The ‘City of Eternal Spring’, with its unmistakable charm, is arguably one of the nicest and most down-to-earth places to visit in Bolivia. Travelers will encounter a dynamic city, welcoming people, and a great variety of nature-related activities. If you decide to rent a car in Bolivia, Cochabamba would be a must-see for any traveler. HAPPYCAR is here to help you find the best rent a car Bolivia has to offer so you can take full advantage of this dazzling city, and a direct Bolivia car rental airport is also available. We check the prices of international and local providers so that you don’t have to check each website, and provide you with the best deals to make your money go further.
At the heart of Bolivia, 240 kilometers southeast of La Paz and 476 kilometers west of Santa Cruz, lies the beautiful city of Cochabamba. The valley in which the city lies enjoys a spring-like climate and fertile soils year round; the city was founded as an agricultural production center in 1571, mainly to provide for the nearby mining city of Potosí. The population of Cochabamba is a colorful mosaic of indigenous Native Americans, Mestizos, and a small minority of Caucasians. The city’s continuing economic boom and socially progressive attitude has attracted people from every vein of society, and provides a fertile breeding ground for social improvement. Bolivian nationals, expatriates, and foreigners alike are increasingly attracted to the city due in part to a progressive local economy, majestic mountain vistas, and abundance of greenery.
Cochabamba is an ideal travel destination for people wishing to experience nature at its finest; lush, fertile gardens, cloud-piercing mountain peaks, and rolling plains await anyone who ventures into this bountiful valley. Travelers wishing to gain a birds-eye perspective of the magnificent sights can take a paraglide and ride the gentle winds which blow over the vale. The city also features several huge markets, architectural marvels, and archeological sites. Simón Patiño, the famous tin baron of Bolivia, invested in a ridiculously opulent palace in the Queru Queru neighborhood of Cochabamba; the immense wealth generated by the mining operations of nearby Potosi is put on display in this mansion, where the proprietor never even spent a night in.
Cristo de la Concordia, an immense statue of Christ sitting atop the Cerro de San Pedro, is the second-largest of its kind in the world. It is 44cm taller than the famous Cristo Redentor in Rio de Janeiro, which stands at 33 meters; each meter represents one year in the life of Christ, and when asked why their statue is taller, most locals will tell you that Christ lived ’33 years and a bit’. La Cancha, the largest open-air market in South America, is another popular stop for anyone staying in Cochabamba; this sprawling market is teeming with life, and offers anything you could possibly imagine, from locally handcrafted items to a colorful array of fruits and vegetables. Travelers wishing to gain a theoretical insight into the various indigenous people of Bolivia should visit the Museo Arqueologico; here you will find archeological, ethnographic, and paleontological collections dating back to pre-Columbian times.
Cochabamba’s rise as the chief producer of agricultural goods for nearby mining cities has led to it having some of the best food in Bolivia (most locals will argue it is in fact the best in Bolivia). Los cochabambinos no comen para vivir, sino que viven para comer. Walter Sanchez, a famous anthropologist who lived in Cochabamba, sums up the personality and way of life of Cochabambinos perfectly in this one sentence. They pride themselves on their love for food, and view meals as a chance to socialize and connect on a deeper level with friends and family. Most traditional food in Bolivia is in a sense derived from creations originating in Cochabamba. The city is teeming with bakeries, food-stalls, and restaurants on almost every corner; traditional delicacies available at these establishments include marinated cow heart, steak, vegetables, or fried chicken, something which every Bolivian has a strong penchant for. The more adventurous could also try sheep testicles or cow tongue. In order to wash all this delicious food down, you could enjoy a Chicha, a typical alcoholic beverage of fermented corn, ubiquitous in the Cochabamba valley.
The Chapare region lies directly to the North of Cochabamba, and features some of the most breathtaking scenery and magical atmosphere in Bolivia. The imposing mountains of the cordillera and its wild grasses fade into the tropical lowlands with its humungous trees hundreds of years old. While in the Chapare region, you can also visit the two national parks: The Isiboro Secure National Park, and the Carasco Nacional Park. Villa Tunari, an Amazonian village in the center of the Chapare region, lies just 150 kilometers northeast of Cochabamba; here the adventure-hungry traveler can engage in numerous exciting outdoor activities, including jungle trekking, canoeing, rappelling, and fishing. All of these locations are accessible via car, and can be explored at your own pace and leisure.