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Sucre

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Facades in Sucre

Sucre is in the Department of Chuquisaca, Bolivia. The city centre is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Understand[edit]

Famed throughout Bolivia for its pretty, well-kept centre, and for its agreeable climate, Sucre – ‘la ciudad blanca’ or white city – is probably the most tranquila city in Bolivia (or perhaps South America). While it offers specific attractions in the form of historic buildings and renowned theatre as well as indigenous culture and prehistoric sites in the surrounding towns and countryside, the highlight of Sucre might be its relaxed atmosphere, which detains many travellers for far longer than expected.

Sucre’s history has always been closely tied to that of Potosí. The city rose to prominence as an attractive retreat for wealthy and influential figures connected with Potosí’s silver mines. Although Sucre can be considered a ‘colonial’ city, its architecture is more an example of later, neo-classical style. The dishevelled, crooked streets of Potosí better reflect the chaotic urban planning of early colonialism and the silver rush, while orderly, elegant Sucre is a result of the wealth later spawned by the silver trade. Sucre’s original name, Ciudad de la Plata de la Nueva Toledo (city of the silver of New Toledo) reflects the huge significance silver played in the city’s development.

In the mid sixteenth century the Spanish King Philip II established an Audiencia in Sucre with a jurisdiction covering what was then known as Upper Peru, that is, the land spanning south and east of Cusco and encompassing what is today Bolivia, Paraguay, and northern Chile and Argentina. Although the Audiencia conferred a degree of autonomy on Sucre, it was still a subdivision of the Viceroyalty of Peru. In the early seventeenth century Sucre grew, with the founding of a bishopric, as well as monasteries belonging to various religious orders. Today Sucre is still a centre for the Catholic church in Bolivia.

In 1624 St. Francis Xavier College of Chuquisaca was founded in the city. This university is still operating, and is considered one of the finest in the country, as well as being the second oldest university in the Americas. Sucre’s football team in the Bolivian league is Universitario, and originates from St. Francis Xavier College.

Sucre has long been known as a centre for progressive thought, and in 1809 it was from here that one of the first independence movements in South America began. Despite this Bolivia was one of the last South American countries to gain independence, in 1825. When independence was finally established in Bolivia Sucre became the capital of the new nation.

As the silver industry waned in importance, power shifted from Sucre to La Paz, and at the end of the nineteenth century the seat of Bolivian government was moved to La Paz. Sucre remains the constitutional capital of Bolivia, but only the judicial branch of government is based here. This remains a contentious issue for Sucreños.

Sucre today has become a more conservative city, as the old wealth and power of the city is threatened by the Evo Morales government and its plans for reform and wealth redistribution. During the 2009 referendum Sucre voted emphatically against Morales’ proposed new constitution. Morales remains a very unpopular figure in the city, and the city has suffered from sporadic outbursts of protest since his election in 2005, occasionally accompanied by racist violence against the poor indigenous and rural people who voted for him.

Get in[edit]

By bus[edit]

The bus terminal is about 2 kilometers from the city center. A taxi to the centre should cost 4 Bs. This is per person not per vehicle. If you are not comfortable sharing a taxi, you should make this clear.

  • The official prices for buses to and from Sucre are as follows.

La Paz - Sucre: minimum 45Bs, normal bus 69Bs, semi-cama 90 Bs, full cama 135Bs.

Oruro - Sucre: minimum 30Bs, normal bus 50Bs, semi-cama 60Bs, full cama 95Bs.

Potosí - Sucre: minimum 10Bs, normal bus 17Bs, semi-cama 25Bs, full cama 35Bs.

Santa Cruz - Sucre: minimum 35Bs, normal bus 80Bs, semi-cama 90Bs, full cama 110Bs.

Cochabamba - Sucre: minimum 30Bs, normal bus 40Bs, semi-cama 60Bs, full cama 90Bs.

Tarija - Sucre: minimum 60Bs, normal bus 83Bs.

  • For buses to Uyuni, Tupiza and the Southwest, change in Potosí.
  • Buses leave hourly for Potosí and take 3-4 hours (you can also take a taxi for about 35Bs per person, it will take about two hours and the driver will go very very fast).
  • All other destinations are an overnight ride away. Buses to La Paz or Cochabamba take about 12 hours. Buses to Santa Cruz take about 14 hours and pass through Samaipata.
  • The roads out of Sucre are fairly rough, with the exception of the road to Potosí, which you also take to reach Oruro or La Paz. For this reason think hard about upgrading to a semi-cama or full cama bus - which are provided only by Trans Copacabana M.E.M. (not the various other "Copacabana" operators) and El Dorado. Other operators which claim to offer "full cama" seats are lying. The overnight normal bus to Cochabamba is definitely not fun.
  • Tickets generally only go on sale the day that the bus will depart (although El Dorado will sell you a ticket the day before), so to be sure of getting a seat you need to arrive at the terminal before midday. Many tour agencies will offer to book tickets ahead for you, but understand that this is not how things are normally done in Sucre, so expect to pay more, and make sure you check whether you need to redeem the ticket from the agency for a ticket from the bus line. If buying at the terminal itself, make sure to go to the operator's office inside the terminal - the touts in the car park outside are usually genuine, but have been known to "double sell" seats.
  • Whichever route you take or level of bus you opt for, do not expect to find a toilet on board unless you travel with the most expensive operators - and ask to make sure in any case. Do expect the bus to stop in the middle of the night somewhere close to a cheese vendor, and to see half of the male passengers lined up to relieve themselves against a convenient wall.

