Cochabamba

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Cochabamba, or simply Cocha, the fourth largest city in Bolivia, is located some 240km southeast of La Paz. The city, set on a plain surrounded by mountains, is known for its moderate climate and is often called Bolivia's "resort city". Other nicknames for Cochabamba include the "Garden City" and the "City of Eternal Spring".

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  • Metropolis over 100 hotels
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Points of Interest

  • Beach Beach
  • Business object Business object
  • Casino Casino
  • Civic property Civic property
  • Education Education
  • Entertainment Entertainment
  • Golf course Golf course
  • Green space Green space
  • Harbor Harbor
  • Historic site Historic site
  • Interesting place Interesting place
  • Medical Medical
  • Monument Monument
  • Museum Museum
  • Shopping Shopping
  • Skiing Skiing
  • Sports facility Sports facility
  • Theater Theater
  • Winery Winery

Points of Interest in Cochabamba

  • Cristo de la Concordia. The statue is just a bit higher and larger than the one in Rio de Janeiro, making it the world's largest statue of Jesus until 2010, when a larger one was completed in Poland. It offers a great view of the city. Walk Calle Colombia until its eastern end, then a swift right: This park/playground is where the cable car goes from, 3 Bs each way. You can also walk, but stay in a group, as rumours has it robbers attack. Finally, taxi is always an option.
  • Simón I. Patiño Cultural Center (Centro Pedagógico y Cultural Simón I. Patiño). Av. Potosí 1450. Includes the Palacio Portales mansion, gardens (Jardines), and an art museum (Centro de Arte Contemporáneo). The mansion was built by Patiño, a tin magnate who controlled over half of the nation's output in the 1930s. Guided tour Tu-F, 15:30, 16:30, 17:30 (Spanish), 16:00, 17:00 (English).
  • Museum of Natural History, Calle Potosi, Recoleta (Next door to Palacio Portales).
  • Medical Museum. The main Hospital in Cochabamba, Hospital Viedma, has a cute little medical museum attached, with some amazing old x-ray machines. The museum is near the corner of Venezuela and Oquendo.
  • Museo Archeologico, Jordan esq. Aguirre. Awesome archeological museum with mummies, deformed skulls, amazing pottery and other artifacts. Well worth a visit. 25 Bs.

Cochabamba Cathedral

Plaza 14 de Septiembre

Cristo de la Concordia

Plaza Colon

Simon I. Patino Cultural Center

Plaza de las Banderas

La Cancha

Universidad Mayor de San Simon

Felix Capriles Stadium

Tunari National Park

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Popular events in Cochabamba in the near future

Date: Category: The event list provided by Eventful
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About Cochabamba

Background

Orientation

The main thoroughfare in Cochabamba is Avenida de las Heroinas, which runs east-west, with its north-south counterpart Avenida Ayacucho. The intersection of these two is known by its Correo. Plaza 14 de Septiembre is considered the center of the city. Avenida Ballivian, commonly called El Prado, is a tree-lined boulevard running north from Plaza Colon, with many of the city's better restaurants and hotels nearby. Generally, neighborhoods get more affluent towards the north, and poorer to the south.

Activities

The city is Bolivia`s paragliding capital. Several agencies offer tandem flights (300 Bs) and courses. A typical beginner´s course will take minimum 10 days (2 hours theory and 4 hours practice every day, 12 solo flights) and cost about 3000 Bs. Among the cheapest on the continent.

  • AndeseXtremo [4][5] (Also has other outdoor activities)
  • Parapente Bolivia [6]

The biggest cinema in town, Cinecenter, features a handfull of showrooms mostly flashing the latest Holywood fare, and a food court. Just north of Plaza Quintanilla.

