Welcome to Backpacker’s Boutique. Every Sunday, this spot will feature a new travel blogger. Some weeks it will be a really fun interview about packing, fashion, and fitness so you can snoop inside their bags & lives a little bit and other weeks it’ll be a detailed luxury guide to a city the featured blogger/expat knows very well. E-mail me if you’d like to be featured.
A Luxury Guide to Cochabamba
Tell us a little about yourself and tell us why you’re an expert on luxury travel in Cochabamba.
Hi! My name is Hanne, a twenty something travel junkie from Norway. I have visited over 50 countries, and love to write about it in my blog Places People Stories.
The last three years I have been living in Cochabamba, Bolivia. In this city it is easy to enjoy life, and I have gotten the habit to eat delicious food at nice restaurants several times a week while enjoying a cocktail or glass of wine. I also love going to the spa/sauna, which there are many of here. Furthermore, I like to escape and stay at the best hotels in the city, at least once a month. Due to living in this city for a long time, and the lifestyle I have here, I consider myself as an expert in luxury travel here in Cochabamba.
What makes Cochabamba a perfect destination for travelers seeking a glamorous trip?
Cochabamba, is not a very well-known destination, and therefore maybe not the most obvious destination if you look for glamor. However, here you can get a lot of luxury for little money, and there are many opportunities. Cochabamba is also called the food capital of Bolivia, and it is in this city you find all the best restaurants.
The city is also surrounded by beautiful enormous mountains. And what can possible be nicer than driving up there at night, having a glass of wine looking down at the beautiful lights of the city!?
What 5 star hotel is the best in your town?
That must be Gran Hotel Cochabamba. Whenever I am there I really feel like a queen. The hotel has everything! Comfortable big rooms, good service, great food, gym and spa. My favorite is the temperate pool, which lights so beautifully up in the night.
A stay at Gran Hotel Cochabamba, is like being in the countryside in the city due to the big gardens. It has an elegant style, and they have preserved the original marble, and decorations from 1940. Other parts are more modern, but still have that elegant style.
The location of the hotel is also the best you can find. It is right with the best shopping area, museums, nigh-clubs and restaurant area in town.
The hotel have hosted many celebrities. Bob Dylan, and Michael Jackson, are just two worth to mention. And a stay here will for sure make you feel like a famous person as well!
A double room for two people cost 117 USD per night. However, I would recommend to pay a bit extra to get a bigger room. If you really would like glamour and luxury I recommend the presidential suite. That is the biggest and nicest room I have ever had on my travels.
Are there any fun activities for the adventurous traveler?
Hiking in the beautiful and gigantic mountains or up to the Jesus statue, which is even bigger than the one in Rio de Janeiro. Cochabamba is also a perfect location to try paragliding, due to the big mountains.
Cochabamba also have the biggest outdoor marked in South America, here you can find everything, and it is a big experience walking around in “La Cancha”.
Where are the best hang outs during the day?
There are many awesome cafes to hang out on during the day. My favorite is Casa Blanca, which is located a few blocks from the main square, 24 de Septiembre, and one block from one from the beautiful El Prado. Here you can enjoy a cup of coffee, cake, read a book, use internet, or just have a good time with your friends.
If you have a big date night, what are the most delicious restaurants in Cochabamba and what are their best dishes?
Hmm, this is a bit hard, as Cochabamba have so many great restaurants. However, I think it must be Paprika. It is one of the most fancy restaurants in the city. The fondue is my favorite dish, and the garlic bread they give while waiting for the food is the best ever tasted. The service is outstanding.
Let’s talk desserts- what place makes the best?
The brownie with ice-cream at Tuesday is the best dessert I have tried in Cochabamba, so far.
Tell us all the hot shopping spots; who’s carrying the trendy local designers? Are there designers we should make sure to meet?
The best and most trendy shopping spot is Quero Quero. Here you can find everything from designer clothes to brand clothes. The most well know designer is Edita Vojikova. She designs beautiful clothes, I especially love her dresses.
What are a couple of the best salons and spas in Cochabamba?
Seriously, they are everywhere, and I have never gone wrong. They are all pretty good, as long as you do not go to the cheapest. Nails, hair and make-up they will do it all well. I do not have a favorite, and try out new salon and spas all the time.
Time for a great sunset view… where would you go?
Up with the Jesus statue. Here you have a gorgeous view of the whole city and the sunset. Believe me, here you can sit for hours, it is view that you will never get tired.
Now that the sun’s gone down, fill us on the best places to go for some evening drinks or a great pre-gaming spot. Oasis, is one of my favorite place to go for an evening drink. However, in the area around the main square (city center) there are many good bars, and just walking around you have a ton to choose between.
If you end the night at a fancy club, which one do you head towards?
Mandarina, is the fanciest club. Remember to dress well, if not you will feel out of place. Be prepared for Latin music, and having a good time.