By plane[edit]

Since the government of Bolivia pulled the plug on the national carrier, Lloyd Aero Boliviano, no international airlines currently serve Sucre's Lajas Tambo airport. Aerosur, a former domestic carrier, has also now gone out of business, leaving TAM - which is run by the Bolivian Air Force and flies to all the major cities (somewhat unreliably). The best bet these days is Boliviana de Aviación (BoA), which provides flights via their hub in Cochabamba.

The airport is about 10 km from the center. Transportation to the center is either by taxi (Bs. 30) or by Micro. Micros do not drive up to the airport but only pass by it. Walk to the road passing by the airport, cross it, and wait for Micro 1 which is going to Av. Hernando Siles for Bs. 2. The airport is notorious for closures in inclement weather. Sometimes no flights arrive or depart for several days! It is always worth checking ahead before arriving as the airport has limited waiting areas. It does have several shops, including a shop selling the chocolate the city is locally famous for.

Get around[edit]

Sucre is a small town with regular hop-on buses and plentiful taxis. A tourist bus or private transport is needed to visit some of the attractions outside of Sucre, such as Tarabuco market and the dinosaur footprints. Mostly you will not move more than five blocks from Plaza 25 de Mayo, the main square.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Cal Orkco [Parque Cretacico] is a collection of dinosaur footprints impressioned on a 70 degree wall of a cement quarry, which used to be a lake floor. To visit it take the Dino Truck at 9:30AM, 12:00AM or 2:30PM from the corner of Plaza 25 de Mayo in front of the cathedral (won't leave with less than 4 people). You can also take a mini bus (4 or H) from outside the central market for 1.50 Bs. The guided visit takes about 1 hour and cost 30 Bs. Plus 5 Bs. extra for permission to take photos. As of August 2014 there are 2 guided tours (12pm & 1pm) leaving from the restaurant that go down to the wall and included in your admission ticket. If you don't do the tour there's a viewing platform with binoculars approximately 300 metres from the wall and some "full size" fibreglass models of dinosaurs.
  • Casa de la Libertad, Aniceto Arce (Central Plaza), +591 4 6454200. This museum is housed in a well restored and maintained convent from the colonial era. The chapel was the meeting hall where Bolivian independence was declared on 25 May 1825. The museum includes a number of paintings and objects related to Bolivian history, especially to the independence movement and the struggles breaking away from Spanish domination. 15 Bs, +10 Bs for camera.  edit
  • Museo de Charcas, Cl. Bolívar 698, Hours Mon-Sat 8:30am-noon and 2:30-6pm Ticket Bs.20

This museum, which is housed in a 17th-century mansion, consists of three different mini-museums: colonial art, an ethnography and folk collection, and modern art. In the Colonial Museum, most of the art dates from the 16th and 17th centuries. The museum houses paintings by the half-indigenous Melchor Perez Holguin, including his most famous work, San Juan de Dios, which has an almost perfect depiction of human hands. You'll also find a collection of beautiful antique furniture on display. In the Ethnographic and Folkloric Museum, you can learn about local rituals and view a collection of mummified bodies that provide insight on local death rituals. Also on display is a collection of pottery from the Yampara culture. Its pottery is some of the most beautiful and technically advanced of all pre-Columbian cultures: you can see tears on the faces and evidence of ponchos. The pieces in the Modern Art Gallery reflect contemporary Bolivian artists' focus on poverty and the back-breaking labor involved in working in the mines.

  • Museo de Arte Indigena, Cl. San Alberto 413, Hours Mon-Fri 8am-noon and 2:30-6pm; Sat 9:30am-noon

ASUR is an acronym for Anthropologists of the Andean South, who are trying to recover the lost artesian techniques of the local population. Located in Zona La Recoleta, this museum does an excellent job of displaying some magnificent pieces of art, mainly in the form of textiles that provide a real insight into these local cultures. For example, the Inca culture had three commandments: Don't be a thief, don't be a liar, and don't be lazy. Apparently, the indigenous people would create big intricate textiles as proof that they weren't being lazy. In the collection from the Tarabuco culture, the artists would only weave images of what they knew: people plowing the land, dancers, and horses.

In addition to viewing textiles, you can also see artists hard at work using ancient techniques of weaving, washing, and spinning the wool. It's amazing to witness the intense work that goes into creating these unique forms of art. Descriptions are in Spanish but written guides in other languages are available. http://www.asur.org.bo/en/museum/museum

Do[edit][add listing]

Sucre is generally known as a great city to kick back in. It is a popular place for people to study Spanish or volunteer, and many who visit end up staying for far longer than expected. While the city centre can be seen in a day (add another day or two if you like museums, churches, cafes, or moving slowly), the surrounding countryside is rich is other attractions, from traditional villages to dinosaur footprints to trekking through the mountains of the Cordillera de las Frailes.