There are some towns around Cochabamba worth visiting:

  • Visit nearby Punata (market on Tuesday with a lot of indigenous people selling animals)
  • Visit nearby Tarata, nice picturesque town that can make an easy day trip
  • Visit nearby Quillacollo for it's Fiesta de la Virgen de Urkupiña (August 15th)

Cochabamba is also a good point for excursions into the Chapare Region:

  • The non-profit organization Fundacion Delpia [7][8]"Fundacion para el desarrollo local de los pueblos indigenas amazonicos-andinos" organizes tours to the National Park Isiboro Sécure and visits to local indigenous communities (4-5 days). Visitors can choose to get either integrated into the daily life of the local families (fishing, cooking, hunting, sleeping in traditional hut etc) or touring the national park with an indigenous guide by foot or canoe (sleeping in tents)
  • hot springs. There is a nice hot spring near Cochabamba. Travel time one way is around 1.5 hours, mostly due to roundabout trufi routes. To get there, take a trufi from the southeast corner of Plaza Sucre, near the University, to Quillacollo, 12 or so km to the west. Get off at the main plaza in Quillacollo, Plaza Bolivar, and walk one block west to Calle Santa Cruz. On the north side of the main road, you should be able to pick up a trufi on Calle Santa Cruz to the hot springs. You´ll have to walk the last 1.5 km. The trufi costs 5 Bs. Entrance fee is 4 Bolivianos. Make sure you ask if the trufi goes to the ¨aguas calientes.¨ 4 Bs.
  • mARTadero, Ollantay esq. 27 de Agosto. a great arts and performance center based in an old slaughterhouse. They have rotating art exhibits, music performances, and other interesting stuff.
  • Sustainable Bolivia, Calle Julio Arauco Prado 230 (between Ave. Heroinas and Calle Sucre). 9AM-6PM. Sustainable Bolivia is an organization that co-ordinates volunteers and grassroots organizations in Cochabamba, and also offers Spanish, Quechua and Aymara classes. You can stay with a family or live in a hostel while volunteering or taking classes. Grants to organizations are administered by the volunteers themselves, so they know how the money is being used.
  • Instituto para el Desarrollo Humano, Humboldt 829,  591+4118315. An excellent social justice organization which offers volunteers the ability to train and facilitate with required social issues affecting many underrepresented Bolivians. They offer a homestay with safe, respectable families as well as a social network to keep you in the loops of cultural events whilst staying safe.
  • Red Tinku, Plaza 24. de Septiembre (weekdays only),  71769493. This is the only autonomous social center in Bolivia. You can take part in their brigadas (work camps) in rural areas or different kinds of workshops in Cochabamba.

Food

Thanks to the city's origin as an agricultural center for mining communities, Cochabamba claims to have the best food in Bolivia.

