Top 10 Things To Do In Cochabamba, Bolivia

things to do in cochabamba
Behold James
Behold James 
| 5 min read

Cochabamba, a city in the heart of Bolivia, is one of the wallflowers of South America. Usually overlooked in favor of neighboring cities, it is a great option for anyone who’s looking for a less tourist-dense getaway. But what makes this vibrant and friendly city really enticing is its spring-like climate. And since it’s an unspoken rule for every city to be the city of something, other aliases of Cochabamba include the “City of Eternal Spring” and “The Garden City.” One of the well-known attractions you’ll want to check out is Plaza de Armas 14 de Septiembre, which is an open area featuring a column that honors independence. Close to this colonial square are churches like Santo Domingo, which features a carved stone facade that you’ll find impressive. There are many other exciting activities to do here. Read on to find out the top things to do in Cochabamba, Bolivia.

1. Wander around the halls of Palacio Portales

Palacio Portales
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user VASQUEZ RODRIGUEZ... used under CC BY-SA 4.0

What better way to kick off your Cochabamba adventure than wandering around an old house? But Palacio Portales isn’t just a regular house; it’s a cool house–a beautiful eclectic-style mansion reminiscent of French Renaissance architecture, to be exact.

Situated in a sprawling 10-hectare (25-acre) garden that draws inspiration from Versailles, Palacio Portales was built in the early 20th century as the residence of Bolivian millionaire, Simon Iturri Patino, who was responsible for over half of Bolivia’s tin output in the 1930s.

However, the place has not been inhabited since its completion, and it is now one of three installments of a cultural center named after its former master.

Palacio Portales

Address: Potosi 1392, Cochabamba, Bolivia

Opening hours: Tue - Fri: 3pm - 6:30pm (closed on Sat - Mon)

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2. Stop by Museo de Historia Natural Alcide d'Orbigny

Museo de Historia Natural Alcide d'Orbigny
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ghedo used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Literally next door from Palacio Portales is a museum called Museo de Historia Natural Alcide d'Orbigny. Often busiest between the hours of 9 and 11 in the morning, this subtle and rustic natural history museum houses a respectable collection of stuffed birds and mammals.

Tourists often like to take a 30-minute stroll along its creaky wooden floors as an appetizer while they wait for their Palacio Portales tour to begin. But a visit to this museum is a filling main course in its own right, for who could resist killing half an hour to see its six impressive collections, including geology, paleontology, and mammalogy?

Museo de Historia Natural Alcide d'Orbigny

Address: Potosi, Cochabamba, Bolivia

Website: Museo de Historia Natural Alcide d'Orbigny

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 9am - 12pm, 3pm - 6pm (closed on Sat & Sun)

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3. Pay pilgrimage at Cristo de la Concordia

Cristo de La Concordia
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Cochalo used under CC BY-SA 4.0

At 132.7 feet (40.4 meters), “Christ of Peace” is the third largest statue of Jesus Christ in the Southern Hemisphere. This tall drink of holy water stands atop San Pedro Hill, which means visitors have to ride a cable car to actually get there. But for those who are faint of heart when it comes to heights or those who enjoy a good hike, you can climb the 2,000 steps to the statue instead.

And if your knees haven’t given out yet, on Sundays, especially if you’re fond of views, you’re allowed to make the extra 1,399-step ascent to a viewing area found in the interior of the arms of the statue.

The attraction is open 24/7 and is usually under constant police surveillance.

Cristo de la Concordia

Address: Av. de la Concordia, Cochabamba, Bolivia

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

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4. Tour Museo Convento Santa Teresa

Museo Convento Santa Teresa
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Fátima Alanes used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Fans of religious works of art and antique furniture can feast their eyes at Museo Convento Santa Teresa. This place offers a guided tour that lasts for the better part of two hours, giving an in-depth glimpse of cloistered life in the convent, which has been around since the late 1600s.

It wasn’t until the residing community of Carmelite nuns restored a good chunk of the building that the convent opened its doors to the public as a museum. The heritage museum houses the works of famous sculptors and painters, including several canvases and a room full of painted wooden sculptures of Christ.

Thrill seekers would be pleased to know that some of the displays are eerily chilling. A few of the pieces are more macabre than others, including a skull sitting on a bowl of dust and a display of wire whisks that are said to have been used by nuns for self-flagellation.

Museo Convento Santa Teresa

Address: Baptista, Cochabamba, Bolivia

Website: Museo Convento Santa Teresa

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 8am - 12pm, 2pm - 6pm (closed on Sun)

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5. Go on a refreshing walk at Plaza de Armas 14 de Septiembre

Plaza de Armas 14 de Septiembre
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Maria Cristina Ta... used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Named after the Dia de Cochabamba, Plaza de Armas 14 de Septiembre is found in the middle of the city. It is bordered by a number of local and commercial businesses, such as coffee shops, bookstores, and shopping malls, and it is a hotspot for consumer activity.

