Bolivia travel blog by a backpacker -
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2015 My 2nd time in Cochabamba, 7yrs after my 1st. I had a much better look around the central city this time and enjoyed looking
for street murals which there are quite a few of. The central Plaza 14 de Septiembre and the cathedral are Cochabamba's center. I
visited a museum and cultural house and was lucky to be there during some street parades and celebrations. I found a few historic buildings,
enjoyed the street food around Plaza Colon and again headed by taxi up the hill to see the worlds tallest Jesus statue Cristo de la Concordia.
Cochabamba has quite a young population and some beautiful women! From here I flew to Santa Cruz, just a 45 minute flight.
The Jesus Statue 2008
I spent 3 nights in Cochabamba.
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).
Taxi, Cable Car or Walk
I took a taxi to the east side of the city and scaled the 350 meters to the top of the mountain. Cochabamba
is at an altitude of 2550 meters, so now I was pretty high up at 2900 meters above sea level. The taxi cost about $2USD each way, you can also get up by cable car or walk up 1399 steps.
Views at the Top
The views of Cochabamba on the way up are really fantastic and better again once at the top of the
mountain and even better once you climb up the narrow staircase inside the statue and out into the arms of Jesus and look out the little
square windows. The walk up the staircase is really hard work at this altitude, it cost a coin to enter to the stairs. I enjoyed it and spent
about an hour around the statue area enjoying the views, taking photos, eating icecream and giving a coin to the odd beggar. I got back down
the mountain and back into town by taxi, the driver told me to be careful while I was taking photos out of the window in town in the crowded
area we were in. He felt someone could grab my camera at any time and run. I try to be very aware in the streets and markets about this. My pockets have velcro in them that I sewed myself to keep them tightly shut.
In the Markets
The rest of the time in Cochabamba I spent looking around and enjoying the street and market chaos. There were street vendors selling electronic
goods and watches, woman with wheelbarrows full of mangos and bananas under sun-umbrellas, fresh fish on ice in wheelbarrows, fruit, vegetable
and meat markets. There are police there with pretty big bazooka type guns. I asked one if I could take his photo but he said no and I said ok.
Then his partner a few feet away asked to see the photos I had taken on my camera. He flicked through them and said they were all ok.
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 though.
Flight to La Paz
From Cochabamba I flew to La Paz