  • Casablanca, Calle 25 de Mayo (Half a block from Plaza Colon). Very happening place frequented by Bolivians and gringos alike. Large and varied reasonably-priced menu influenced by the Italian owner. Also good for snacks and a few drinks. Latté is 7B, ceviche 25B, sangria 12B, large servings of pasta for 28B, sandwiches 16B. Wi-Fi connection, though may be a little slow due to heavy usage by other customers. Main courses Bs. 30, pint of beer Bs. 9.
  • Cristal, Av. de las Heroinas E-352 (Between 25 de Mayo and España). Very neat and clean. Good breakfasts 15-21 Bs, set lunch 16 Bs..
  • Casa de Campo, Av. Uyuni 618, among other upscale restaurants in Recoleta. Large plates of food (even the half-plate was too much) and good pique macho and other local dishes. Price range is 37-50B. Probably one of the best restaurants in town. Highly recommended.
  • Sucremanta, Several locations: Plaza 14 de Septiembre, and on the Prado. Small but filling menu, -somewhat spicey. The Plaza branch, with live piano music on Sundays, is a great place for brunch. Try the hearty menudito.
  • Dumbo, Av. Heroinas E-0354, also El Prado 55. Bolivia's favorite family restaurant. The main joint on Heroinas is always packed, with four dining floors and enough dancers in animal suits to keep the entire juvenile population of Cochabamba entertained.
  • Meihua, SW corner of Plaza Colon. Lunch, dinner and in between.. Standard chinese. A bit greasy but cheap. The entradas at around Bs 15 are full meals.
  • Bufalo Rodizio, A Brazilian churasco style restaurant where the waiters comes to your table with a good selection of freshly grilled meats. Delicious. Note that there is only the choice of a buffet style dinner in the evenings, priced at a very reasonable Bs. 60 for all you can eat! The entrance is through the elevator found on the right as you enter the shopping mall. Avenida Oquendo N. 0654
  • Paprika, North American style dishes and internationalized Bolivian classics. Yummy hot wings. The restaurant has the air of a place for the "see and be seens" in Cochabamba. Recommended. Avenida Ramon Rivero, on the corner of Lanza. Open in the evenings.
  • Brasilian Coffee, Av. Ballivian (Near Plaza Colon). Excellent Japanese food - sushi, sushimi, yakisoba etc. Very poor Wi-Fi connection available. Open almost 24x7. It's a little pricey with lattés running 11B (vs. 7B at Buenos Aires next door) and the staff are a little dim witted. An alternative if you need to use the Wi-Fi is to sit close by at Dumbos or at Wis'upku (sic) and connect long-range. Password currently is a01 b2 c3 d4 (without the spaces)
  • Jacaranda, Tadeo Aenque. Not near the city center at all, but it has the reputation of best charque joint in town. Some people say that you can't leave Cochabamba without trying the charque, though it does really just taste like fried beef jerky. Charque is llama meat which is dried, then baked in the oven, then fried for the ultimate crispiness. The half-plate at Jacaranda comes with at least a pound of dried llama jerky, 2 boiled eggs, and the tastiest choclo (oooh the cheese slab was so thick and crumbly). The half-plate was about a 5-inch high pile, ran 50B and feeds a normal-sized person for lunch and dinner.
  • Zhou, Av. Villarroel esq. Ciclovia. This place was recommended by a couple who'd lived here for 4 years, so I walked out of my way to find this place (fairly far away), and was a tad disappointed. The food here isn't the most authentic Asian either and not even a good P.F. Chang imitation. Needless to say, the couple wasn't Asian either. It's slightly pricey, with sushi (mostly trucha-salmon imported from La Paz. Part of my disappointment was that I couldn't find good cuts of fresh surubi, trout or other river-fish sashimi here in Cochabamba.) running 50Bs. I had a classic soba (30B) but the noodles looked suspiciously like they came out of a Maruchen ramen noodle package. And I felt slightly sick after the meal. My conclusion: La Paz has better sushi. Go to Ken-Chan, run by the Japanese society, and you will find excellent, more authentic Japanese food.
  • La Estancia, La Recoleta (Av. Uyuni). Upscale and pleasant Argentinian steak place. Portions aren't of the legendary Cochabamba size, but rather of the normal steak-portion size. Word is that the salad bar is amazing. Cut of chicken breast fillet is about 35Bs and steak about 45-50B. You can get those skinny skinny chip-like potato fry crisps here.
  • Buenos Aires:, Ballivian No. 539 (El Prado). Great airy location right on the Prado, next to Brazilian Coffee, and serves a decent almuerzo complete for 18B (25B on Sunday). Although the food is presented prettily, the quality is más o menos (quantity is certainly menos), but has the advantage of not being greasy and comes with an open salad bar. Latté 7B, salads 26B, steak (large portions) 30-40B. Accepts VISA.
  • Sole Mio, Av. América N° 826 entre Pando y Mechor Urquidi. An Italian joint, whose specialty is pizzas from the oven. Gael Garcia Bernal was seen here eating last year when he was filming a movie on location about Cochabamba's water wars. Pizza comes out remarkably fast but the service isn't. It's a decent quality, not as good as in the U.S. but better than Eli's. Pizzas run about 50B for a medium and 40B for a personal, though watch out for overcharging.
  • Kebbab - Las Mille y Uno Noches, Calle Potosi (right next to Palacio Portales). A tasty reminder that South America isn't the only region known for huge cuts of meat roasted on spits. Great atmosphere thanks to the exotic paintings depicting the One Thousand and One Nights. Open in the evenings.
  • Sabor de México, Plazuela Barba de Padilla, on Calle Reza between Calle España and Baptista. If you are hungry for Mexican food, don't settle for the tacos sold on the street. This joint is run by a man originally from Guanajuato, but who has settled in Cochabamba. The ceviche is outstanding.

Fast Food

  • Eli´s, Corner of Colombia and 25 de Mayo, laso on Av. America. Inspired by North American joints. Pizza slices Bs 10-15, sandwich combos Bs 20.
  • Globos, S end of El Prado (NE corner of Plaza Colon, also other locations.). Good icecream, many coffee-drinks, some cakes and burgers. Scoop 5 Bs, cup 20 Bs..

