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Cochabamba

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South America : Bolivia : Cochabamba

Cochabamba, the third largest city in Bolivia, is located some 240km southeast of La Paz. The city, set on a plain surrounded by low mountains, is known for its moderate climate and is often called Bolivia's "resort city".

Plaza 14 de Septiembre and the cathedralPlaza 14 de Septiembre and the cathedral
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Plaza 14 de Septiembre and the cathedral

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cochabamba Travel Guide :

Cochabamba

Understand

Cochabamba

Orientation

The main thoroughfare in Cochabamba is Avenida de las Heroinas, which runs east-west. Plaza 14 de Septiembre is considered the center of the city. Avenida Ballivian, commonly called The Prado, is a tree-lined boulevard north of the center with many of the city's better restaurants and hotels. Generally, neighborhoods get more affluent towards the north, and poorer to the south.

Cochabamba

Get in

Cochabamba

By plane

LAB 1 (http://www.labairlines.com) has several flights a day to Cochabamba's Jorge Wilstermann Airport from La Paz and Santa Cruz. If flying from La Paz, sit on the left side to get a stunning view of Mt. Illimani just off the wingtip. A taxi to the center of town from the airport is about Bs45-50.

LAB Plane on the tarmac. June 2005LAB Plane on the tarmac. June 2005
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LAB Plane on the tarmac. June 2005
A view of "Jorge Wilstermann Airport" upon exiting the plane. June 2005A view of "Jorge Wilstermann Airport" upon exiting the plane. June 2005
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A view of "Jorge Wilstermann Airport" upon exiting the plane. June 2005
Cochabamba

By bus

From La Paz, it's seven hours by bus to Cochabamba via Oruro. The terminal is on the south end, just north of the Cancha.

Cochabamba

Get around

Cochabamba

By bus

Like La Paz, Cochabamba has microbuses and trufis, but proportionately fewer than taxis.

Cochabamba

By taxi

Flag down any beat-up looking Japanese compact car on the street, you can be sure it's a taxi. A fare within town should be Bs 5-6.

A typical tourist bus in CochabambaA typical tourist bus in Cochabamba
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A typical tourist bus in Cochabamba
Cochabamba

See

Christo de la ConcordiaChristo de la Concordia
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Christo de la Concordia
  • Christo de la Concordia. Located on a hill to the east, the statue is just a bit higher than the one in Rio de Janeiro.
  • Simón I. Patiño Cultural Center (Centro Pedagógico y Cultural Simón I. Patiño) 2 (http://www.fundacionpatino.org/cpycsipi.htm), 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.
Cochabamba

Buy

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.

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

La CanchaLa Cancha
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La Cancha
Cochabamba

Eat

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

  • Casa de Campo, Av. Uyuni 618. Located in among other upscale restaurants in the Recoleta neighborhood up north, this popular joint is favored by Cochabamba's rich and famous (whoever that may be). Good pique macho and other local dishes.
  • Sucremanta, 2 locations: Plaza 14 de Septiembre, and on the Prado. Dishes from Sucre, based on "grandmother's recipes". The Plaza branch, with live piano music on Sundays, is a great place for brunch. Try the hearty menudito (spicy stew).
  • 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.
  • Kebbab - Las Mille y Uno Noches, (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.
  • Hwa. Mixed Korean and Japanese.
  • Lai Lai. Taiwanese.
  • Panchita. fast food chicken in several versions for nuggets to strips.
PanchitaPanchita
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Panchita
Cochabamba

Drink

The best chicha is said to come from the Cochabamba region. The small town of Punata, some distance to the southwest, is especially well-known.

Cochabamba

Sleep

  • Hotel Los Angeles, Ave. Esteban Arze 345, (between Jordán and Sucre), 450-0800. Decent budget hotel in a good location. It competes with the Hotel Las Vegas across the street for the cheesiest norteamericano decor.
Cochabamba

Connect

With its large student population, Cocha has plenty of net cafes. The Punto Entel on the southeast corner of Heroinas and Ayacucho is probably the neatest and best equipped.

Cochabamba

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