  • Plaza 25 de Mayo is the heart of Sucre, surrounded by the Cathedral, the office of the Prefectura (regional government), the Alcaldía (city government), the historic Casa de la Libertad, as well as a swag of restaurants and bars. Get a shoe shine (don't think by wearing flip-flops you will deter the shoe-shine kids), use the free wifi, grab some snacks, or just watch the world go by. The lion-flanked statue is of Mariscal Jose Antonio Sucre, Simon Bolivar's right hand man and the first president of Bolivia.
  • Sucre is a popular place to learn Spanish and to volunteer. There are many Spanish schools and volunteer projects including the Sucre Spanish School [1] or the Fox Language Academy[2] Fox state that fifty percent of the study fee at Fox goes towards paying for Bolivians to learn English but Fox's contribution to helping kids learn English is a little disputed, due to questions over management. Fenix,[3] a few blocks away from Fox, is a Bolivian owned and managed not-for-profit school that is an excellent alternative. Prices are the same as Fox, but the teachers are better-paid and highly experienced and the funds are put to use appropriately, all the money goes towards helping needy causes in the community. They focus on conversational spanish and making lessons fun. There are plenty of activities like cooking classes, dance classes and wolleyball games. Fenix also offer a variety of volunteer projects including with the elderly, orphans and disabled. They have a facebook page [4] email: s-panishlessons@hotmail.com and the address is Calle Miguel Angel Valda No. 61 (2nd Floor).
  • For a different approach to learning Spanish, check out Spanish in Sucre [5]. In stead of keeping you in a classroom, they take you out to explore Sucre, and learn Spanish at the same time. Because they don't have the typical costs of a traditional school, they are cheaper. Lessons only cost $3,5 for group lessons per person per hour and $5 for private lessons per hour.
  • Walk up calle Dalence, Grau or Calvo from the central plaza to la Recoleta. Although there are often events here, as well as a church and museum, the main attraction is definitely the view of Sucre from the Mirador cafe. The drinks and food here are better than most and not overly expensive. Adjacent Hotel Kolping also has excellent views and a lunch buffet.
  • Joy Ride Cafe (found on the corner of plaza 25 de Mayo) shows Latin American movies every night at 8pm. Comfy couches. Tickets Bs15.
  • Take a stroll in Parque Bolivar, the city´s favourite lovers´ hangout. Just don't step on the grass. At the upper end of Parque Bolivar stands Bolivia's supreme court, and at the lower end is estacion Aniceto Arce, Sucre's former train station which is currently not in use. If you don't get your fill of old trains in Uyuni, there is another one within the station precinct. Ask permission from the token security guard before you enter, as there is a guard dog here (although she is usually playing with her puppy). Also in Parque Bolívar is a charming miniature reproduction of the Eiffel Tower. If you decide to climb to the top, be warned that any schoolkids who happen to be around will gleefully climb up with you, and proceed to rock the entire structure as alarmingly as they can.
  • Go for a hike to "7 Cascadas" (7 Waterfalls), 8km NE out of town. Take a taxi from Sucre to the tiny village of Alegria for 20 Bs, or a route "Q" combi for Bs 1.50, then walk the remaining 3km. Or negotiate for the driver to take you all the way. Bring food, water, towels, bathing suit, suunscreen as there are no services at the falls themselves, although there are numerous tiendas where you get dropped of. The waterfalls make for a pleasant day-trip. You can hike around (wear sandals not shoes, as the path crosses streams) and swim in the natural pools. Please note that as of October 2010 this site was closed due to frequent robberies in the area. Ensure you check with locals before travelling. However as of Apr 2013, there seems to be no sign of trouble and the falls are a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.
  • Several agencies offer tandem paragliding at Bs 450 - 900 (depending on the size of the group). It is a 2 hour very bumpy ride each way to the take off spot. In essence, you will spend the whole day for a 10 minutes flight.
  • Condortrekkers is a tour agency that offers city tours, as well as single or multi-day treks into the surrounding countryside. All profits from tours are used to support other local NGOs and communities. Treks into the countryside focus on understanding the local cultures and ecology and offer the chance to stay with local communities. It is also possible to volunteer with Condortrekkers. For more information visit Condortrekkers [6].
  • Offroad Bolivia for quad and motorbike tours. A perfect day out for friends looking for some real adventure in the countryside of Sucre. Ideal for those who have not been quad biking as well as for those who are experienced riders. We take you on a high ride; we climb up to 3665 meters altitude through unspoiled natural surrounding with superb views. Along muddy, dusty stony trails and through views. For more information visit Offroad Bolivia [7] or call: (591) 46437389.

Learn[edit]

  • Open Spanish. Highly recommended by Trip Advisor Spanish school offers individual, semi-private and group lessons at affordable prices in a very relaxed and friendly environment. You can choose standard, intensive or conversational sessions for beginners, travelers or regular Spanish students. Practice your Spanish in-class or outside the school during additional activities always under guidance of enthusiastic teachers. The methods are flexible and tailored to students’ needs with high focus on constant communication in Spanish. Language, fun and cultural experience in one.+591 4-6468429 Calle Potosí 237 (Grau and Calvo); E-mail:info@openspanish.net
  • Academia Andina Sucre. Your Spanish School in Sucre Phone: (591)-4-6414092 or Mobile: (591)-4-73981878, (Street) Junin No 756. Sucre, Bolivia. Learn Spanish in the beautiful City Sucre. Email us to: info@academiaandina.com
  • Continental Spanish School. A fairly new school in the centre of town, enthusiastically run by sisters Patricia and Maria Elena. Calle Olañeta Nº 224, Sucre. +591-4-64-38093. continental-spanish-school@hotmail.com
  • Fenix Spanish School. Very reasonably priced one-on-one lessons often incorporating Bolivia's interesting history and culture. This school hosts free english lessons to locals and the teachers are treated well and it's evident in their enthusiasm. Cooking classes and fun activities also offered. Calle Miguel Angel Valda Nº 61, 2nd floor, Sucre. +591-4-64-57101. s-panishlessons@hotmail.com
  • Fox Language Academy
  • Me Gusta Spanish. A great spanish school in the centre of town, Fernando and Ely can tailor the course to your needs depending on your level of spanish. Private one on one, couples or group lessons can be arranged. Reasonable priced and promotional discounts available. Also offering Cooking classes, Futsal, poker and various other out of school activites. Home Stay can be arranged for the full bolivian culture experence. , Calle Junin #333 phone: +591-60327721, contacto@megustaspanish.com
  • LearnSpanishSucre
  • South America Spanish School $5 per hour private Spanish lessons for all levels with talented, university-educated, experienced teachers, and also coordinate homestays, volunteering, and cultural activities. Central location, just one block from the main plaza. Really care that you have a wonderful experience in Sucre. Highly recommend Gavy and Bertha.
  • Spanish in Sucre. A different approach to learn Spanish. In stead of keeping you in a classroom, they take you out to explore Sucre, and learn Spanish at the same time. Because they don't have the typical costs of a traditional school, lessons only cost $3.5 for group lessons per person per hour and $5 for private lessons per hour.
  • Sucre School of Spanish A small, personal school with one-on-one lessons for $5 per hour. Office: Riosinho 403, Mobile: +591-73475561, Phone: +591-46437534, Email: sucreschoolofspanish@hotmail.com
  • Sucre Spanish School
  • Private teachers: Pepe Arce (roadaway@hotmail.com), Cheryl Zegarra (bela1406@hotmail.com)

