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Sucre

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Chuquisaca : Sucre
Revision as of 16:35, 8 December 2011 by 200.87.131.210 (Talk)

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

Understand

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.

Get in

By bus

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 52Bs, semi-cama 60Bs, full cama 100Bs.

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. The overnight normal bus to Cochabamba is definitely not fun.
  • Tickets generally only go on sale the day that the bus will depart, 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.
  • Whichever route you take or level of bus you opt for, do not expect to find a toilet on board. Do expect the bus to stop in the middle of the night somewhere close to a cheese vendor.

By plane

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 [1], a domestic carrier, operates flights to Santa Cruz, La Paz, and Cochabama. TAM is a cheaper alternative to Aerosur, and also flies to all the major cities. Also Boliviana de Aviación (BoA) 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 toad 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

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

  • Cal Orkco 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. The guided visit takes about 2 hours and cost 30 Bs.
  • 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.
  • Museo Textil Etnografico ASUR, Calle San Alberto 413, [2]. Mon- Sat 0830- 1200; 1430 - 1800. Regional textiles, some works for sale. 16 Bs.

Do

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 Prefecture, the town hall, the historic Case 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 [3] or the Fox Language Academy[4] 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,[5] 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 [6] email:

s-panishlessons@hotmail.com and the address is Calle Miguel Angel Valda No. 61 (2nd Floor)


  • 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.
  • 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 At the lower end is estacion Aniceto Arce, Sucre 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).
  • 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, 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 nearby. 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.
  • 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 [7].
  • 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 [8] or call: (591) 46437389.

Learn

  • 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 [9]
  • 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, [10], contacto@megustaspanish.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 [11]
  • Fox Language Academy [12]
  • LearnSpanishSucre [13]
  • Spanish4You [14]
  • Sucre Spanish School [15]
  • Private teachers: Pepe Arce [roadaway@hotmail.com], Rita Clavijo [ritaclavijo@gmail.com], Cheryl Zegarra [bela1406@hotmail.com]

Work

Volunteer

  • 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, 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[16]
  • HOGAR SANTA RITA, Nursing home, Ravelo street
  • ETI: Disabled children's home, A center for taking care of disabled children, in the Libertadores neighbourhood
  • 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 [17]
  • 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, They organize treks around Sucre, in which tourists are accompanied by a local guide and a volunteer, Loa #457, http://condortrekkers.org/
  • REVISTA INTI, The Inti magazine
  • REALIDADES: small NGO working with indigenous minorities, human and children rights, located in Barrio Petrolero (Estados Unidos #600), http://www.realidadesbolivia.org/

Buy

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, and those sold by Chocolates Para Ti [18] are probably the best. Chocolates Para Ti chocolates are a tasty souvenir available at several shops near the central plaza and at the airport.

Eat

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).

  • Several small Salteña eateries at the lower end of Calle San Alberto.
  • Joy Ride Cafe [19], 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 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 Taverna, Acre 835, 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.
  • Bohemo´s, Junin 433 (Adjacent to central market on the former Peatonal). 4 course lunch 15 Bs.
  • El Germen, San Alberto 231. Serves a fusion of delicious Bolivian and German cooking. All lunch specials (18Bs) 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, so arrive early.
  • Freya, Loa 751. Located within a gym, Freya serves up healthy, tasty vegetarian lunch specials (12Bs). The staff are very friendly and 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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.

Drink

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.
  • 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.
  • Bibliocafe, near the Joy Ride Cafe got mixed 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.
  • Joy Ride Cafe [20], 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.
  • Stigma, Calle Bolivar. Biggest club in town, -young crowd. Fills up at 2 AM. Entry 10 Bs, small beer 10 Bs.
  • 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..
  • 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.

Sleep

  • Hotel Parador Santa Maria la Real [21], This singular hotel with past, history and art in every room so different and original , occupies a house since the XVIII century. It was renovated but it conserves its structure and constructive details intact with meticulous restoration. Bolivar street # 625, email info@parador.com.bo, Phone (591-4) 6439592, www.parador.com


  • Hostal Pachamama, Calle Aniceto Arce 599, +591-4-645-3673, Clean hostel built around a garden. Shared kitchen. Electric warm water. Free wifi available in the garden and most of the rooms. Double/Matrimonial 90 Bs. Recommended by condortrekkers.org
  • Hostal Cruz de Popayan (also Backpackers Sucre Hostel)[22], Calle Loa 881 esq Colón, email popayan@boliviahostels.com, Phone (4)6440889, www.hotelsucre.com. Located in a 17th century colonial house. Comfortable beds. Laundry service (8Bs kilo, but dried by the sun so could take a while), bookswap, breakfast included in the price (tea/coffee and some bread) but staff not overly friendly. Don't expect the hostal to provide cooking oil, matches or salt in the kitchen, which you have to have yourself (because everyone travels with vegetable oil right?) or hope someone else has left some behind. Dormbed 40Bs / Single 80Bs / Double 140Bs
  • Amigo Hostel, Calle Colon 125 (two blocks from main plaza), (4) 6461706 (, fax: 591 (4) 6461706), [23]. checkin: 11AM; checkout: 10:30AM. Laundry service, fast internet (no wifi just one computer in lobby), Spanish lessons one by one basis, no lockers only security box at lobby, gas powered hot showers. 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. Great hostel, just really grumpy non helpful staff. Theft from the rooms have been reported. Single, shared bath 45 Bs, double shared bath 70 Bs, dormbed shared bath 30 Bs, breakfast included.
  • Hostal Austria (opposite the busterminal), is a good and comfortable place if you're looking for something close to the busterminal. 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.
  • 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.
  • Santa Cecilia, Calle Potosi 386, 4-644-1304. Really private 5 room house hosteria with cable and wifi in each rooms (Double or Twin), communal kitchen, TV room and courtyard. The family live next door so its as if you have the place to yourself and its just 3 streets from the plaza (5 min) 50 Boliviano per person. There is no sign outside so just ring the bell.
  • Hostal Libertad (1 block from Main Plaza), Aniceto Arce & San Alberto (on the corner opposite Iglesia San Francisco), 64-53101, [24]. 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.
  • 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.
  • Hotel Villa Antigua, Calle Calvo 237 (2 blocks from Main Square), 4-6443437 (), [25]. checkin: 10.00; checkout: 13.00. For really recovering from harsh trips in Bolivian Andes: 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)
  • Casa Verde B&B, Calle Potosi 374, Sucre 00000 Bolivia (3 blocks from the main square), +591 70314611. A very clean, spacious, and bright hostel with a friendliest and most helpful owner named Rene. This hostel is located only 3 blocks from the main square. It has gas heated hot showers with good pressure, Wi-Fi, nice common area, cozy courtyard with a swimming pool, and fantastic breakfast! 27 USD.
  • Gringos Rincon, Calle Loa #743 (2.5 Blocks from the plaza). Potentially the best hostel in Bolivia. 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. 35-40Bs.


Cope

  • 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.
  • An incomplete list of places with wifi: Joy Ride Cafe, Florin, Kulturcafe Berlin, Hotel Kolping, Amsterdam, La Posada. There is also free wifi in the central plaza and in the food court about 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

  • 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]


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