Vegetarian

  • Tulasi, Av. Heroinas 270, seemingly without regular opening times.
  • Gopal, Calle Espana, Hot and cold Buffet lunch bet. 10-20bs., the homemade jugs of juice are delicious. Ordering off the menu is possible in the evening, but not as good. Beautiful open courtyard to sit in.
  • Copal, Calle España 250 (Between Ecuador and Colombia) in the same courtyard the the Hostel Nawpa House

Drinks

The best chicha, fermented corn (or peach) based beverage, is said to come from the Cochabamba region. The small town of Punata, some distance to the southwest, is especially well-known.

Most small bars are on 25 de Mayo and España close to Plaza Colon. Av. Ballivian (Prado) has bigger and noisier stuff. The joints grow fancier and more expensive has you head north into Recoleta, centred on Calle Pando.

  • Cafe Paris, NE corner of Plaza 14 de Septiembre (Corner of Bolivar and 25 de Mayo). Parisian style café with both filling and sweet crepes as well as a good coffee. Very reliable WiFi available too. Coffees Bs 4-17.
  • Cocafe, Calle Venezuela (Between España and 25 de Mayo). Small, cozy, well decorated. Leaves on offer. 0,6 l beer 10 Bs.
  • Cerebrito, Calle España (Betwenn Colombia and Ecuador). Evenings. After school hangout for 18-25s. Star Wars decor. Rock music. Cheap dinners. Probably the most colourful range of shots in the country. Bottoms up! 1 l of beer 15 Bs.
  • Panchos, Calle Mayor Rocha (Between España and 25 de Mayo). Starts out as a bar, turns into a club. Mostly latin music. 1 l beer Bs 15..
  • Picasso´s, Calle España (Between Equador and Mayro Rocha). Nice warm up venue. Tables, bar, play dice. 1 l beer Bs 15.
  • Marka, Calle Ecuador (Between España and 25 de Mayo). Until late. A courtyard with electronic music and a very mixed crowd. 0.6 l beer 10 Bs..
  • Lujos, Calle Beni (Almost on the corner of Santa Cruz). Until sunrise on weekends. Full dance floor, mostly classics ie. reggaeton. Entry 10-15 Bs, pint of beer 10 Bs..
  • Café Fusión, Calle España (between Ecuador and Mayor Rocha). Small, cosy café-bar, with a very friendly Italian owner. Great place to start the night. Cocktails 13-25Bs. Beer 13Bs. Does very good Italian dishes.
  • Pimienta, Av America (Between Villarroel and Tarija). Opens around 1AM, runs all night. Probably the most popular dance club with westerners, plays a mix of 90's and current hits. Gets full around 2:30AM. Entry 20 Bs includes one drink.
  • Chernobil, Best place to drink Chicha in the Cochabamba region. It is in the town of Quillacollo just west of the city. Well know by the locals, the chicha is safe to drink and so is the food.

Shopping

One of the city's biggest attractions is La Cancha, the city market on the south side of town and the largest open-air market in South America. Clothing, food, souvenirs, or books, the Cancha has it all. The market district spills out along Av. San Martin, which runs north from the Cancha to the center. The best day to visit the market is on Saturday, on other days not all the shops are open. Pickpocketing in this area is fairly common.

  • The Spitting Llama Bookstore & Outfitter, 615 Calle España Norte (between streets La Paz and Reza) offers offers a wide range of trekking, camping equipment and gear. They sell sleeping bags, tents, backpacks, hiking boots and lots of handy little gadgets like headlamps, compasses, and batteries. They also rent gear like tents and sleeping bags. They offers maps of major Bolivian cities, popular Bolivian tourist destinations, topographical maps, trekking maps, maps of South American Countries and more. They also have thousands of books in English and many other languages and have Bolivia's best book exchange. They are open M-F 9AM-1PM and 3PM-7PM, Sa 9AM-1PM and closed Sunday. They speak English. Tel: 79770312 website: [9] email: info@thespittingllama.com

On the southeast corner of Ayacucho and Heroinas there's a slightly upscale market with lots of souvenir stalls.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Cochabamba on Wikivoyage.

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