Description

The city of Potosi have been recognized by UNESCO as Cultural Heritage of Humanity because of their importance in the colonial era, for their dramatic history and particular urban design. In the XVII century, Potosí was the largest and most important city in America, and one of the major cities in the world due to its mineral riches that attracted a population of nearly 200,000 inhabitants.

In your visit to this ancient city, you will travel through American history; get an in-depth knowledge of the serious history of the colonized people and the cultural and architectural riches that were forged.

 

Don’t miss the opportunity to explore American history.
Inquire now!

Itinerary

Departure from Sucre
  • Mine Tour/Cerro Rico
  • House of Coins or Santa Teresa Convent 
  • City Tour

Includes

  • Accommodation for 1 Night
  • Private Transportation
  • Transfer in - out
  • Bilingual Guide English-Spanish
  • Entrance fees for all attractions
  • Lunch

Doesn't Include

  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Personal Spending
  • Tips

Bring with

  • Sun Screen
  • Hat
  • Comfortable Hiking Shoes

National Mint of Bolivia (Casa de la Moneda)

It is the main museum in Potosí and one of the most visited atractions of South America. The facilities were built between the years 1753-1773 for the production of coins for the Viceroyalty of La Plata. The Mint has not been used for this purpose since 1953. The building was used as a fortress, prison, military headquarters and museum thereafter. Currently most of its spaces are dedicated to exhibits of art, paintings, history, numismatics and coin machines. The building itself with the various patios, cedar doors, colonial roofs and windows constitutes an architectonic atraction that shouldn't be missed.

Rich Hill of Potosi (Cerro Rico)

A visit to the mines of the Cerro Rico is an unforgetable experience. Many mining cooperatives work in this area mining for zinc, lead and silver in a precarious way. Many of the miner coops are receptive to tourists who want to visit the interior of the mines. The visit exhibits the harsh conditions for the miners and an underground world filled with misticism and smibols. 

The Pailaviri mine (4,200 meters above see level) that belongs to the bolivian mining corporation COMIBOL, is the oldest one in Potosí. It has been never stopped working since 1545. The Cerro Rico is estimated to have more than 5,000 entrances to tunnels, many of which are interconnected.

Before a visit to the mine it is recommended to stop by the Miner Market and get a present for the host miners. Among the usual gifts are coca leaves, alcohol for the candle wick or food. Other items found in the market include picks, shovels, hard hats, gloves and dynamite.

There are tourism agencies that can arrange visits to the mines. It is also possible to bypass the agencies and have an arrangement directly with the miners but this is usually considered a riskier approach.

Santa Teresa Convent and Museum

It was founded in 1685 and it is still used by small groups of Carmelitas nuns. There are guided tours available. The guide explains about the background history and the current life of the nuns in the Convent. There are some fantastic pieces of art in the museum like the "Madona" of Alonso Cano and others from Melchor Perez de Holguin, a renowned bolivian artist.

Bolivia » Potosi » Potosí

Map

Geography

It is located in the south-east area of Bolivia. It neighbors to the north with Oruro and Cochabamba, to the south with Argentina, to the east with Tarija and Chuquisaca and to the west with Chile. The city lays at the foothills of the Andes Oriental Mountain Range. It is one of the highest cities in the world.

Potosi's geografy presents various volcanoes, geysers, salt deserts, fumaroles and hot water springs. The agressive landscape is balanced by the quite presence of beautiful lakes. 

Altitude

The city of Potosí is at 3,900 meters above see level (12,800 ft)

Climate

The weather is generally cold and dry with an average temperature of 8 degrees celsius (46.4 F)

How to get there?

There are many routes to get to Potosí.

From Sucre
  • 3 hours with private of public transportaiton

From Uyuni

  • 4.5 hours with private transportation

Economy

The mining industry is the most important in Potosi's economy. Commerce is limited to the local markets.

Potosi is still one of the main producers of tin and silver mining despite the history of extreme exploitation of this minerals. The industry around lithium is becoming one of the most promising activities for the future of the region.

History

Potosi's long history is filled with wealth and sadness. During the colonial times, it became the most important city of the Americas due to the vast amounts of silver that came from the "Cerro Rico" (rich mountain). At the time it was known as the Imperial Villa of Potosi (Villa Imperial de Potosi). In the year 1625, Potosi had over 160,000 inhabitants which placed it as one of the biggest cities in the world. It is estimated that between the years 1545 and 1625, more than 15,000 indigenous people died in the mines performing forced work for the spaniards.

In 1750 the population was reduced to 70,000 inhabitants due to the depletion of the silver mines and epidemics that attacked the local people. In 1825, the city appeard as a ghost city with only 8,000 inhabitants.

In the 20th century, tin mines were found. This discovery saved Potosi from its ghost city condition but it never again achieved the status that once had.

Hotel Parador Santa María la Real (hotel5stars)

Bolivia » Sucre » Sucre

Description

Colonial Style
Rooms with private bathrooms, breakfast buffet, restaurant and Wi-Fi.