Cochabamba – it is worth your time
All the roads in Bolivia lead to Cochabamba. Whether you are traveling from north to south or the other way around, you will have to go through Cochabamba.
We knew we wanted to stop here for a very simple reason, there is a winery who’s wine we’ve tried at Gustu in La Paz and we wanted more.
People keep saying there is not much to see in Cochabamba but we got well entertained for couple of days and used it as a base for visiting nearby attractions.
Travel and Stay
We got in by night bus from La Paz (60BOB pp, it was with one of the cheaper companies and the ride was perfectly fine)
We’ve stayed in Naupa Hause Hostel and negotiated 120BOB per night with breakfast with shared bathroom. It was OK, not super clean, very noisy but definitely the cheapest one we could find in CBBA. It was nice because of the grassy courtyard and we’ve made friends with other travellers.
Food in Cochabamba
Cochabambinos have a saying that they eat after they had their food. CBBA is considered the culinary heart of Bolivia and the local street food is to die for.
Where to eat:
Casa de Campo for local food that you won’t be able to finish. They have touristic and local portions, of course I had to go for local because it’s bigger and couldn’t finish it.
Paprika for fancier international cuisine that comes with price tag. But they serve a wine from our favourite Vina de Marquez...
Wist’upiku is a local chain for empanadas and saltenas and all the other delicious pastries filled with cheese, chicken, pork and combinations. It’s freaking awesome.
Gopal Vegetarian restaurant is actually located in the courtyard of the hostel we stayed in. For 20BOB you get awesome selection of salads, 2 soups, choice of 2 mains and 2 deserts. It’s a lot of good healthy food that you might need after all the meat you eat in South America.
Street food anywhere on the corner. We ate potatoes with baked beef hearts (6BOB), yuca burgers with pulled pork and peanut sauce (7BOB), chicken hearts on skewer(3BOB), peanut soup (5BOB)and drunk lots of fresh orange juice (3BOB).
Things to do
Go and visit the shop of Marquez de la Vina. Tell them you read about them in this blog ;). If you are after super fancy dry red, Argentina style, you are in the right spot. We actually sent them a message on FB saying that we came to Cochabamba because of them. We met the owners and they spent good 2 hours with us, giving us a big taste of their wine, talking life and winemaking in Bolivia. On top of that they also sell Swiss style cheese, Spanish chorizo, oils and tapenadas. Everything is sourced and produced in and around Cochabamba.
Palacio de Patino, entry is 20 BOB pp. It’s a beautiful house built for the Bolivian king of tin who never lived there. Nobody every did but today it’s a museum and Cultural Center. We came right after our wine tasting, little tipsy and very happy. Last entrance is at 6.30pm and it should be in English (aka the guide read the whole description from his phone but we didn’t mind at all ;))
Check out the huge market that looks like it doesn’t even belong to this modern and developed city
Take a teleferico or hike up to the statue of Christ for best views.
Cochabamba's beauty lies in all the great natural attractions that surrounds it.
From all the things we’ve seen our top recommendations are Torotoro National Park (4 days trip), Incachaca (1 day trip) and Villa Tunari (3 days trip).
Read more about each of them and how to get there and enjoy your time without paying a fortune.
We’ve been to Cochabamba in January 2018. If you have more up to date information, please do share them in comments. Thank you.