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
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 :
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.