Open arms of a gentle "Cristo de la Concordia" (Christ of the Concord) crown the peak of the San Pedro hill. Paternal and charitable, the image blesses and watches over, while observing to its feet the magnificence of a valley disguised as a city. Panoramic view, confusion of lights, colonial charms covered by the dark mantel of the night. Hidden beauty resting in the Andean heights.
Considered as the capital of the valleys of Bolivia, Cochabamba is in a fertile and productive area at 2,500 ma.s.l. The city, surrounded by fields of cultivations and valuable pre-incas vestiges, conserves its colonial semblance and the customs inherited from its Quechua and Aymara ancestors.
Before the arrival of the Spanish conquerors, the valley of Cochabamba (from the Quechua term, cocha: lagoon and pampas: plain), was inhabited by primitive cultures that, later on, fell under the domain of the Collas. Then, the sons of the Sun extended their golden empire until these rich lands that were part of the Collasuyo region.
History says that the city of Cochabamba -capital of the department of the same name- was founded twice. The first foundation happened on August 15th, in 1571 and it was in charge of the captain Gerónimo de Osorio. Almost three years later, on January 1st in 1574, Sebastián Barba de Padilla, founded the land of the valleys once again obeying an order of the viceroy Francisco de Toledo, known as the "great organizer of Peru".
When the sun appears Cochabamba clears its mysteries. The capital of the valleys of Bolivia is ready to visit the travelers. Time of abandoning the San Pedro hill. Time of walking by its streets, of walking by the Plaza 14 de Setiembre or the Palacio Portales, impressive building built by Simón Patiño, the "baron of the tin." That is just the beginning. The city and the valley have a lot to show.