Bolivia’s Central Highlands
Bolivia’s Central Highlands
Cochabamba, one of Bolivia’s largest and most modern cities, is an ideal base for excursions through the Central Highlands.
Also known as the “City of Eternal Spring”, Cochabamba enjoys pleasant weather year-round.
Visitors can explore artisanal markets, historic churches, a Carmelite convent, and a fine archeological museum.
One of South America’s least known and most impressive archeological sites can be found 80 miles east of Cochabamba.
Incallajta, a fortified hilltop city, is believed to have been constructed in 1463, under the command of the Inca Tupac Yupanqui.
As the Inca Empire expanded eastward and southward, fortress towns were established to secure military gains and stifle local resistance.
Incallajta is likely the largest such site; its boundaries cover a vast 167 acres. Many of Incallajta’s structures are defensive, such as the zigzagging walls lining its terraces. The site also appears to have deep ritual significance.
Mounting evidence suggests Incallajta was a replica of the Inca capital of Cusco, facilitating the elaborate rites of the Inca ceremonial calendar.
The site’s largest known structure is the Kalanka, with dimensions of 255′ by 82′. At the time of its construction (circa 1500), it was the largest single-roofed structure in the Americas.
More than 40 other buildings can be seen at Incallajta, including towers, temples, and palaces.
Torotoro National Park
Cochabamba also serves as the gateway to Torotoro National Park, located 87 miles due south. This park’s 64 square miles protects canyons, caves and colorful sandstone landscapes.
Although the scenery here is spectacular, most visitors are drawn by the park’s fossils and dinosaur tracks. Dinosaur and sea fossils are plentiful—more than 2,500 dinosaur footprints having been identified.
To safeguard these treasures, the park requires guides to accompany all visitors. The mixed surface roads to Cochabamba range from jarring in the dry season, to completely impassable in the December to March wet season.
LANDED arranges private guided tours of Cochabamba, Incallajta, and Torotoro.
Tours are also available to other Cochabamba area attractions, including Tunari and Carrasco national parks, the Sunday market in Tiquipaya, and the charming town of Tarata.
Cochabamba’s airport (CBB: Jórge Wilstermann International) receives direct flights from La Paz (30 minutes) and Santa Cruz (45 minutes). By land, Cochabamba is approximately 215 miles from both La Pazand and Sucre.
At LANDED, we deliver the finest in custom, leisure travel to Central America, South America, and Antarctica. These regions are our passion; we know them first-hand and by heart. Speak with one of our expert travel planners today at 801.582.2100. We’ll create the most exceptional trip of your life.
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