Cochabamba

Cochabamba, or simply Cocha, the fourth largest city in Bolivia, is located some 240 km southeast of La Paz.

42 things to do

All Places Bolivia



Zhou

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.


Sustainable Bolivia

Sustainable Bolivia is an umbrella NGO that matches volunteers with local projects in Cochabamba. They typically have 15-25 volunteers working between the 25-30 local projects at any given time. They rent three houses that volunteers will live in, and also offer homestays. Most volunteers will confirm their projects several weeks before starting, and will commit to at least a month in Cochabamba. That means that their houses are sometimes full, and they cannot provide housing to walk-ins, particularly those who cannot commit to at least a month of time. Grants to organizations are administered by the volunteers themselves, so they know how the money is being used.



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.¨

DO   —  Map

Jacaranda

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.

EAT   —  Tadeo Haenke


Nawpa Hostel

Centrally located, relatively new hostel in a green courtyard with a vegetarian restaurant attached. Free Wi-Fi around the reception desk and in cafe. Bathrooms were not maintained for 2 days: no cleaning, paper or soap. Kitchen very dirty. UPDATE 2015: This place is awful. Very overpriced now 60bs for a dorm, they also lock the toilets at 9pm so you cannot go to the bathroom in the night. Lastly, you are woken up by the neighbouring cafe who share the dorm's kitchen at 7am. Go somewhere else, definitely go to the vegetarian restaurant within still though

SLEEP   —  +591 72208443 —  Calle España 250

Apart Hotel Regina

The Apart Hotel Regina, offers both rooms and apartments with kitchens. It is close to El Prado and many popular night spots - however noise isn't a problem while sleeping. Staff at the reception desk speak English, and are friendly. The room decor is outdated and the carpets need to be replaced. There is hot water and good water pressure. All the rooms have free Wi-Fi. On-site parking is available. The buffet breakfast is from 7AM until 10AM.



Sole Mio

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.


AndeseXtremo

Andes Extremo is an excellent choice for paragliding and also offers other outdoor activities including rock climbing. You can book a tandem flight with a fantastic view on the Cochabamba valley for about 350 Bs. One of their rockclimbing options is in Quarry Angostura, which will cost you $45 per person for 1 day (half day) with a minimum of 2 people. The difficulty level is 5a-6c.

DO   —  Map


Buenos Aires:

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.


Hostal Jardin

Fairly quiet, some long-termers, popular among Brazilians. You might share water pressure with you neighbours and the rooms smell strongly of cleaning fluid everyday. Small breakfast consisting of bread and tea included. Safe parking. And, yes, there is a garden here. If you stay for 10 days in a row, you can get a discount to 25B per day for a single with shared bath.


Casablanca

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.

EAT   —  Calle 25 de Mayo

Simón I. Patiño Cultural Center

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).

SEE   —  Map

Instituto para el Desarrollo Humano

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.

DO   —  +591 4 4118315 —  Humboldt 829

La Estancia

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.


Hotel Los Angeles

Decent budget hotel in a passable location, a solid 3-4 dark blocks from many of the restaurants and bars on Calle España. Singles Bs 70, doubles Bs 120, with bath and breakfast. It competes with the Hotel Las Vegas (similar prices and standard) across the street for the cheesiest ''norteamericano'' decor.


Running Chaski

Newer hostel, with a great location along c/ España. Pricier than most other options you'll find in town at 75-90 Bs. per night for dorms, but it seems to be much cleaner and better maintained than typical in Cochabamba.


Kebbab - Las Mille y Uno Noches

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.

EAT   —  Calle Potosi

Sabor de México

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.


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.

SEE   —  Map

Red Tinku

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.


Café Fusión

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.

DRINK   —  Calle España

mARTadero

a great arts and performance center based in an old slaughterhouse. They have rotating art exhibits, music performances, and other interesting stuff.


Cerebrito

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!

DRINK   —  Calle España

Residencial Cristo de Concordia

Not such a good location, can be very dangerous at night and is recommended to take a taxi to and from hostel, laundry service, helpful staff.


Museo Archeologico

Awesome archeological museum with mummies, deformed skulls, amazing pottery and other artifacts. Well worth a visit.

SEE   —  Jordan esq. Aguirre

Pimienta

Probably the most popular dance club with westerners, plays a mix of 90's and current hits. Gets full around 2:30AM.

DRINK   —  Av America

Cafe Paris

Parisian style café with both filling and sweet crepes as well as a good coffee. Very reliable WiFi available too.


Hostal Elisa

Small, but neat rooms, around a cozy courtyard. Expensive internet.

SLEEP   —  Lopez S-834

Panchos

Starts out as a bar, turns into a club. Mostly latin music.

DRINK   —  Calle Mayor Rocha

Globos

Good icecream, many coffee-drinks, some cakes and burgers.

EAT   —  S end of El Prado

Hostal Buenos Aires

Excellent location. Very thin walls. In-house restaurant.


Marka

A courtyard with electronic music and a very mixed crowd.

DRINK   —  Calle Ecuador

Lavaya

Same day laundry if you show up at opening time.


Lujos

Full dance floor, mostly classics ie. reggaeton.

DRINK   —  Calle Beni

Cocafe

Small, cozy, well decorated. Leaves on offer.

DRINK   —  Calle Venezuela

Picasso´s

Nice warm up venue. Tables, bar, play dice.

DRINK   —  Calle España

Meihua

Standard Chinese. A bit greasy but cheap.


Eli´s

Inspired by North American joints.


Lavanderia Brilliante

Several others on the same block.

OTHER   —  Av Aroma 118

Cristal

Very neat and clean.


Parapente Bolivia

DO   —  Map

About Cochabamba

Set on a plain surrounded by mountains, is known for its moderate climate. Nicknames for Cochabamba include the "Garden City" and the "City of Eternal Spring".


Source: wikivoyage