percentage of the world's coca leaf production. Coca leaves are a mainstay of indigenous foods and drinks, and for travelers to Bolivia’s high altitude destinations, we recommend maté de coca, coca leaves brewed in hot water that provide relief from altitude sickness.
What to do in Cochabamba
Cochabamba city tour. Visitors to Cochabamba will enjoy strolling through Bolivia’s fourth largest city. The town has a vibrant character, with a mix between lower and upper classes. Start with a visit to Plaza 14 de Septiembre, where you’ll see the main Cathedral, which dates back to 1571. You can also enjoy the nearby colonial churches of Santo Domingo and San Francisco. Don’t pass up the city’s Museo Arqueológico, which houses mummies, pottery, and other artifacts, or the Palacio Portales, a lovely mansion built for the tin baron Simon I. Portales – the sprawling gardens are the site of cultural events in the summer months.
Cristo de la Concordia. Be sure to visit this massive statue of Jesus Christ, the tallest in the world at the time of its construction, but recently topped by Poland in 2010 and then Peru in 2011. Its total height is 132.7 feet (40.44 meters). Take the scenic cable car ride up Cerro de San Pedro to admire the statue from up close.
Browse the market. If you’re an adventurous soul and don’t mind a bustle, the outdoor Mercado La Cancha is worth a visit. It is the largest market in Bolivia, and contains aisle after aisle of produce, electronics, clothing, talismans, hardware, and everything and anything else you can imagine.
Learn to fly. Paragliding is very popular in Cochabamba, which is often called Bolivia’s paragliding capital. If you’d like to feel the wind beneath your wings, consider taking a tandem flight or, if you’ll be in town for a while, take a paragliding course.
When to visit Cochabamba
City of eternal spring, Cochabamba enjoys a yearlong warm and sunny climate that pleases locals and visitors alike with an average temperature of about 70°F.
Peru For Less hooked us up with all the tools and plans to have an unforgettable experience. We toured Lake Titicaca, which was fascinating, especially the floating islands of Uros. The main part of Bolivia that I highly recommend is the Salt Flats of Uyuni. It's like being on another planet. We spent two days driving on and around the flats in a four runner with a guide and a driver. I couldn't recommend Peru For Less more if you're planning a trip to Peru or Bolivia.
Chris from New Orleans traveled to Bolivia in July 2011
The Atacama desert and the trip to Bolivia were quite an adventure; we can recommend it to those who are healthy, tough and enduring. We would go back there anytime. We thank you very much for all your help in preparing this wonderful and memorable trip for us. Being addicted to South America, we might come back to you at some time in the future!
Hannelore & Joe from Arizona, USA, traveled to Bolivia and South American in December 2010
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There are no 5-star hotels in Cochabamba. The best option in town is the colonial style Hotel Aranjuez. Another good accommodation option is the Gran Hotel Cochabamba with its beautiful garden. There are good quality 3- and 4-star accommodations. Ask your travel advisor for more information.