After traveling to Cochabamba, Boliva, there are a few notable facts that I would love to share with our readers. First and foremost, it is imperative that you get your visa that is required to enter the country, and in most circumstances you will need clearance for a yellow fever shot. The flight is a bit extensive, an estimated 24 hours, as there are no direct flights. I flew with Avianca (on the new state-of-the-art 787 Dreamliner) from JFK to Bogota, Colombia then from Colombia to La Paz, Bolivia and from La Paz to Cochabamba. Please note that La Paz, the capital of Bolivia is 11,913 feet (3,631 meters) above sea level making it difficult to breathe even when in the airport.
Cochabamba is a beautiful city in Bolivia, surrounded by picturesque views of the mountains; there isn’t any water in or near this location. The friendly people, delicious food and beautiful views are most of what captivates you. We visited a few great restaurants during our stay, Globos Cafe and Casa de Campo, both walking distance from our hotel, the Grand Hotel Cochabamba. The traditional Spanish food was phenomenal, and greatly priced. Bolivianos is the currency used and the exchange rate is reasonable, which makes everything less expensive when compared to US prices.
Transportation was pretty accessible. Taxis were fairly inexpensive and took us everywhere we needed to go. The traffic lights and rules seemed a bit ductile, mainly because traffic lights and signals did not seem considerable at all times, drivers moved on their own scale. Not to deter anyone, but just informing how flexible the traffic rules seemed to be.
As a tourist, it is imperative to visit the Cristo de la Concordia (Christ of Peace), the largest statue of Jesus Christ that exists. It’s located atop San Pedro Hill, to the east of Cochabamba, Bolivia and is accessible by cable car or by climbing 2,000 steps. It is a must-see when in Cochabamba and one of the main tourist attractions while visiting.
Overall, our stay in Bolivia was very pleasant, from the people to the food, to the currency value. The weather was amazing as temperatures ranged from 80 to 85°F (26 to 29°C) with absolutely no humidity, making it a lot more comfortable than we expected or are used to. Bolivia offers a great deal of culture, from the ‘indigenously dressed men and women, who are a common sight in all towns, to the women selling fresh fruits and vegetables, to the men shining shoes on the streets. All of the positives – the awe inspiring landscapes and scenery, the budget-friendly prices, and the fascinating culture made every bit of the trip worthwhile.
I would recommend anyone interested in exploring new places, absorbing new cultures and enjoying fantastic food to put Cochabamba, Bolivia on your calendar for your next voyage to South America.