This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Cochabamba. To help you make friends with Cochabamba before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
Cochabamba is a busy city with tall business buildings and more gray and concrete than some of Bolivia. Since it's a metropolis, you'll also find many activities to enjoy and places to explore. But most of all, it means you will find plenty of hostels in Cochabamba. If you arrive late at night at the bus terminal, depending on the taxi driver, they will actually know where a lot of Cochabamba hostels are. As you walk through the streets of Cochabamba, you'll cross paths with many hostels. However, as many tourists spend at least a few days in Cochabamba, it is best to book in advance otherwise catch yourself in a more pricey Cochabamba hostel that backpackers rejected.
Cochabamba is abundant in markets -- food, meat, flowers, and anything you can imagine is right here in Cochabamba. This is the place to see how locals run their businesses -- they don't need to pay that much mind selling to tourists, so you get an authentic experience. Be sure to try some fresh pineapple or watermelon from the vendors, or even freshly squeezed orange juice. For food in general, choose restaurants that are crowded with locals and you'll have tasty soup, potato, llama, and rice. Or you can easily visit the local markets and cook food in a Cochabamba hostel with a kitchen.
What's most intriguing are the cholitas (Bolivian women) who are dressed in neon working vests sweeping the streets at night with brooms, which is a very different role than they play in rural areas and it's an interesting cultural observation. It's hard not to spend more than two days here in Cochabamba, which is plentiful in hostels. You can easily take up a few hours just walking through streets and observing the culture. But finding your hostel in Cochabamba is the first task and it can be difficult depending on the time of your arrival.
Written by local enthusiast for Cochabamba hostelsLaurie-Ann