Archaeological evidence suggests that the initial valley inhabitants were of various ethnic indigenous groups. Inca, Tupuraya, Mojocoya, Omereque, and Tiwanaku inhabited the valley at various times before the Spanish arrived. The first Spanish inhabitant of the Valley was Garci Ruiz de Orellana in 1542. He purchased the majority of the land from local tribal chiefs Achata and Consavana through a title registered in 1552 at the Imperial City of Potosí. The price paid was 130 pesos. His residence, known as the House of Mayorazgo, still stands in the Cala Cala neighborhood of the city. The city, called Villa de Oropeza was founded on 2 August 1571 by order of Viceroy Francisco de Toledo, Count of Oropeza. It was to be an agricultural production center to provide food for the mining towns of the relatively nearby Altiplano region, particularly the city of Potosí which became one of the largest and richest cities in the world during the 17th century - funding the vast wealth that ultimately made Spain a world power at the time. With the silver mining industry in Potosi at its height, Cochabamba thrived during its first centuries of existence.
STATISTICAL DATA OF COCHABAMBA DEPARTMENT: