Sucre

Sucre was by far the most pleasant city I visited in the Bolivian Highlands, and the lowest at only 2,500m above sea level. The city centre in particular is relatively clean and dog free, and filled with beautiful (mostly white) buildings.

The obvious place to start is Plaza 25 de Mayo, the main square, home to the grand Chuquisaca Governorship Palace, the former first Palace of Government of Bolivia until the government moved to La Paz (the judiciary are still based in Sucre).

Casa de la Libertad (House of Liberty Museum) is the most important building in Bolivia’s history, but unfortunately the museum doesn’t mean much unless you’re lucky enough to get a tour.

La Catedral is fairly average as cathedrals go and only open on Sunday’s and Public Holidays.

By far the most interesting place on the square (and probably the best museum in Bolivia) is Museo del Tesoro (Treasure Museum) which explains the mining, refining and use of gold, silver and semi-precious stones found in Bolivia. It’s visited by an hour long tour, with no photos allowed.

The other must see Museum is Museo de Artes Indigeno (Textile Museum), which also has a no photography policy, but is filled with some of the most exquisite textiles I’ve seen, both modern and historic, with comprehensive notes available in English.

It’s reached by a twenty minute walk uphill from Plaza 25 de Mayo but as an additional reward for the effort there are good views of the city from the neighbouring La Recoleta lookout.

The Nacional Museo de Etnografia y Folklore and Museo Historico Militar were missable unless you understand Spanish and have a particular interest. They were free and only 10 Bolíviano respectively though.

For a (literal) taste of the local culture the Mercado Central, two blocks from Plaza 25 de Mayo, is a must visit. There are only two supermarkets in Sucre. I can understand why the markets remain so popular, a far more enjoyable (and much cheaper) experience.

Simon Bolivar Park is where the locals come to relax and exercise, a nicely maintained patch of greenery ten minutes from Plaza 25 de Mayo.

Something unique to Sucre is Parque Cretácico, a 25 min bus ride away (from outside the cathedral). It’s a cement quarry where they’ve found over 10,000 dinosaur footprints from 65 million years ago, captured in the mud, which has turned to rock and been pushed up to an 80 degree angle. There are also replica dinosaurs of impressive scale.

Sucre is home to an extensive General Cemetery, a very popular place on public holidays as gifts of flowers and drinks for the deceased are refreshed.

To end with photos of the wonderful landscape seen on the short flight from Sucre to La Paz.

Leave a Reply