The department of Cochabamba: DPBOCO

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Department of Cochabamba
Located in the heart of Bolivia, it is characterized by being the department of a "Thousand Landscapes…Thousand Flavours". The climate is tempered, very pleasant for relaxation and enjoying nature. One can also enjoy varied typical and native cuisine, with exquisite dishes like: Piqueo Macho, Pampaku, Picante, Silpancho, Chicharron de Cerdo, Lawas, Kallu, etc. To wash down these delicacies, one can't miss the elixir of Cochabamba: Chicha de Maiz (a traditional corn wine).

In the city
Due to its geographic diversity, Cochabamba is divided into routes:

CENTRAL VALLEY ROUTE
The city has a variety of churches located in the old part of town, educational children's parks and themed plazas. The most important tourist destination are: Portales Palace, Cristo de la Concordia - a statue of Christ that is the tallest in the world (40m); the Martin Cardenas Botanic Garden, Alalay Lagoon- which presents a large variety of flora and fauna; San Sebastian Hill- featuring a monument in tribute to the heroines of the crown; the Archaeological Museum, Natural Science Museum, Tunari National Park - with diverse flora and fauna and over 20 lagoons used for raising out.

Another great attraction is "La Cancha" one of the largest typical markets in the country, offering handicrafts, as well as agricultural products and regular consumer goods, together with ancient tools used for witchcraft.

SURROUNDINGS

LOW VALLEY ROUTE

QUILLACOLLO: A town where the main attractions are: San Idelfonso Church - which dates back to the year 1.908; Urkupiña Virgin Chapel - with a celebration that has been declared a Bolivian Cultural Heritage; Cotapachi Lagoon the "Collcas" - which the largest granary of the Incan Empire; Liriuni - thermal water baths; and Santiago Temple - the oldest in the Central Valley (1,571), featuring the largest art gallery of the period.
Other unique towns are Sipe Sipe - known for its "guarapo" (alcoholic beverage made from fermented grapes, different from wine); and Incarray, the remains of an Incan fortress. Tiquipaya; a town which shelters San Miguel Church and is said to be the largest producer of flowers in Cochabamba. Vinto - where one can find Villa Albina Ranch, belonging to the tin Baron Simon I. Patiño; the town also shelters the Fito-Eco-Genetic Station, the best genetics laboratory in Bolivia. To the north is the Eco-tourism Park of Pairumani. Colcapirhua - an important place for the making of "wirkes" (very large vats) used to make "chicha" (a drink made from fermented corn).

ANDEAN ROUTE
AYOPAYA: Among its main attractions, it features wonderful Andean landscapes such as the Sacambaya Rampart - of pre-Incan origin; Kami Mining Centre - wherein the mine shafts pass from one side of the mountain to the other; the Sallapata Ranch House - former alcohol factory; and the Cerro Sapo Mine - one of the most important mines in the world.

Other important towns are:
Morochata - a valley known for its production of potato. Arque - a town best known for its thermal baths; Totorapampa and Patiruyo, producers of textiles, agricultural tools and pottery. Bilivar - which features attractions such as thermal water pools, pre-Hispanic tracks, "Eyes of Water", "The Castle", "The Ghost Town", "The Labyrinth", and "Cuyun Rock". Tapacari - an excellent producer of handmade tapestries displayed in its "Artisan Complex"; the ruins of Inca Lagaya - pre-Columbian architectural remains; T'ajllo - the mummies of Chullpa Loma; Leon K'asa - featuring the remains of a pre-Columbian citadel; Intuyo - with its thermal water fountain; Calista and Talija - eroded rock citadels.

TROPICAL ROUTE
In this route we find the Melga Church - a sanctuary featuring impressive stained glass windows, erected after the discovery of a stone with the image of the Maria de Los Angles Virgin; Corani Lagoon, Incachaca - whose path leads one to the Inca Corral, where one can find an artificial lagoon surrounded by a pine forest.
To the west, entering the Carrasco National Park, are the Hanging Bridge, The Devil's Throat, The Devil's Window - which is a waterfall that ends in a tunnel; and the Nusta Baths. Of equal importance are Tablas Monte and Coranipampa.

