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Due to its favorable climate and fertile soil, the land was used for agriculture by the Incas thousands of years before the Spanish arrived. European settlement began in 1542, when a single Spanish settler bought the land from the Incas and began farming on it. The city was founded in 1571, then called "Villa de Oropesa," by order of Francisco de Toledo.
Today, Cochabamba is known for its sprawling city limits, surrounding mountains, environmentalism, water wars, warm weather, and culture.
People Born in Cochabamba
Cochabamba in People's Lives
Mario Vargas Llosa: I grew up here during my early childhood, as my family moved here when I was about 2, around 1938, so that my grandfather could accept a Peruvian diplomatic position. I lived with my single mother, who told me growing up that my father had died when I was very young, not wanting to tell me that they had actually divorced due to my father's affair. My family returned to Peru, again for my grandfather's government position, around 1945, when I was about 9 years old.