Work[edit]

Volunteer[edit]

  • HOGAR TATA JUAN DE DIOS, Church home for 40 abandoned children (0-5 years old), Avenida Japon #46
  • CLINICA JUAN DE DIOS, Childrens hospital, Avenida Japon #46
  • ESCUELA MOVIL (CERPI), The integrated center for pedagogical resources (CERPI) offers pedagogical services to children from marginal neighborhoods (mobile school, homework area, music classes, computer usage classes), #560 Nataniel Aguirre
  • ÑANTA, Home for working children that organizes recreational activities, Anastacio Paravicini street
  • FUNDACION GUIA, A foundation for improving young people's lives. They organize pedagogical and recreational activities (job orientation, helping with their CV etc), Ballivián #41
  • MISKI WASI/ HOGAR MALLORCA, A home for children that cannot stay in their house during the week because they live in extreme poverty,Miski Wasi is a wonderful place to volonteer, Anastacio Paravicini street
  • HOGAR SUCRE ORFANATO, A center for orphans, Dalence street
  • NORD SUD CIRCO INFANTIL, Inter-cultural center that helps children and teenagers (school, workshops, job orientation)
  • CEMVA, Multi-functional educational center
  • CENTRO DE SALUD SAGRADA FAMILIA, A center to give medical attention to the people. They also serve lunch to the children. You can volunteer in the health center, help with cooking and serving food, or help the social worker, Barrio Alto Mesa Verde, Bolivar #716
  • HOGAR 25 DE MAYO, Nursing home, Grau street, Fenix organises[8]
  • HOGAR SANTA RITA, Nursing home, Ravelo street
  • ETI: Disabled children's home, A center for taking care of disabled children, in the Libertadores neighbourhood
  • FOX LANGUAGE ACADEMY, a small not-for-profit organization that grants their children access to education in English and Quechua from the small income they make from foreigners coming to take spanish classes. Like a small family, they make outdoor activities, movie-nights, fund-raising events, and coordinates with other organizations in Sucre to help as much as possible. They are cheap and reliable, and the family atmosphere makes you feel that you are truly in the Bolivian culture.
  • FENIX, A not-for profit language school that needs English teachers to teach their under privileged students and can arrange volunteer positions at nursing homes, orphanages and with disabled children, Miguel Angel Valda #61 [9]
  • CENTRO DE APOYO INTEGRAL A LA MUJER. JUANA AZURDUY, A center for helping women and rape victims, Casilla #799
  • HOSPITAL PSIQUIATRICO, Psichiatric Hospital
  • CONDOR TREKKERS organize treks around Sucre, in which tourists are accompanied by a local guide and a volunteer, Loa #457, http://condortrekkers.org/
  • REVISTA INTI, a non-profit magazine produced and sold by working children, http://inti-revista.org/
  • REALIDADES: small NGO working with indigenous minorities, human and children rights, located in Barrio Petrolero (Estados Unidos #600), http://www.realidadesbolivia.org/

Buy[edit][add listing]

Sucre is famous for its tapestries, which are sold at Tarabucco market and shops all around the town. Different tribes or family groups from the villages that surround Sucre all have their own unique style, which is shown in their work by using different colours or symbols. Some tapestries can take up to a year for one person to make, depending on size and complexity. Travelers can help support this tradition by purchasing the tapestries from Tarabucco market, or - at a cheaper price - from the many shops in the town. The best tapestries are sold in Fair Trade stores and at the ethnographic museum.

Locally knitted sweaters, scarves and related items are a good bargain, especially those made from alpaca wool.

Sucre is also famous for its chocolates - Chocolates Para Ti [10] and Chocolates Taboada, both with shops just off the central plaza, are the best known, and there are several shops selling artesanal chocolates between the plaza and the central market. Para Ti also have shops at the airport and bus terminal, although the latter is usually closed.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Sucre offers a wide range of eateries from street vendors and stalls in the markets to elegant restaurants. The large numbers of students mean there are many interesting but inexpensive places to get a filling meal. Probably the cheapest lunches are had upstairs in the market (from 8 BOL).

