17km on the road to Tarata from the city this artificial lake is a popular destination for locals at the weekend and on holidays.
As with anywhere in Cochabamba the food is delicious and the portions enormous! , this picturesque tourist attraction features excellent views of the rural lakeside. Here you can go fishing, hunting, boating and dine on exquisite plates of fresh fish.
If in private transport then make a stop at Las Carmelitas to partake of the most delicious empanadas.
Take a bus from Barrientos / 6 de Agosto for Cliza or Tarata. Bs. 3.
Boulevard-Recoleta N 741
Km 16, Old road to Santa Cruz, Laguna La Angostura.
Tiquipaya lies 11km from the centre of Cochabamba. Visit to try the tasty river trout dishes or enormous portions of other local dishes.
Festivals: Chicha Festival, 2nd week in September. Trout Fair, 14 September. Flower festival, first week of October. San Miguel Arcángel, 23 October. Wallunk’a festival, 1st week of November (brightly dressed women from around the region)
Tarata is one of the area’s most beautiful towns and proudly boasts having produced two presidents of Bolivia, the quite insane Malgarejo, and populist leader René Barrientos. 35 minutes from Cochabamba, Tarata is well worth visiting to see its architecture falling into genteel disrepair.
Visit the San Pedro church on the plaza to look at the 18 century organ and carved cedar panels, the San José Convent, which holds the ashes of the community’s local saint, Saint Severin, feted on 10 November in great style. 7km on from Tarata is the village of Huayculi where the air is thick with smoke of eucalyptus branches being burnt to fire kilns for the pottery famous to this region.
Collective taxis leave every hour from Barrientos and Manuripi (Bs. 5, 90 minutes).
This small town 50km from Cochabamba is home to fabulous chicha, roasted guinea pig and amazing alpaca knits (Alpaca Works, Tel. 457 79 22), woven on traditional phúllu looms.
The annual peach fair is held here and the village has a wonderful collection of architecture from the colonial and republican times. The locals’ homes are called putucus, and display domed roofs, not found anywhere else in the region.
Located 9km from Punata, this town is famous for the house of ex-President Gualberto Villaroel, which is now a museum and the house of the famous author, Jesus Lara. On the K'illi K'illi hill you can find the Virgin of Sujumi Chapel where the Virgin appeared to shepherdesses.
Hot springs and thermal waters 5 hours from Cochabamba. Here on the lakes you can watch Canadian geese, wild ducks, condors, flamingos and vizcachas, and fish for trout.
Totora is 140km from Cochabamba and is a pretty colonial village. It hosts the annual Piano Festival at the end of September when performers arrive from around the country and abroad.
The local festival is held on 2 February if you’re interested in seeing bullfights. Possibly the most interesting festival is held on 2 November (All Saints) where the local girls swing on large maypoles trying to catch a husband. Totora was hit by a strong earthquake in May 1998 and most of the town has been restored although some damage is still visible
65km from Cochabamba lies Arani, which is known for baking Arani bread and good quality textiles. Its local festival is held on 23 – 25 August to honour the Virgin La Bella when locals walk from the San Bartolomé church up the 14 Stations of the Cross to the chapel to rub miniature copies of cars, wallets, money, etc on the altar to guarantee prosperity the coming year.