Bolivia travel blog by Mark Berman -
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Cochabamba is located in the middle of Bolivia between La Paz and Santa Cruz and is a central hub for flights and travels around the country.
Being a large city there is quite a lot to see if you are prepared to do some serious walking. I walked 19kms in one day around Cochabamba
looking for things to photograph! I've been here 3 times now and each time there are new works of street art to be discovered. There is an
ongoing project in the city called '100 murals' (street art). Cochabamba has 2 significant plazas in the center, the main square - Plaza 14
de Septiembre and Plaza Colon as well as some beautiful old churches and buildings, the cathedral, the Jesus statue and the park of water
The Jesus Statue
The worlds tallest Jesus statue towers over the city, it's called Cristo de la Concordia (Statue Height - 34.2 metres,
Pedestal Height - 6.24 meters). It is taller than the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio, Brazil
(Statue Height 30 meters, Pedestal Height - 9.5 meters).
Views at the Top
You can take a taxi up to see the Jesus statue or you can go up by cable car or walk up 1399 steps. The choice is yours! The views of Cochabamba
on the way up the mountain are fantastic and better again once at the top and even better once you climb up the narrow staircase inside
the Jesus statue and out into his arms and look out the little square windows. The walk up the staircase is really hard work at this
altitude (2558m + 350m to the mountain top = 2908m), it costs a coin to enter to the stairs.
In the Markets
The markets are fun to explore and you can
buy some yummy street food or sit down at a street kitchen. I always find that the market is the best and cheapest place to eat anywhere
in Bolivia. Street vendors sell electronic goods and watches, woman sit with wheelbarrows full of mangos and bananas under sun-umbrellas,
you can buy fresh fish on ice in wheelbarrows, fruit, vegetables and meat.
Family Park (Parque de la Familia)
In the evening the best thing to do in Cochabamba is to
come to the park of water and lights for a fantastic spectacle. Families come here by the dozen, it's very popular and a lot of fun. It's
awesome for children and adults! There is a small entrance fee.
The best time to be in Cochabamba is probably the month of August for the
Fiesta de la Virgen de Urkupina when many pilgrims and people converge on the city. The hotels get booked up quickly and charge a lot more than usual, so book early.