  • Abis café y heladeria, Plaza 25 de Mayo, 32, 6460222. 08:30-22:00. Excellent and real coffee with home-made pastry, home-made icecream, and batidos. It is delicious. Breakfasts, sandwiches, salads, tacos and quesadillas. Cosy and very friendly - Belgian owner speaks 6 languages from 10Bs.  edit
  • Abis Patio, Calle Pérez 366, 6467738. 08:30-22:00. Cozy Coffee shop and restaurant at international standards with open air patio. It's a subsidiary from Abis Café. All they serve at Abis Café, they serve their as well, including lunches and dinners with excellent wines. Everything is home-made. They have excellent hamburgers, filet steaks, BBQ chickenwings, spareribs, meatballs in tomato-sauce, and much more. Quality and service are at its best. Everything is very clean and they have WIFI. from 10Bs.  edit
  • Several small Salteña eateries at the lower end of Calle San Alberto.
  • Joy Ride Cafe [11], Calle Nicolas Ortiz 14, + 591 4 64 25544 (Fax + 591 4 691 3600, Cell phone + 591 711 73146, Email info@joyridebol.com ),is an Italian (formerly Dutch) run bar, restaurant and tour operator. International dishes. Expensive gringo place with average food. Problematic, but fairly fast WiFi. Staff treated poorly by owner. Feel like a chain. Better options available.
  • Cafe Amsterdam, Calle Bolívar 426, (near corner of Calle San Alberto). Pastas, big sandwiches, great Nachos. Dutch/Bolivian owned social enterprise supporting rural children, good fast WiFi, quiz nights, Friday nights local bands, Bohemian vibe.
  • Pizzaría Napolitana, 25 de Mayo #30, Pastas, pizzas and big sandwiches. A lunch menu cost Bs. 25, -somewhat overpriced, but serves until 5 PM.
  • La Taverne, Acre 35, in the courtyard of the Alliance Francaise. Good French inspired food but using local ingredients and wine. Good continental breakfast at 20Bs, but the place was rarely found open in the morning. Set menu for Bs. 45,- from 12-3 pm. Dinner a la carte - delicious steaks for 60 Bs. Good WiFi.
  • Bohemo´s, Junin 433 (Adjacent to central market on the former Peatonal). 4 course lunch 15 Bs.  edit
  • El Germen, San Alberto 231. Serves a fusion of delicious Bolivian and German cooking. All lunch specials (20 Bs. - menú del dia) are vegetarian, but you can order meat dishes from the menu (menu dishes take a lot longer to come). Also has great desserts. The restaurant fills up quickly for lunch - served between 12 and 14 pm (and service can be very slow even when the place is nearly empty), so arrive early.  edit
  • Freya, Loa 751. Located within a gym, Freya serves up cheap but bland vegetarian lunch specials (12Bs). Lunch is served until later than other vegetarian options. Food hit-or-miss sometimes and generally not as great as El Germen, but it is a lot cheaper.  edit
  • Florin, Bolivar 567. Serves a mix of Bolivian and international dishes, including shwarma, Thai and an Indonesian feast for two (or more). Great coffee, fantastic krocetten and good fast WiFi. Also doubles as a bar with live music. Cosy and great atmosphere, though it's reputed by some locals as the source of a few food poisoning cases.  edit
  • Novelle Cuisine, Avaroa (Two blocks up and two right from the main square). This parilla is the best steak in town. 30 BOL for a huge bife de chorizo with fries and salad bar. A must for meat eaters. Cheap wine to boot! Although have been known to serve cold meals..  edit
  • Mercado Central, Aniceto Arce (Two blocks up from the plaza de mayo). cheap food stalls on the second floor. Bolivian Completo between 10 and 15 bolivianos  edit
  • La Vieja Bodega, Calle Nicolas Ortíz #38. Immensely popular restaurant right off the main plaza and next to Joy Ride. They fill your bowl of soup to your heart's content and have well-prepared, interesting courses outside the standard Bolivian fare. Filling lunches for 25B, though if you buy a meal plan (pensión) for at least 2 days, you'll receive a discount to 15B per meal.  edit
  • Pizzeria Napoli, 46452707. Great pizza. Prices range for 25 a (rather small) medium to 55 a big one. Open in the evenings only. Take-away and home delivery.  edit
  • Monte Rosso, Padilla 70 (Four blocks up Calvo from the square, then turn left), + 591 4 64 35397. 1900-2200 Tues-Sat. A hidden gem, and the best Italian restaurant in town. Almost pathologically averse to advertising (the signage is a 30cm plaque next to the front door, which is kept closed - ring the bell), but nevertheless very popular among those in the know. Roberto is an exceptionally friendly host, and the food is delicious and inventive. It's a good idea to book a table, as the place fills up quickly. 35 Bs.  edit
  • Chifa New Hong Kong, San Alberto 242. Decent chinese food (by Bolivian standards); popular with both locals and tourists. No vegetarian options, but if you're lucky and/or charming enough, they can sometimes be persuaded to throw something together. Advertises delivery, but in practice refuses to deliver. 30 Bs.  edit
  • Salteñeria Flores, San Alberto 26 (A block and a half up the road from the central market). 0900-1130. Next door to the rather more swanky salteñeria El Patio, Flores has faster service, better salteñas, and, unlike its neighbour, is not regularly closed down for public health violations. It's also the only place in town to offer vegetarian salteñas. 8 Bs.  edit
  • Tentaciones Pasta Pizza, Arenales 13 (Half block away from main square next door to Chocolates Para Ti). Mon-Sat 09:00 - 22:30, Sun. 11:30-14:30 and 18:30-21:30. The best bet for daytime Italian food (but see "Monte Rosso" above for evenings). Pizza, sandwiches, salads, natural fruit juices and fruit combinations. Real cheese fondue, bolivian wine menu, spirits, big breakfast including excellent coffee (from espresso machine), and lots of things on the plate. Usually friendly and efficient service (though they have off days). Modern (IKEA-style) decor, excellent desserts (when available).  edit
  • Los Balcones, right on the main plaza. Best place to have a nice dinner overlooking the plaza. Tables on the balconies are very nice. Reasonable prices and good food.
  • Condor Café (non-profit vegetarian restaurant), Calle Calvo 102 (one block from the main plaza), 00591 7343 33 92, [12]. 9am-10pm. great place to hang out! It serves typical Bolivian dishes, great coffee and amazing breakfast, a book exchange and fast wi-fi. 5Bs.-30Bs..  edit


Drink[edit][add listing]

Most places on the main square, and down the first block of Calle Nicolas Ortiz, are heavily gringofied, -for better or worse. Sunday is by far the slowest night.