VILLA TUNARI: This town is characterized by its variety of wells and baths such as San Pedrito, Paraíso Lagoon, Three Brooks, San Mateo River Crossing - a practical area for adventure sports; Agriento Welles (A and B), the Repechon Caverns - a shelter for bats and guacharos (blind birds); El Palmar - an agricultural area; El Orquidario - the most important orchid garden in the country; Machia Municipal Park, la Jungla Park, Los Ceibos Park, San Francisco Port.

ENTRE RIOS (BETWEEN RIVERS): This place boasts heavenly destinations such as the Ichoa river, Ichilo River and Tres Palcas baths - wherein one can see many colourful animals, jochis (boars), deer and reptiles; the Illimani Lookout - a hill from where one can see the Ichilo river, as well as a great variety of flora and fauna.

CHIMORE: This an ideal place for Agro-tourism, as well as adventure and recreational activities. All of its rivers are apt for canoeing, kayaking, rafting; and its paths are great for mountains bikes. Important places are: Aurora Port and Cochabamba Port La Jota Experimental Station, and the Coca Museum.

PUERTO VILLARROEL: This is the most important commercial port in the tropic of Cochabamba. Its attractions are: the Lambadero - a Lunar landscape where animals go to extract mineral salts from eroded land; Sacta Valley, Recorrido Tres Islas and Recorrido Tacaural. Santa Isabel and Puerto Las Flores are townships of Yuracare origin on the shores of which you can see fishermen crafting their own nets out of rudimentary wood.

SHINAHOTA: Here one can find the Vinchuta and Coni Rivers, surrounded by thick and diverse vegetation, as well as wells and natural beaches or white sand. Isiboro Secure National Park. This is a protected area located between the departments of Cochabamba and Beni with a surface of approximately 1.200.000 hectares. There is a great diversity of flora and fauna, and it shelters 47 indigenous communities of Moxeños, Yuracares and Chimanes.

CARRASCO NATIONAL PARK: It's located in the provinces of Chapare, Carrasco and Tiraque, extending itself to the department of Santa Cruz. It features an area of approximately 622,600 hectares and is the reservoir for a great variety of genetic resources and some 800 bird species.

CONO SUR ROUTE
ARANI: A town where the main attractions are San Bartolome Temple - declared a National Monument; Collpa Claco Convent, Elefante Dormido (Sleeping Elephant) and Pocoata.

Other important towns in the route are:

Vacas - characterized by its "Six Lagoons", the most important of which s Toro Warkuna - a mystical lagoon with 120 meters of depth and an infinite supply of Puyas Raimundis. Sehuencas - This town has a semi-tropical climate and is the home of an important diversity of birds and reptiles. Totora - declared a National Heritage due to its great historical and architectural wealth. Pocona - This is a colonial town, wherein the biggest attraction is Incallajta, the largest Incan ruins in Bolivia. Aiquile - cradle of the best charango makers in the country, featuring a museum dedicated to this traditional Bolivian musical instrument.

MIZQUE: This gorgeous town has among its main attractions Puente de Los Libertadores (Bridge of the Liberators), the Petrogifos or stone engravings in Uyuchama); the Aguada and Taboada paintings, and the P. Mauricio Vulcamover Archaeological Museum.

VILA VILA: This is a place of great wealth in palaeontology and archaeology.

HIGH VALLEY ROUTE
TARATA: Called The Colonial City due to its historical and architectural wealth, still maintaining the charm of its original buildings. The attractions are: Huayculli - a production centre for handicrafts made in clay. There is also the San Jose Convent, San Pedro Temple and Santa Lucia Archaeological Dig.
Other important towns are: Anzaldo - where the main attraction is the Santiago de Anzaldo festival, celebrated on July 25th. Cliza - this features an attractive traditional market. Tocco - this is the home of San Miguel Church. Tocata - wherein there is a ravine with a large variety of vegetation and fossils. Punata - this is the site for the gorgeous San Juan Bautista Cathedral (National Monument). Ville Rivero - this town is known for the crafting of lovely tapestries. Tiraque - where the main attractions are the fountain of Love, Lover's Forest or "Ch'ejta Rumi", and the Pachaj Kjocha - which features 100 lagoons of varied sizes along its route.

Map of Cochabamba city
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