Top things to do in Cochabamba: Fun activities, sites, parks, museums, churches and tours
Below are some places that one can visit while in Cochabamba:
Cristo de la Concordia
Cristo de la Concordia is the second largest Jesus Christ statue in the world, the first one being Świebodzin. One can enjoy great views of the city from the hill on which the statue is located. In order to reach this statue, one can hire a taxi or take the free tour bus from Plaza Colon that goes there on Sundays. Another way to get there is by the cable car which goes there from the park and playground which is towards the extreme right on the eastern end of Calle Columbia.
Simón I. Patiño Cultural Center
Simón I. Patiño Cultural Center which is called Centro Pedagógico y Cultural Simón I. Patiño is located on Av. Potosí. The complex includes the Palacio Portales mansion, gardens that are called Jardines and Centro de Arte Contemporáneo which is an art museum. This mansion was built by Patiño who was a tin magnate who exerted control over half the nation's output in the 1930s.
The Medical Museum
The Medical Museum is based in Hospital Viedma which is the main Hospital in Cochabamba. The museum displays some old x-ray machines.
The Museum of Natural History
The Museum of Natural History is located on Calle Potosi in Recoleta just next to the Palacio Portales.
Museo Archeologico which is located on Jordan Esq. Aguirre is a fantastic archaeological museum that has mummies, deformed skulls, great artistic pottery and other artifacts on display.
mARTadero which is located on Ollantay Esq. 27 de Agosto is a great center for arts and performance that has rotating art exhibits, music performances and other fun activities.
La Cancha is located towards the southern side of Cochabamba and is the largest open-air market in South America. This market is one of the biggest attractions in the city where one can shop for clothes, food, books and souvenirs at very competitive prices. The market is spread out from the Cancha right along Av. San Martin in the north to the center. Saturday is the best day to visit the market as all the shops are open on that day. It is advisable not to carry any valuables as a safety measure when visiting the market.
The Spitting Llama Bookstore & Outfitter
The Spitting Llama Bookstore & Outfitter is located on Calle España y Ecuador and offers a wide range of trekking as well as camping equipment and gear. Sleeping bags, tents, backpacks, hiking boots and lots of handy little gadgets like headlamps, compasses, and batteries can be purchased from this store. Apart from selling, they also rent out gear like tents and sleeping bags. They also have an extensive collection of maps which include maps of major Bolivian cities, popular Bolivian tourist destinations and maps of South American Countries as well as topographical and trekking maps. There is also a book store and library where one can purchase or exchange books in English as well as other languages.
Bike Art Tour
This is an interesting tour of the open air museum that is located in the neighborhoods of Villa Coronilla and Geronimo Osorio. This tour provides an insight into the cultural history of the neighborhood and that of the murals that were painted for the Bineal de Arte Urbano. It is a fun-filled, relaxed guided tour in both Spanish and English that takes about 1½ hours. There is one departure every Wednesday at 15:00 from the Spitting Llama in Plaza Granados and another on Sundays at 15:00 from the Bike Art Tour Headquarters. A bigger group of 4 or more people can get a trip scheduled for an alternate time as per their convenience.
Paragliding and other outdoor activities
Cochabamba is the paragliding capital of Bolivia and has paragliding schools that offer high quality tandem flights as well as courses for beginners. One of them is the AndeseXtremo which offers paragliding as well as other outdoor activities like rock climbing and other fun filled activities. One can enjoy the fantastic aerial view of the Cochabamba valley during this paragliding session.
There are a lot of social activities that take place around Cochabamba which include:
- Parlana which is a weekly language and culture exchange session that takes place every Tuesday from 19:00 to 23:00 hrs. It is free of charge and the location of the activity changes every week. It is advisable to check out their public Facebook page to see the venue for the next session.
- There is also a monthly couch-surfing event with a very social and friendly atmosphere which one can attend and enjoy.