  • In the market there are many stalls selling all kinds of fruit juices and salads. Particularly recommended is the multi-vitaminico, a mix of basically everything in the stall - cereales, fruits, vegetables, and sometimes egg, beer, honey etc - which is a great pre-hike breakfast or a great post-drinking pick-me-up.
  • Alaska, Calle Arce 415. Karaoke upstairs, and dance floor down.  edit
  • El Alfarero, Arce 262. 5 PM - 10 PM. University students run a cheap and cosy cafe with some board games and pingpong table. Also screens films. Students receive a discount.  edit
  • Bibliocafe, near the Joy Ride Cafe serves watered down drinks at moderate prices. Also one of the few places in Sucre to serve Taquina Amber, one of Bolivia's best brews. Plays classic rock and pop. Also serves food. There are actually two Bibliocafes: Bibliocafe is more relaxed and intimate; Bibliocafe 'Concert' has some live music and is more energetic.
  • Florin, Bolivar 567. Nightly happy hour from 9.30 to 10.30 sees two-for-one drinks and a regular crowd. Has thumping events from time to time. Particularly popular with locals and the resident gringo population.  edit
  • Joy Ride Cafe [13], Calle Nicolas Ortiz 14, is also a good place at night. It's popular with the more wealthy Bolivians as well as travellers. The food, though, is sub-par and hot drinks are best avoided if you like them hot.
  • Menfis, Bolivar 650. Warm up venue for young locals on weekends. Large beer 12 Bs.  edit
  • Stigma, Calle Bolivar. Biggest club in town, -young crowd. Fills up at 2 AM. Entry 10 Bs, small beer 10 Bs.  edit
  • Tabaco´s Soul, Calle San Alberto. Never ends.. Plays rock. Check your bill! great mixdrinks served in pitchers. cheap and very social Drinks 15 Bs, 0,6 l beer 11,5 Bs..  edit
  • La Posada, Audiencia 92, 46460101. Just a few steps from the main square the hotel La Posada offers every sunday a nice buffet that is worth the 40 Bs. because of the vegetarian parts. Starts at 12:00, dont be too late, since it can be crowded.  edit
  • KulturBerlin - Bar, Restaurant, Hostal, Calle Avaroa 334, 00591 6 466854, [14]. offers a big variety of beers (local/german beers) bolivian wine and Cocktails: Like caipirinha, chuflay, cuba libre and mojito and many more drinks. Great events and parties!  edit
  • Condor Café (non-profit vegetarian restaurant), Calle Calvo 102 (one block from the main plaza), 00591 7343 33 92, [15]. 9am-10pm. great place to hang out, it serves typical Bolivian dishes, great coffee and amazing breakfast, a book exchange and fast wi-fi. 5B.-30Bs..  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • El Hostal De Su Merced[16], located at the heart of the city, this colonial house is in true Sucre style. This charming and beautiful hotel is decorated with antiques and paintings, and has rooms set around an intimate, tiled courtyard. Azurduy Street N° 16 email sumerced@entelnet.bo, phone (591-4) 6442706.
  • Hotel Parador Santa Maria la Real [17], This singular hotel with past, history and art in every room occupies a house since the 18th century. It was renovated but conserves its structure and constructive details intact with meticulous restoration. Bolivar street #625, email info@parador.com.bo, phone (591-4) 6439592.
  • Hostal Pachamama, Calle Aniceto Arce 599, +591-4-645-3673, Clean hostel built around a big garden with lots of places to sit and socialise with a ping pong table. Great Kitchen with lots of hobs and cooking utensils. This Family run hostel really go out there way to look after you. Electric warm water. Free wifi availabl which is slow but fine for checking emails and facebook and in the morning VOICE skype calls. Double/Matrimonial 90Bs.
  • Hostal Cruz de Popayan (also Backpackers Sucre Hostel) [18], Calle Loa 881 esq Colón, email popayan@boliviahostels.com, Phone (4)6440889. Located in a 17th century colonial house with a big courtyard. bad beds. Laundry service (8Bs/kilo, but dried by the sun so could take a while), in staff not overly friendly, in fact were rude. Don't expect the hostal to provide cooking oil, matches or salt in the kitchen (which is a bit dirty), which you have to have yourself or hope someone else has left some behind. Free wifi available in the lobby and courtyard, but it's slow.

Bottom line - wormly recommend to try and find somewhere else.

Dormbed 40Bs / Single 80Bs / Double 140Bs (April 2012)
  • Amigo Hostel, Calle Colon 125 (two blocks from main plaza), (4) 6461706 (, fax: 591 (4) 6461706), [19]. checkin: 11AM; checkout: 10:30AM. Laundry service (8 boliviano per kg, 3 kg min.), internet (slow wifi, just one old computer in lobby with insanely slow internet), Spanish lessons one by one basis, ghetto (in bad shape lockers and security boxes at lobby; amazingly good gas powered hot showers (possibly the only thing worth staying here for). The bathrooms could do with more frequent cleaning, there seems to be a problem with drainage causing the sink to block and when you take a shower expect to stand in inches of water, and in the dark; No light in the 2 main public showers, only 1 shared bathroom upstairs has an actual light. Really grumpy non-helpful owner working the desk at times; others are nicer. Theft from the rooms have been reported. It appears they stopped taking care of the place ever since they made it into the lonely planet. Single, shared bath 45 Bs, double shared bath 70 Bs, dormbed shared bath 35 Bs, breakfast included.  edit
  • Hostal Austria (opposite the bus terminal), is a good and comfortable place if you're looking for something close to the bus terminal. Single with shared bathroom Bs.35 / with private bathroom Bs60.
  • Hostal Charcas, Calle Ravelo 62 (One block from the square), 645 3972. Low pressure on hot water. Single, shared bath 40 Bs, with bath 70 Bs, Breakfast 7 Bs.  edit
  • Alojamiento San Jose, Calle Ravelo (next to Hostal Charcas) (One block from the square, opposite the market). Basic, but friendly. Single, shared bath 25/30Bs.  edit
  • Santa Cecilia, Calle Potosi 386, 4-644-1304. Really private 5 room house hosteria with cable and wifi in each room (Double or Twin), communal kitchen, TV room and courtyard. The family live next door so it's as if you have the place to yourself and it's just 3 streets from the plaza (5 min). 50 Boliviano per person. There is no sign outside so just ring the bell.  edit
  • Hostal Libertad (1 block from Main Plaza), Aniceto Arce & San Alberto (on the corner opposite Iglesia San Francisco), 64-53101, [20]. Good-value hotel despite the faded rooms in need of renovation. The hotel has WiFi, cable TV, minibar, breakfast, friendly and helpful staff, and every room has a view with lots of light. Singles for 120 Bs.  edit
  • Honorary French Consulate, Calle Dalence 383, 591- 643 3140. Well-kept secret, they notably don't advertise or list themselves in any guide books. In fact, this place isn't really a hotel, but the honorary French consulate, which also offers beautiful rooms in French style for rent. Prices can be expensive - 90B for a day, but if you stay for a week, it'll be 50B/day and for a month is 45B/day (prices are for single room with shared bath). Wifi in certain area and room options range from single with shared bathroom (b/w two rooms) and common kitchen or suite with kitchen.  edit
  • Hotel Villa Antigua, Calle Calvo 237 (2 blocks from Main Square), 4-6443437 (), [21]. checkin: 10.00; checkout: 13.00. New beautiful restored mansion from 1860. Spacious rooms, largest garden in Sucre, courtyard with green and fountain surrounded by pillars, several terraces with views over old city and surrounding mountains. Hotel has all facilities, restaurant, gym, WiFi all-over. Stylish and comfortable. from 50 US$. (-19.05,-65.26) edit
  • Casa Verde B&B, Calle Potosi 374 (3 blocks from the main square), +591 70314611. A very clean, spacious, and bright hostel with a friendliest and most helpful owner named Rene. Hostel has gas heated hot showers with good pressure, Wi-Fi, nice common area, cozy courtyard with a swimming pool, and a breakfast. 27 USD.  edit
  • Gringos Rincon, Calle Loa #743 (2.5 Blocks from the plaza). Mike, the exceedingly friendly owner, runs a tight ship; spotless dorms, comfortable beds, hot showers, wifi, a well equipped kitchen and he will even do the laundry for a small fee. The hostel is set in a converted 3 story home complete with roof terrace looking out over Sucre and surrounding ranges. Currently closed for renovation (as of july 4, 2013) 35-40Bs.  edit
  • Wasi Masi, Urcullo 233 (Between Arce and España, one block from the central market), +591 4 64 57463, [22]. checkout: 11:00. Popular with backpackers, Wasi Masi is built around an attractive courtyard (sometimes a bit too small for the amount of guests), with a reasonable almuerzo style cafe attached (only open at lunchtime). Rooms of variable quality(some are as dirty and humid as a basement with loads of mosquitoes which is quite rare in Sucre), a good dormitory, gas & electric showers, free wifi, excellent book exchange, breakfast on request, laundry, TV lounge (with a good DVD collection), and a small but serviceable kitchen. Roxana, the manager, is somewhat crazy but likeable with it. Regular barbecues in the patio. 60 Bs.  edit
  • Sky Hacienda Hotel, Mosoj Llajta (25 minutes from Sucre, towards Potosi), (591)72888044, [23]. checkin: 13.00; checkout: 12.00. An architecturally unique hotel located in Yotala, 25 minutes outside Sucre. They model their hospitality on the idea of staying with a dear friend in their beautiful home in the countryside with great food, choice Bolivian wines and luxurious accommodation. Offering only two rooms, they are able to be attentive to their guests needs with individual service of a high standard. from $95.  edit
  • 7 Patas, calle loa 525 (close to plaza 25 de mayo - downtown), 64-60137, [24]. Nice hostal in renovated colonial house with nice courtyard to chill out or sit in the sun. Fastest wifi I was able to find in hostal here. Just so far noone seems to know about the place and so you're likely to have quite some space in the dorm. Downside is little company. Kitchen with all you need. Very clean.  edit
  • Hostal Colon 220 (Colon 220), Calle Colon 220. Set in a beautiful building close to the main square with English speaking owner and an attached tour operator. This is about the most positive thing you can say about this hostel. On the negative side it is however overpriced, dirty, smelly and offers bad service from an unfriendly bunch of staff. Items frequently "disappear" from the rooms and even when placed in the reception in the hands of the staff. Would not recommend this hostel. Doubles around 140 bs which is easily found for half the price at other hostels in town.  edit
  • Residencial Sol de Septiembre, calle Calvo (~7 blocks from plaza 25 de Mayo on calle Calvo). Basic hospedaje near the Recoleta mirador. Seems to be popular with artesanos and buskers. Hot showers, kitchen, 24hr reception, good vibes, not super clean. Dorm 20 Bs.  edit
  • The Beehive, Calle Capitan Echeverria 31 (4 blocks from main plaza) One with the green door (10 minute taxi ride from bus station), (591) 67633346, [25]. checkin: 1pm; checkout: 11am. Hidden gem a few blocks away from the central plaza on a quiet street, which means no horns at all hours of the day and night. Only opened early 2013 so everything is new including decor, beds, linen etc. There are 3 dorms, 4 fully equipped shared bathrooms, 2 communal areas, 1 kitchen and 1 private room with ensuite. The hostal has a lovely homely feel with its layout and sunny private garden. The owners go out of their way to help you and make you feel at home, including making a daily homemade wholesome breakfast (included in the price) and helping you get the best out of Sucre. Regular communal activities for guests. Free Wifi throughout. Beware, people come to stay here for 2 nights and end up staying for 3 weeks! A great place to practise spanish with other guests and staff. Dorm beds start at 65Bs per person including the best breakfast you will ever find in any hostel.  edit
  • RESIDENCIAL CIUDAD BLANCA, Av. Hernando Siles (in between Junin & Aniceto Arc). Incredibly friendly staff and well-informed, beautiful spacious courtyard and a very tiny kitchen equipped with minimal supplies for guests to use. You can show up at 4am with no reservations and the man working at the front desk will do everything he can to get you a room. Private rooms w/out bath go for about 40-45 BOB; stay for a week and they will lower it even more. Not many gringos, but feels very secure and generally pleasant. Fantastic location in the city center. 40.  edit

Cope[edit]

  • To extend your visa go to the migration office on calle Bustillos.
  • There are several small book exchanges around town; try Bolivia Specialist, Joyride Cafe or Backpackers Sucre.
  • Internet is mostly plow. Places on the central plaza are generally over-priced; you should be paying about 2Bs per hour. One of the best places for internet, and one of the few to have serviceable Skype, is on the corner of calle Calvo and calle Padilla.
  • There are plenty of ATMs around town, especially near or on the main Plaza. The BCP, right on the Plaza, provides U.S. dollars in addition to Bolivianos (there are 2 BCP ATMs; the one on the right as you are facing the machines provides U.S. dollars).
  • An incomplete list of places with wifi: Joy Ride Cafe, Florin, Kulturcafe Berlin, Hotel Kolping, Amsterdam, La Posada. There is also free (but hopeless) wifi in the central plaza, and in the food court above supermarket SAS.
  • There are new reports of women travelers—alone or in pairs—are being targeted for robberies in the center of town. Typically, a young man will try to start up a conversation about hotels or hostels, and claim to be staying at the same one as the target. Then a "undercover police officer" will arrive on the scene because of "passport difficulties." Never show your passport to anyone. Never get into a cab that somebody else has called for you (sometimes a "cab" is part of the setup). If you are near the central plaza and this happens to you, walk there, as there are usually uniformed police there. If you feel secure enough doing so, scream "Policía!" as loud as you can. Most people in Sucre would be more than happy to help a stranger. There are also restaurants catering to tourists where help can be found, such as Joy Ride or Florin. Some people have had all of there possessions stolen this way—including rings off of fingers.

Get out[edit]

  • A popular one-day or half-day excursion is to the Sunday market at Tarabuco. Any tour agency can arrange a tour, or there are frequent vans and trucks on the road to and from Tarabuco. It takes about two hours to reach the town. It is important to leave early; the markets are at their best before lunch time, and begin to pack up in the early afternoon.
  • For a far less touristed experience visited Candelaria. This village is further from Sucre than Tarabuco, but a part of the same culture that is renowned nation-wide for its handicrafts. Prices are better than at Tarabuco. Transportation is very limited and people have been stuck out here, so it's best to go with a tour agency.
  • One of the most popular destinations outside of Sucre is Maragua crater, a region of unusual rock formations. The crater is not volcanic (contrary to what some say), but was formed by erosion. Fossils of marine shells are still found in the region and sold by local children. It is possible to spend a night in the village inside the crater. Conditions are basic but the experience unique. Simple meals are available too.
  • There are many other popular destinations that most tour groups can arrange visits to. At Icla there are rubber-tubing tours through a river canyon. The village of Yamparaez, on the road to Tarabuco is a good starting point for condor-spotting treks. There were once natural thermal baths by the river behind Maragua, but an avalanche or ownership dispute that was settled by dynamite (depends who you talk to), destroyed these. It is hoped they will be reconstructed soon.
  • If you are planning on doing much trekking or camping in the mountains around Sucre, it is highly recommended that you take a guide. Conditions change fast, many of the routes are small or hard to find, and it is important to be sensitive to local cultures (also note the language of chocie is Quechua, so don't assume anyone you meet can speak Spanish). For these reasons it is very useful to have a local guide with you. For one or more-day expeditions to the Cordillera de los Frailes, the Dutch run Travel Agency "Bolivia Specialist" at Nicolás Ortiz #30 is highly recommended. After office hours they have a person for Tours at the Café Restaurant "Florín" at the Bolívar #567.
  • Condortrekkers arranges locally-lead trekking expeditions to most of the above destinations, and are currently the only organisation that offer overnight trips to Tarabuco, staying in a local village before hitting Tarabuco first thing in the morning. For more info see the listing above or visit Condortrekkers [26].
  • If you stay longer and want to escape the city for some fresh air and nature, consider the Centro Ecologico in Aritumayu, splendid clean river with waterfalls nearby, and basic but clean accomodation available (romantic: no electricity nor cellphone coverage) 1.5 hour drive by 4WD. Bookings via High Routes at Bolivar #482. [27]
  • If you come from the East or the South you may want to continue to Potosí (bus takes you there in 3-4 h) to see impressive colonial city and the famous silver mines.
  • You may want to visit hot and lively lowlands. There are two daily buses (one leaves at 18:00) to Santa Cruz. The ride takes ~14 hours, costs Bs ~100, the road is spectacular, but at times really bad. If you go by El Chaqueño company bus, in the morning in Santa Cruz you may find your backpack completely covered with dust (if it was in baggage compartment).
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!




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