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April 1st, 2013 


Cochabamba, Bolivia


 Situated 2,558 meters above sea level in the Cochabamba Valley of the Andes mountain range is the Bolivian City of the same name. Capital of the Cochabamba Department, the city of Cochabamba is Bolivia's third largest city. Cochabamba is beautiful city that is surrounded by natural wonders like Tunari Hill, Alalay Lagoon, and San Sebastian Hill. More than one million people live in the city that is named for its lake and open plain. With a climate that is similar to having spring the whole year around, Cochabama has many enticing nicknames like "The City of Eternal Spring" and "The Garden City." Cochabama is one of Bolivia's most progressive cities, both economically and socially, and is filled with stark contrasts.

 The favored language of most Cochabambinos is Spanish. English is gaining popularity as a second language. The city's ethinic make-up consists of indigenous people, Mestizo or mixed indigenous people, and a minority of white people and mixed white people or Criollos. The Cochabamba Valley has a long history of inhabitance. It was over one thousand years ago that the first known people settled there. Before the Spanish came to the area, a variety of ethnic groups lived in the valley, including Inca, Tupuraya, Mojocoya, Omereque, and Tiwanaku inhabited the valley.

 Garci Ruiz de Orellana settled in the valley in 1542. He was the first Spanish settler. Two tribal leaders named Achata and Consavana sold most of the land to him with a title that was registered in 1552 at the Imperial City of Potosí. He paid 130 pesos. He called his house The House of Mayorazgo, and it is still standing in the Cala Cala neighbourhood of Cochabamba. The city was originally named Villa de Oropesa when it was founded on August 2, 1571 by the order of Viceroy Francisco de Toledo, who was the Count of Oropesa. The original purpose of the settlement was to provide food, like corn, wheat, and cattle, for the nearby mining towns, Potosí in particular. During the seventeenth century, Potosí was the richest and biggest cities in the entire world. The wealth generated by that city was influential in building Spain up as the world power that is was at the time. The booming economy produced by the silver mines helped Cochabamba to thrive for centuries.


 The pleasant, mild weather that Cochabamba enjoys makes it a prime destination for tourists. Because of its situation in the Valley, Cochamba has extremely mild winters and summers. The average temperature in the winter is sixty-one degrees fahrenheit. The average temperature in summer is a pleasant seventy-eight degrees. This temperate weather combined with the vibrant plant life, the long, rich history, the serene lake, and the amazing mountains that surround the city make Cochabamba very popular with people looking for an enjoyable place to spend a holiday.

 Thinking of heading to Cochabamba? If you are flying you will be arriving at Jorge Wilsterman International Airport, a short 3 miles from Cochabamba city center.

 If you will be driving, from La Paz to Cochabamba the drive is a 4 hour 45 minute drive and 220 miles, from Santa Cruz to Cochabamba the drive is 445 miles and 10 hours drive time.

La Paz to Cochabamba

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Santa Cruz to Cochabamba

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