Our second stop big stop in Bolivia, after all the adventures in and around La Paz, was Sucre, the constitutional capital of Bolivia. La Paz is for sure a very fascinating place, but one thing that will strike you when you arrive in Sucre is its incredible beauty.
The architecture, the food, the relaxed vibe: they all made Sucre one of my favourite places in South America. Unfortunately, we only spent three days here, but there are so many things you can do if you decide to stay longer in this place (and you should).
Things to see and do in Sucre:
- Enjoy the view from la Recoleta
- Visit the Museo del Tesoro and all the other incredible museums
- Explore Sucre’s Markets
- Spend a night at Espacio Cultural Origenes
- Spend some time at Plaza 25 de Mayo or Simon Bolivar Park
- Learn Spanish
- Visit Sucre’s Dinosaur Park and Footprints
- Check out Convento de San Felipe Neri
- Enjoy salteñas and other (vegetarian) food
1.Enjoy the view from La Recoleta
La Recoleta is definitely my favourite place in Sucre. About 20 minutes walking uphill from the Plaza 25 de Mayo, you will find this incredible area of the city, with big white arches, lots of cute cafes where you can listen to live traditional music and a very nice view.
We were also lucky to stay here, rather than in the city centre. We stayed at a very nice hostel called Casa al Tronco, which we thought it was an amazing place to stay. Not only we could enjoy an amazing view at night time, together with some tapas on the roof, but the place was very nice too and the owner is such a lovely lady. You can easily walk up the hill from the city centre, but if you are carrying big backpacks and don’t feel like walking, you can always get a taxi for 5 BOB (€0.60).
View from our hostel during a thunderstorm
2. Visit the Museo del Tesoro and all the other incredible museums
While we didn’t have a lot of time to visit all the amazing museums in Sucre, we really did love the three we had a chance to explore.
The main one was Museo del Tesoro. You can’t take pictures inside, so unfortunately I don’t have images to witness how good and interesting this museum was. This museum has several areas inside, where you can learn about mining, gems, jewels and architecture, as well as you can learn about the history of the building and how it has changed through the years and see many samples of the country’s treasures, including special gems, silver and gold. This museum is located in the city’s main square and the entrance fee is of 25 BOB (less than €3.50).
Another museum we really enjoyed and were we learnt a lot was Casa de La Libertad, one of the most significant buildings in Bolivia from an historical point of view, where, all the way back in 1825, the republic was created. In this building you can find displays with the Bolivian Declaration of Independence and other signs explaining a bit about the history. Casa de La Libertad is also located in the main square and the entrance fee is of 15 BOB (€2), which includes a guide. While you don’t have to have to have a guide with you, displays are all in Spanish. You also have to pay an additional 10 BOB if you want to take pictures inside.
Finally, another small but interesting museum is the Museo Nacional de Etnografia y Folklore. This space has several different rotating exhibitions during the year, which all highlight different aspects of the Bolivian culture, from costumes to toys, to TV, to home decor, etc… Entrance to this museum is free.
3. Explore Sucre’s Markets
If you have read any other of my posts for places in South America where I say to go visit the town’s market and you think I am obsessed with markets….you are right! Like all the other markets in South America, all the markets in Sucre are an explosion of colours and nice smells.
Here you will find everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to artisan stalls with gorgeous fabrics and handicrafts of various kinds. My favourite was the fruit market.
4. Spend a night at Espacio Cultural Origenes
Do you want to have a nice dining experience with some typical Bolivian food, while listening to traditional music and enjoying a nice dance show? If this sounds great to you, then you should really pay a visit to Espacio Cultural Origenes. Shows are at 8:30 pm from Tuesday to Friday and at 8pm on Saturday, while the restaurant opens at 7:30pm.
The price for this is 170 BOB (€22) for set menu and show or 120 BOB (€15) for the show without dinner.
5. Spend some time at Plaza 25 de Mayo or Plaza Bolivar
Every corner of Sucre is so pretty, but if you are looking for a pretty place to relax and enjoy some every day life scenes and a nice coffee, you should spend some time in the city’s main plaza, Plaza 25 de Mayo Plaza, or Simon Bolivar Park. They are both very nice places to have a stroll or simply sit on a park bench and people watch.
Plaza 25 de Mayo is the heart of Sucre, where you will find big trees, elegant buildings, fountains and monuments. Parque Bolivar, instead, is a big open space surrounded by imposing colonial buildings with a climbable replica of the Eiffel Tower.
6. Learn Spanish
Although we didn’t do this because we only stayed a few days in Sucre and also because we could already speak Spanish, Sucre is the most popular place to study Spanish in South America. And for a good reason!
Not only here you can find plenty of good Spanish schools all over the city, with prices starting at as low as 35 BOB (less than €5), but there are also a lot of very friendly local people to chat with and get some practice.
7. Visit Sucre’s Dinosaur Park and Footprints
The Parque Cretácico is the place to go if you like dinosaurs. Here you can see the Cal Orck’o – a giant wall containing the world’s largest collection of dinosaur footprints, with over 5,000 footprints of different species and even a 347-meter trail left by a baby Tyrannosaurus Rex. There are tours everyday, except Mondays for 30 BOB (€4).
8. Check out Convento de San Felipe Neri
One of the most popular spots in Sucre is the Convento de San Felipe Neri, one of the most beautiful colonial buildings in Sucre, which is now a school.
For 10 BOB (€1) you can walk through its sunny courtyard and even walk all the way up to the roof to see why this city is famous with the name “White City”. Definitely one of the unmissable spots.
White buildings in Sucre
9. Enjoy salteñas and other (vegetarian) food
When I travel I always like to try local food and in Sucre, I tried salteña. These food is a sweet-doughed empanada-type snack that can have different fillings, usually pollo (chicken) or carne (beef). However, there is a place you should go if you are a vegetarian, called Salteñeria Flores that also has a meatless option.
But Sucre has more surprises for vegetarians! Condor Cafe is a non-profit organisation, tour agency and vegetarian restaurant that has lots of vegan options too. Make sure you pay a visit and get a delicious set lunch for 30 BOB.
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