COCHABAMBA & TORO TORO TOURS

Cochabamba is located in central Bolivia and is the country’s 4th largest city with a population of around 700,000 ‘cochabambinos’ as its residents are known.

It is famous for having a wonderful climate and for this reason it has earned the name of the “City of Eternal Spring” referring to it’s warm sunny days year-round.

If you ask Bolivians in other parts of the country about Cochabamba they are more likely to tell you about the food than the climate though, both complimenting the dishes available and also suggesting the locals eat a lot more than your average Bolivian!

For some reason it is often overlooked by travelers visiting Bolivia. This is probably as it is a little bit of a detour to the standard North to South or South to North routes that most people follow through the country.

Those that do make the effort to visit Cochabamba usually find this vibrant city to have a lot more to it than the guide books report. The comparative lack of tourists can be a welcome escape for some and many choose to spend longer than they planned.

Cochabamba city is growing economically due to it being an important manufacturing area and it has an image as one of the more progressive parts of Bolivia. It hosted the World People's Conference on Climate Change in 2010 and even has a burgeoning technology sector.

We think tourism will grow in the area in the next few years and facilities will keep on improving.

Guide Last Updated : 2nd July 2018


THINGS TO DO IN COCHABAMBA

Cochabamba Bolivia

There are plenty of things to do in Cochabamba and it it is certainly worth at least a couple of days of your time exploring the city and surrounding areas.

If your looking for nightlife then Cochabamba has quite a lively scene with cool lounge bars and hipster style hangouts, through to ear spliting dance clubs.

Due to the great climate spending the evening in an outdoor beer garden is a popular pastime with the locals. 

Some of the most popular things to do in Cochabamba are :

  • Cristo de la Concordia

    Cristo Statue Cochabamba Bolivia
    This is the most famous landmark of Cochabamba and a must see when visiting the city. It is on top of a hill called Cerro San Pedro in the eastern part of the city and you will need to take a taxi or a bus (micro E) to get out there.

    The statue was modeled on the famous 30 meter tall ‘Christ the Redeemer’ statue in Rio and it is in fact 4 meters taller. This made it the tallest Jesus statue in the world when it was completed in 1994 but it has since been surpassed by one in Poland.

    If your feeling energetic you can work out your thighs by taking the steps up to the top of the hill but be aware there have been robberies on this route.

    If you do decide on walking up then take little of value with you and a bottle of water with you. It is safest to go on weekends or holidays when there are lots of locals making the trip and there are sometimes police patrolling the path.

    Alternatively, you can simply take the cable car system up to the top as this is an enjoyable experience in itself (you can do it one way and walk the other also).

    Once at the top you are rewarded with fantastic panoramas of the city and the surrounding mountains. If you’re not feeling high up enough, you can pay a few bolivianos to climb up inside the statue and see the view from the top (not always open – better chance on weekend or holidays).

  • Trekking to Cerro Tunari

    View from Cerro Tunari Cochabamba Bolivia

    This wonderful day trek offers the best views possible of the area with a vista of the entire city from the peak and even as far as Illimani mountain on a clear day.

    You will pass by rural communities on the way, see herds of llama and alpacas, and if your luck is in you might spot wild Vicunas and Condors.

    The area contains lots of  fossils  and if you’re with a local guide they will likely able to show you some in the rocks along the trail

    Whilst this doesn’t involve climbing at all, you should be acclimatized to the altitude to try this trek as it starts at an altitude of 4500 meter near Lake Macho and after trekking for about 3 or 4 hours you will reach the peak at 5035 meters.

    For more info read the full details of our Cerro Tunari One Day Trek tour.

  • La Cancha Market La Cancha Markert Cochabamba

    This huge sprawling market is often said to be the largest in South America and anyone that has traveled the continent a little will know that is not a title that is easy to earn!

    It is in fact various markets and shopping areas combined with sections dedicated to different types of goods such as clothing, fruit & veg, meat & poultry, electronics, musical instruments, handicrafts, shoes, bags, sporting goods to name a few.

    NOTE – It is important to mention that La Cancha is infamous for its pickpockets, so you need to be careful. Go during the daylight hours, only take what you need with you and try to keep valuables concealed and secure. Be aware that thieves work in pairs or groups and will use distraction techniques.

    Prices are cheap, but you should still bargain especially if you think your being quoted a “foreigner price” (likely). Ask a few places to get an idea of prices first but the main thing is that you get a price your happy with!

    You can spend hours exploring the streets and alleyways working up an appetite and this is as good a place as any to try out the local street food specialties.

  • Convento de Santa Teresa - recently restored over a period of about 5 years, this Baroque style convent built in 1760 offers guided tours from Monday to Saturday for a small fee of 25bs. It is a beautiful building and learning about the history of the place and how the nuns lived is interesting.
  • Palacio Portales - Simón Patiño is perhaps the most famous historical figure from the region and this tin mine baron's euro influenced mansion shows off just how rich he became. There are signs of wealth in every corner and when it was finally completed in 1927 Snr Patiño must have been excited to take up residence in what was the arguably the finest house in the country.  Maybe the excitement was too much as he died of a heart attack in Argentina whilst on route back to Bolivia and never managed to live in the house.
  • Plaza 14 de Septiembre & Cathedral - the central square of Cochabamba is large and spacious, with plenty park benches under shady trees to sit and watch the world go buy.  As expected there is a colonial feel to it all with the Cochabamba Cathedral on one side and rows of stone archways along the other. Worth paying a visti at night time also as it is nicely lit. If there are protests in the city though, then the plaza becomes a focal point (there are government buildings in the sqaure also) and is best avoided at those times.
  • Archaeological Museum - this small museum has an ineresting collection including locally discovered dinosaur bones & fossils, items of pottery & ceremics from pre incan civilisations such as Tiwanaku , artifacts from Inca times through to colonial times. Explanations are in spanish although there might be the possibility of an english tour once per day (best to checkin advance about this as not always available). Entrance 25bs.
  • Iglesia & Convento de San Francisco
  • Iglesia Santa Domingo

ATTRACTIONS CLOSE TO COCHABAMBA

  • Toro Toro National Park - visited on a multiday trip from Cochabama , a tour to Torotoro national park takes in incredible scenery. There are a number of caves and waterfalls to explore and marvel at the stalactites and stalagmites, breathtaking dramatic canyons to gaze over and of course there are the famous dinosaur footprints. The area is also home to the endangered Red Fronted Macaw which is only to be found in Bolivia.

