Bus-Carril through Valle Alto
A journey through the beautiful Valle Alto of Cochabamba, which conects the villages which are located between Cochabamba and Aiquile, as: Tarata, Cliza, San Francisco, Anzaldo, Sacabamba, La Cumbre, Sivingani, Vila Vila, Pajcha, Chaguarani, Tin Tin, Mizque, Aguada, Rumi Cancha among others.
Mizque, sits in a gorgeous valley known for its hillsides covered in farms, orchards, and cultivation which make local people proud to herald from the fertile region. The Spanish upon their arrival were dazzled by the fecundity and tranquility of this region and thus decided to adopt its Quechua name “Misk’i” or sweet land. The great liberator Simon Bolivar on passing through “Alto Peru” came through nearby Sucre and passed by Mizque leaving the “Bridge of the Liberator” over the Kuri river as a testament to his presence.
This bridge can be found some 20 kilometres before arriving to Mizque, in a village of Kuri. There is signposted look out by the roadside from where you could view the monument. From there you could follow a beautiful inca trail to get into a impressive canyon from where this brigde was elavated during colonial times - but is still in use today. Take a break and enjoy the beautiful envoironment and landscape which is surrounding this place.
The archaelogical and anthropological museum of Mizque, in the main square, shows a complete colection of ceramics, adornment, pieces of clothing and implements which sum up in a a very didactical manner, the rich cultural tradition of this region.
Raqaypampa is a delightful little community located in the hills above Mizque known for its strong indigenous culture, traditions, rituals to honor the Pachamama or Mother Earth. Raqaypampa swirls with traditional dress embroidered with symbolic designs and characteristics unique to the surrounding area.
Located to the south of Cochabamba, Aiquile is situated in a geologically active area. The urban center was badly damaged in an earthquake on May 22, 1998 and almost all of its buildings were destroyed. The town’s most famous attraction is the reconstructed church (the Virgen de la Candelaria) with amazing woodwork on the interior. The principal festival of the town occurs in the first week of February.
Aiquile is known as the capital of the charango (a small guitar-like instrument) and has begun the International Charango Festival in the second week of November. This event attracts renowned charango makers and players who’ve learned their craft the many generations. The best charangoes use only naranjillo (Llauk’eado) wood. Aiquile also hosts a charango museum that exhibits various rare and ancient instruments. An interesting colonial building to visit is the recently restored home of Carlos Camacho in the northwest part of town who may give a tour if asked.