shutterstock_187582166 - Sucre

Sucre

Easily Bolivia’s most beautiful city, Sucre is an enchanting jewel of white-washed buildings, colonial churches and home to the University of Saint Francis Xavier, the second oldest university in the Americas. Resting in a valley surrounded by low mountains, Sucre enjoys a mild, spring-like climate all year round.

Sucre’s Historic Centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the city can often feel like it’s frozen in the late 19th century. Despite its old-fashioned charm, Sucre is by no means out-dated. The youthful lifestyle from the city’s universities means Sucre is brimming with chic cafes, cool bars and plenty of entertainment.

Sucre’s surrounding areas are packed with all sorts of adventure activities such as rock climbing, horse riding and paragliding. Head out from the city to Cal Orko (Dinosaur Wall) where you can observe the footprints of Johnny Walker, a baby T-rex who roamed South America over 65 million years ago, as well as the tracks of a number of other dinosaurs.

 

Potosi

One of the highest cities in the world (at 4090m), Potosi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and boasts over two thousand colonial buildings. With hundreds of town houses decorated with charming balconies and splendid Spanish churches, Potosi is an architectural gem.

Founded in 1545 after the discovery of silver in Cerro Rico – Rich Hill – Potosi was once the envy of the Spanish Empire. Unfortunately these riches came with the exploitation of the miners, often indigenous peoples and African slaves, and after the silver dried up many citizens fell into poverty.

Today you can visit the silver mines to see the tough working conditions that still continue to exist. Visitors often offer gifts such as coca leaves, mining gloves, and other small tokens to the miners. Harsh mining conditions are not all you will discover underground as Cerro Rico mines are the favoured haunts of El Tio, a Bolivian devil-like lord of the underworld. Miners traditionally craft El Tio figures – often goat-shaped – deep in the mines which they provide with offerings in exchange for protection, an unusual ritual for Catholic Bolivians, but a truly fascinating one. Add Potosi to your Bolivia Tour for a truly original experience.