Friday, 12 July 2013


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Coordinates: 17°23′S 66°10′W / 17.383°S 66.167°W / -17.383; -66.167

Cochabamba Flag Coat of arms Nickname(s): "City of Eternal Spring" "The Garden City" "La Llajta" Cochabamba Location in Bolivia Coordinates: 17°23′S 66°10′W / 17.383°S 66.167°W / -17.383; -66.167 Country  Bolivia Department Cochabamba Province Cercado Province Municipality Cochabamba Municipality Founded August 15, 1571 Government  • Type Municipal Autonomous Government  • Mayor Edwin Castellanos Area  • City 170 km2 (70 sq mi)  • Land 169 km2 (65 sq mi)  • Water 1 km2 (0.4 sq mi)  • Urban 111 km2 (43 sq mi) Elevation 2,558 m (8,392 ft) Population (2008)  • Urban 608,276 Website Official website

Cochabamba is a city in central Bolivia, located in a valley bearing the same name in the Andes mountain range. It is the capital of the Cochabamba Department and is the fourth largest city in Bolivia with an urban approximate population of 700,000 (2010) and a metropolitan population of more than 1,000,000 people. The name derives from a compound of the Quechua words qucha, meaning "lake", and pampa, "open plain". Residents of the city and surrounding areas are commonly referred to as Cochalas. Cochabamba is known as the "City of Eternal Spring" and "The Garden City" due to its spring-like temperatures year round. It is also known as "La Llaqta", "town" in Quechua.

The city is host to the first World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth.


Palacio Portales built for mining magnate Simon Patiño Sarco Templo la Merced

The Cochabamba valley was inhabited for over a thousand years due to its fertile productive soils and climate. Archaeological evidence suggests that the initial inhabitants were of indigenous ethnic groups: Inca, Tupuraya, Mojocoya, Omereque, and Tiwanaku inhabited the valley at times before the Spanish arrived.

The first Spanish inhabitant of the valley was Garci Ruiz de Orellana in 1542. He purchased the majority of the land from local tribal chiefs Achata and Consavana through a title registered in 1552 at the Imperial City of Potosí. The price paid was 130 pesos. His residence, known as the House of Mayorazgo, stands in the Cala Cala neighbourhood.

The city, called Villa de Oropesa, was founded on 2 August 1571 by order of Viceroy Francisco de Toledo, Count of Oropesa. It was to be an agricultural production centre to provide food for the mining towns of the relatively nearby Altiplano region, particularly Potosí which became one of the largest and richest cities in the world during the 17th century — funding the vast wealth that ultimately made Spain a world power. With the silver mining industry in Potosi at its height, Cochabamba thrived during its first centuries. The city entered a period of decline during the 18th century as mining began to wane.

In 1786, King Charles III of Spain renamed the city to the 'loyal and valiant' Villa of Cochabamba. This was done to commend the city's pivotal role in suppressing the indigenous rebellions of 1781 in Oruro by sending armed forces to Oruro to quell the uprisings. Since the late 19th century it has again been generally successful as an agricultural centre for Bolivia.

The 1793 census shows that the city had a population of 22,305 persons. There were 12,980 mestizos, 6,368 Spaniards, 1,182 indigenous natives, 1,600 mulattos and 175 African slaves.

In 1900, the population was 21,886.

Besides a number of schools and charitable institutions, the diocese has 55 parishes, 80 churches and chapels, and 160 priests.

In 1999 and 2000, large-scale protests reversed the privatisation of the city's water supply.

In January 2007 city dwellers clashed with mostly rural protestors, leaving four dead and over 130 injured. The first democratically elected Prefect of Cochabamba, Manfred Reyes Villa, had allied himself with the leaders of Bolivia's Eastern Departments in a dispute with President Evo Morales over regional autonomy and other political issues. The protestors blockaded the highways, bridges, and main roads, having days earlier set fire to the departmental seat of government, trying to force the resignation of Reyes Villa. Citizens attacked the protestors, breaking the blockade and routing them, while the police did little to stop the violence. Further attempts by the protestors to reinstate the blockade and threaten the government were unsuccessful, but the underlying tensions have not been resolved.

In July 2007, a monument erected by veterans of January's protest movement in honour of those killed and injured by government supporters was destroyed in the middle of the night, reigniting racial conflicts in the city.

In August 2008, a nationwide referendum was held. The prefect of Cochabamba, Manfred Reyes Villa, was not confirmed by the voters of the department.


Cochabamba's famous "Eternal Spring" continues to hold sway over the hearts of true Cochalos. Neither experiencing the humid heat of Santa Cruz nor the frigid winds of La Paz, Cochabamba enjoys a semi-arid climate (Köppen: BSk). At 17° south of the Equator, tropical days are balanced by the cool of mountain nights. The characteristic of the climate is an extended dry season that runs from May until October with a wet season that generally begins in November with the principal rains ending in March.

Climate data for Cochabamba Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year Record high °C (°F) 35.0 (95) 30.0 (86) 30.6 (87.1) 30.0 (86) 28.9 (84) 30.0 (86) 28.3 (82.9) 30.6 (87.1) 30.6 (87.1) 32.8 (91) 31.7 (89.1) 32.8 (91) 35 (95) Average high °C (°F) 23.9 (75) 23.3 (73.9) 24.4 (75.9) 25.0 (77) 24.4 (75.9) 23.3 (73.9) 23.3 (73.9) 23.9 (75) 25.6 (78.1) 26.1 (79) 25.6 (78.1) 25.0 (77) 24.5 (76.1) Daily mean °C (°F) 18.1 (64.6) 17.5 (63.5) 17.5 (63.5) 16.4 (61.5) 14.2 (57.6) 12.2 (54) 12.5 (54.5) 13.9 (57) 16.7 (62.1) 18.1 (64.6) 18.3 (64.9) 18.3 (64.9) 16.1 (61) Average low °C (°F) 12.2 (54) 11.7 (53.1) 10.6 (51.1) 7.8 (46) 3.9 (39) 1.1 (34) 1.7 (35.1) 3.9 (39) 7.8 (46) 10.0 (50) 11.1 (52) 11.7 (53.1) 7.8 (46) Record low °C (°F) 7.2 (45) 3.3 (37.9) 2.2 (36) −1.1 (30) −4.4 (24.1) −6.7 (19.9) −5.0 (23) −5.6 (21.9) −3.3 (26.1) 0.0 (32) 5.0 (41) 5.6 (42.1) −6.7 (19.9) Precipitation mm (inches) 94.0 (3.701) 68.8 (2.709) 38.4 (1.512) 12.7 (0.5) 2.3 (0.091) 1.3 (0.051) 2.5 (0.098) 7.6 (0.299) 6.1 (0.24) 20.8 (0.819) 38.1 (1.5) 70.1 (2.76) 362.7 (14.28) Source: Sistema de Clasificación Bioclimática Mundial

People and culture

Distant view of Cochabamba's El Prado district

Currently, Cochabamba is among Bolivia's most economically and socially progressive cities. Commensurate with other large cities in the Andean highlands of South America, Cochabamba is a city of contrasts. Its central commercial districts, bounded by Plaza Colón and Plaza 14 de Septiembre, is generally equipped with modern urban amenities and is where the majority of the city's business and commercial industries are based. An active nightlife is centered around Calle España and along the broad, tree-lined boulevard, El Prado. In contrast, the remote area adjacent to the Wilstermann International Airport is visibly impoverished, with adobe homes and unpaved roads, which is often the first impression visitors acquire while commuting into the city.

The most widely spoken language in Cochabamba is Spanish. Although the Spanish that is spoken in the Cochabamba region is generally regarded as rather conservative in its phonetics and vocabulary, a few Quechua and Aymara terminology (guagua , papa ) have been incorporated into its standardized form.

As with most cities around the globe, English language is increasingly spoken and understood, particularly among business-minded indigenous and repatriated Cochabambinos. English-language instruction has become incorporated into Bolivian education from elementary to college levels.

The city's racial demographics consist of the following visible groups in order of prevalence: Western Hemispheric indigenous (mostly of Quechua ethnicity), Mestizo or mixed Indigenous, and a minority of white Caucasoid and mixed white (Criollos).


Cochabamba, formally the municipality of Cercado, is the capital of Cochabamba department. The city government is divided into executive and legislative branches. The mayor of Cochabamba is the head of the city government, elected by general election for a term of five years. The mayor heads an executive branch, which includes six sub-mayors and a variety of departments comprising 950 functionaries. The 11-member municipal council is the legislative branch.

The current mayor is Edwin Castellanos of the Movement Towards Socialism.


The area where Cochabamba is situated is commonly referred to as the granary of Bolivia. Its climate is milder than that of the Altiplano region to the west and thus permits extensive agriculture, including grains, potatoes, and coffee in the highlands and sugar cane, cocoa beans, tobacco, and fruit in the Chapare tropical lowlands, an area that had been one of the country's main coca-leaf-producing regions.

Cochabamba is also the industrial hub of Bolivia, producing cars, cleaning products, cosmetics, chemicals, and other items like cement. The economy of Cochabamba is characterized by produce goods and services.

The airline Boliviana de Aviación has its headquarters in Cochabamba. The defunct airline Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano (LAB Airlines) had its management offices on the grounds of Jorge Wilstermann Airport in Cochabamba. In Cochabamba construction has being rapidly increasing in the last couple of year with more than 750 construction sites per year.

Cochabamba is one of the main hubs for cocaine dealers in South America. In June 2012 the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo gained access to intelligence reports that showed that cocaine cartels were the economic force behind condominiums and real estate as well as industries such as meat processing.

Urban transport

The metropolitan area of Cochabamba (Vinto, Tiquipaya, Quillacollo, Colcapirhua, Cochabamba and Sacaba) has an extensive transportation system, which cover all the districts.

There are almost 70 bus and minibus lines, from A to Z, and dozens of minibuses and taxi lines trufis. Most lines have GPS system for monitoring and regulation of hour (line 1, line 16, line L, Line 3V, line 20, line 30, etc.). The service or commonly called T.RU.FI (taxi con ruta fija) has at least 60 lines; they are identified by signs on the roof of the vehicle showing the route from the initial stop until the final stop is also indicated line number to which it belongs.

The busiest bus lines are:

Line "Q" (CBBA-QLLO) Line "W" (CBBA-QLLO) Line "3V" Line "B" (Airport) Line "X-10" Line "36" Line "1" Line "30" Line "13" Line "Z-12" (CBBA-TIQUIPAYA)

And the busiest taxi trufi lines are:

Taxi Trufi "110" Taxi Trufi "260" (Cochabamba-Quillacollo Line) Taxi Trufi "270" (Cochabamba-Quillacollo Line) Taxi Trufi "103" (Green line and White Line) Taxi Trufi "106" (Tiquipaya Line) Taxi Trufi "130" (Circular) Taxi Trufi "209" (Circular) (Cochabamba-Quillacollo Line) Taxi Trufi "123" Taxi Trufi "224" (Sacaba Line) Taxi Trufi "240" (Sacaba Line) Taxi Trufi "244" (Sacaba Line) Taxi Trufi "115"