The plaza itself is rich with Cochabambino culture and artistic expression. It features a three-faced fountain of the Greek deities Aglae, Thalia, and Euphrosyne. It is also home to the Heroes Column, a stone obelisk erected in commemoration of the independence of Cochabamba.

The place is open 24 hours daily and is busy for most of the day, especially at dusk, when activity is at its peak.

Plaza de Armas 14 de Septiembre

Address: Pl. 14 de Septiembre., Cochabamba, Bolivia

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

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6. Make a quick detour at Flags Plaza

Plaza de las Banderas
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Quique Velasco used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Plaza de las Banderas is a display of good old-fashioned patriotism, a representation of the union of the South American people, whose respective flags stand proudly in solidarity with each other. The flags form a circle around a fountain whose centerpiece is an artwork by Andres Gavilano, which represents “Diversity in Balance.”

The square does make for a good backdrop for photo-ops. What’s more, it’s conveniently in close proximity to restaurants and shopping malls, so you can easily squeeze in a visit on your way to grab a bite or indulge in retail therapy.

Flags Plaza

Address: Avenida José Ballivian (El Prado) N 0848, Cochabamba, Bolivia

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

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7. Travel back in time at Casona Santivañez Museum

Casona Santivañez Museum
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jan Beck used under CC BY 2.0

Do you have an unquenchable thirst for period pieces? Then a visit to Casona Santivañez Museum is just what you need. At this aristocratic house, you’ll find a beautiful collection of period furniture, sculptures, and paintings.

Its ornate interiors will make you feel as though you have traveled back in time to the 1800s–a time whose life and activity have been preserved throughout decades within the halls of the beautifully restored, colonial building.

Casona Santivañez Museum

Address: Calle Santivañez entre Av. Ayacucho y Junín, Santivañez, Cochabamba, Bolivia

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 9am - 12pm, 2:30pm - 6:30pm (closed on Sat & Sun)

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8. Dine at Cayenna Restaurant

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

If all this sightseeing has got you famished, then look no further than Cayenna Restaurant. This place is one of the highest-ranking restaurants in Cochabamba, so it is no wonder that it openly prides itself on delivering quality and excellence. It serves Latin dishes and offers a unique menu that is suitable for any kind of diet, whether it be vegan or gluten-free.

A favorite among locals and tourists, the bistro-café also offers a full range of services, including takeouts, full-service dinners, and events planning. Even box lunches are available at the fine establishment, which would be convenient to take with you while you see the rest of Cochabamba.

With all that said, it shouldn’t be surprising that the number of customers increases by the hour up until 6 pm when the restaurant is as busy as it gets, so it’s recommended to drop by before this time.

Cayenna Restaurant

Address: Calle esq. Parque Fidel Anze, Jose Quezada, Cochabamba, Bolivia

Website: Cayenna Restaurant

Opening hours: 8:30am - 11:45pm (daily)

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9. Support the arts at Proyecto mARTadero

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

If you’re a fan of theater and the arts, then Proyecto mARTadero just might be your fancy. In pursuit of social transformation, this warehouse-turned-edgy auditorium functions as Cochabamba’s very own hotspot of cultural and artistic expression.

Proyecto mARTadero is a shining beacon guiding the way home for human vessels carrying theater productions, musical performances, art exhibits, and everything in between. Get to know the “City of Eternal Spring” intimately by attending one of the shows and brace yourselves for some additive-free, authentic Cochabamba entertainment.

Proyecto mARTadero

Address: 27 de Agosto, Cochabamba, Bolivia

Website: Proyecto mARTadero

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 10am - 1pm, 3pm - 7pm (closed on Sat & Sun)

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10. Go on a shopping spree at Hupermall

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Are you in need of some retail therapy? Hupermall is the place to be. This bustling shopping mall has everything you could possibly need: clothing, home goods, food, entertainment.

The mall is open 12 hours daily, which is more than enough time to shop for gifts to bring back home to friends and family. But shopping is taxing work. Luckily, the place also has a food court and a movie theater, which provide some much-needed sustenance and refreshment.


Address: Av Pando, Cochabamba, Bolivia

Opening hours: 10am - 10pm (daily)

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Discover Cochabamba

The “City of Eternal Spring” is filled with many beautiful places you’ll enjoy exploring, from public squares to shopping malls. To make it easier to organize your itinerary, you can just check out our list of the top things to do in Cochabamba, Bolivia.

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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Behold James, an undergraduate, channels his passion for writing and travel into the realm of article curation, turning what might seem like work into a delightful hobby.

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