    Take a look at  our Toro Toro National Park 3 Day Tour and Toro Toro National Park 2 Day Tour options

  • Incallajta -  this Inca archeological site is a UNESCO World Heritage site that comprises of over 40 building spread over 67 hectares. It is located about 2.5 to 3 hours drive from Cochabamba and deserves to recieve more visitors that it does.
    It was thought to have been constructed as part of a series of cities along the eastern perimiter of the Inca terratories in Bolivia in order to provide protection against incursions from Chiriguano Indians from the Amazon region. It was only discovered by westerners in 1913 (no doubt locals always knew about it). Nearby to the site there are nice hiking paths and some waterfalls you can visit.

    See full details of our Incallajta 1 Day Tour

  • Villa Tunari & Machia Animal Refuge - Located about 3 to 4 hours drive from Cochabama , Villa Tunari is located at the junction of the Andes and the Amazon. At an altitude of just 450 meters above sea level, it is tropical, hot and humid. Being a small jungle town it can make for a nice relaxing getway. It is also home to the Machia Park Animal refuge run by Inti Wara Yassi which looks after and rehabilitates many animals such as monkeys, jaguars, pumas, macaws and even andean bears. It is possible to spend time volunteering at the refuge and help look after the animals. For more details see  the Inti Wara Yassi web site
  • Rafting, rappeling and Carrasco National Park - another National Park near to Cochabamba, Carrasco is a great place for some outdoor activities such as Rafting and rappeling.

    Check out our Carrasco National Park Multi Activity 3 Day Tour

HOW TO GET TO COCHABAMBA

BY BUS

From La Paz

You can get direct buses from La Paz to Cochabamba with the best service being the over night cama bus services leaving around 22.00-23.30 (times vary / change).

There are also several bus services throughout the day that vary in quality and price. Journey takes about 8 to 10 hours

See details for the overnight  Cama Bus La Paz to Cochabamba service.

From Santa Cruz

There  are direct cama bus services early morning and late evening from Santa Cruz to Cochabamba and throughout the day there are lesser quality services available.

The journey takes about 10 hours although in the rainy season likely longer as the road between the two cities is prone to issues during this time.

From Sucre

You can get direct Cama or semi cama bus services from Sucre to Cochabamba that leave in the evenings around 20.30pm and 21.00pm.

There are lesser quality services during the day. The journey takes about 9 hours

BY FLIGHT

It is also quite economical to fly to Cochabamba with BOA, Amazonas, Ecojet all offering flights from La Paz , Santa Cruz several times a day plus there are  a couple of flights per day from Sucre.

Flights times are all less than 1 hour from each of these cities and can cost as low as 400bs - contact us if you wish to arrange a flight with your requirements and we can give you the info, availability and prices.

SUMMARY

If you are planning a trip to Bolivia then you can see it is well worth trying to allow some time for Cochabamba. If offers a variety of different things to do from the adventourous through to lots of opportunities to relax. 
Whilst it may not be on the traditional "gringo trail" through Bolivia , it is easy enough to get to and with flights being so cheap it can make sense to fly.

Cochabamba Tours

5 Item(s)

  • Toro Toro National Park 3-Day Tour - Cochabamba

    Take this three-day-tour and visit the wonderful Toro Toro national park with incredible scenery and explore, caves, waterfalls and see the amazing dinosaur footprints. Please enter the product to see price according to the group size.

    $180.00
  • Cerro Tunari 1-Day Trek - Cochabamba

    Climb to the top of Cerro Tunari and experience incredible views of the Cochabamba valley below and mas far as Illimani mountain in the distance. Pass near ancient traditional communities, spot the majestic condor in the wild, see herds of llamas and if we are lucky some wild vicuñas. Glistening mountain lakes, mysterious fossil formations and Quenua forests (world's highest trees) all make for a fantastic mountain adventure out of the city in just one day.

    $60.00
  • Incallajta Site Day Trip - Cochabamba

    Visit Incallajta, Bolivia's largest yet seldom visited Inca site - the most easten fortress of the Inca empire. Includes a trip to the colonial village of Chimboata largely unchanged for centuries.

    $60.00
  • Chapare Multi-Activity 3-Day Tour - Cochabamba

    This tour is an incredible combination of the best extreme and adventure activities Bolivia has to offer. You will get to do zipline, rappel, rafting and trekking in the stunning sub-tropical environment of the Chapare province, in the Cochabamba region. Suitable for confident beginners looking for some adrenaline! Price depends on group size. 

    $205.00
  • Toro Toro National Park 2-Day Tour - Cochabamba

    This is a shorter version of the tour to the wonderful Toro Toro national park, ideal for those who are short on time and do not want to miss out. Surrounded by incredible scenery you will explore caves, waterfalls and see the amazing dinosaur footprints. Please enter the product to see price according to the group size.

    $150.00