Visit and get to know Cochabamba, the capital city of flowers. Enjoy a broad variety of hotels and the varied local gastronomy. The department of Cochabamba is divided into 16 provinces and 201 cantons. Cochabamba, the heart of Bolivia! The city of Cochabamba is situated in a warn valley with natural and tourist resources of an extreme beauty, besides having a variety of cultural sites, most of which near the city.
Cristo de la Concordia: With this monumental sculpture located on the San Pedro hill, artist César Terrazas Pardo wanted to immortalize the gesture of a protective Christ in his work. The statue is 34.20 meters high and, with the pedestal, 40.44 meters. It weighs more than two tons. From the San Pedro hill, you have a great view of the valley of Cochabamba.
14 de Septiembre square: The heart of the city. A place you must necessarily visit to feel the essence of Cochabamba.
La Cancha: A colorful and busy market where you can buy alls sorts of things. Both the buyers and traders use deals, giveaways and a variety of bargaining techniques. You can buy everything from colorful handicrafts to modern electronic devices.
Palacio Portales: In his eagerness to show off, “tin baron” Simón Patiño decided to build a fabulous palace which, because of its dimensions and architectonic lines, has become a place to visit for anyone who comes to Cochabamba.
Quillacollo: This village in the valley of Cochabamba stands out because of its vertiginous growth. Its colonial church is one of its principal attractions. In the historical center of the city, the most remarkable building is the cathedral, which was rebuilt on various occasions on the foundations of the first church of the Villa de Oropeza. The last modification was made in the 20th century, adding two naves to the principal nave in neoclassical style.
Nonetheless, one of the current side doors of the church used to be a mestizo baroque porch and the main entry in colonial times. The Pairumani hacienda: In this former hacienda of tin baron Simón Patiño, the spacious rooms decorated with fine furniture from that time are now open to the public.
The archeology museum of Cochabamba holds interesting collections with artifacts of important cultures, such as the Tiwanaku and Inca cultures and other less-studied cultures such as for example the Paititi culture.
Sightseeing in the department of Cochabamba
Tunari National Park: This park covers part of the Tunari mountains, north from the city of Cochabamba; the highest peak is 5,020 m.
Isiboro-Securé park: This is one of the most important parks in the country with one of the greatest varieties in the continent. It is located in the northeast of the department. Incachaca: At 80 Km from the city of Cochabamba on the road to Santa Cruz. This tropical area has beautiful waterfalls and streams that carved the stones, besides an exuberant vegetation and suitable fishing sites.
El Chapare: This province with a subtropical and tropical climate and beautiful sceneries is one of the most breathtaking places of Bolivia, situated north from the capital city of the department of Cochabamba. This province is characterized by its exuberant vegetation, a variety of multicolored birds, streams and creeks that flow into the Amazon River. The most important town with the best tourist facilities is Villa Tunari.
Mizque: Southeast from the city of Cochabamba, there is a series of valleys that are drier and warmer compared to the center of the department, among which the valleys of Mizque, Totora and Aiquile, where man lives a peaceful and quiet life. These towns were founded by the Spaniards who found these soils not only apt for resting but who covered the valleys with vine shoots. It is said that the best wine in America came from the Mizque vineyards. The mighty Mizque River crosses the valley; the warm river water helps to fight the heat and offers a variety of tasty fish to the fishermen. The nearby forests and grasslands are inhabited by wild pigs, deer, turkeys, pigeons and partridges.
The valley of Cochabamba is one of the principal food producing areas in the country thanks to the region’s eternal spring with an agreeable climate and sufficient rainfall. This is where the now independent municipality of Quillacollo is located. One of the most visited buildings here is the colonial church of Quillacollo. The sanctuary of the virgin of Urkupiña, where thousands of pilgrims come together hoping to see their wishes come true every 14 August, is at the same time the site of a great Bolivian folkloric event with rich dances from the department and the rest of the country to honor the virgin.
Morochata: For accessing this region, you have to cross the Tunari mountains. This area is located at five hours from the city of Cochabamba; at the foot of the cliffs, there are lakes (where you can fish trout and watch Canadian geese, wild ducks, flamingoes, partridges, vizcacha rabbits, condors) in which the blue sky and the high mountain peaks are reflected. There are also resorts such as Santa Rosa and Independencia in the capital city of the province of Ayopaya. Pre-Columbian Ruins: There are many Inca and Pre-Inca ruins in the department of Cochabamba.
Even today, it is possible to find some rests of ceramics or other artifacts that belonged to the ancient inhabitants, as well as remains of burial mounds. We can mention the following ruins: the ruins of Inkallajta; in the north of the provinces of Chapare and Independencia, the ruins of El Choro, Tablas, Durazno, El Walta, las Tres Tetillas; in the north, the Inca ruins of Komerkocha (Laguna Verde); southeast from the capital city, the ruins of Pocona.
Hot spring resorts: The mineralized hot spring resorts are located mainly in the foothills of the Tunari mountains and in general in the Andean La Herradura slough. These springs are said to have healing properties and to cure liver, kidney and rheumatic diseases. Some of these springs are Lurini, La Cabaña de Putina and Cayacayani.
Inkallajta ruins: These ruins stand out because of their dimensions. The site used to have a monumental courtyard, with living quarters, storage rooms, ritual spaces and rooms for the elite. All this according to the Inca concept of construction. The site can be visited in one day from the city of Cochabamba.