After Potosí our next stop in Bolivia was Sucre! The ‘Ciudad Blanca‘ is the official capital of the country, even though the government is seated in La Paz, and it has a lot to offer to travellers. From museums, to learning the language, and lots of great food, your days in Sucre will not boring.
How to get to Sucre
From Potosí it’s only about a 3 to 4 hour drive to Sucre, and should cost not more than 20 bolivianos (≈ €3) for a bus or colectivo. We weren’t exactly sure where they would leave from, but this was promptly fixed by our taxi driver. We told him we wanted to go to Sucre and he took us to the correct bus stop on the north side of town. People in Bolivia are, as always, extremely helpful! As we arrived, we were immediately bombarded with calls for Sucre and we left not even 5 minutes later. Our experiences with Bolivian public transport have been so efficient!
Museums in Sucre
A city like Sucre has a lot of history, whether it is pre-Colombian, Inka, or something else. There’s a lot to learn if you want, and these are the museums we visited during our stay in Sucre.
Museo Nacional de Etnografia y Folklore
Starting off with a free museum, because why not! The museum of Etnografia y Folklore (MUSEF) explains and shows the ethnographic and folkloric diversity that Bolivia has, going all the way back to pre colombian times
Currently (February 2023) there is an exhibition about the typical Andean brooches (so, basically an exhibition about women!) that have been used for hundreds of years by Bolivian women.
The museum isn’t very big so it will probably not take you a long time to see everything, but I would really recommend a visit, especially as it’s free.
Good to know: closed on Sundays, on the other days it closes for 2 hours during lunch time. Limited hours on Saturdays.
Casa de la Libertad
Right on the Plaza the Armas you’ll find this cute courtyard that houses (next to several souvenir sellers) the Casa de la Libertad. The entrance fee is 15 bolivianos and included in this price is a guided tour of the museum.
The guide will explain more (in Spanish) about how Bolivia became independent, as you are being show the rooms where it ACTUALLY happened in 1825. You’ll be able to see some of the artefacts from that time as well, including the independence act.
Besides all this history, the building itself is beautiful, I loved walking through it.
Good to know: the museum is closed on Mondays, on the other days it closes for 2 hours during lunch time. Limited hours on Sundays.
Parque Cretácico de Cal Orck’o
Just outside of Sucre is a wall full with dinosaur footprints. Yup, you read that right! And you take the ‘Dino bus‘ to get there. This is going to be good, haha.
Entrance to the park costs 30 bolivianos per person, and includes a tour through a park with dinosaur statues and of course a close up view of the wall with the footprints. Our guide spoke English and explained many things about the dinosaurs, the footprints, how they found the footprints, and most importantly, how this wall came to stand upright (inquiring minds need to know!).
Good to know: wear sturdy shoes, the walk down in to the quarry is on a rocky path and you can easily slip.
How to get there: as mentioned, you take the Dino bus from Plaza the Armas, in front of the church. It’s a bright red double decker, so you can’t miss it. A return ticket costs 15 bolivianos and it leaves throughout the day, but make sure you take the one that leaves at 11! If you don’t you can’t go in to the quarry to see the footprints up close, as there are only 2 tours daily.
Other sights to see in Sucre
Sucre has a lot more to offer than just museums of course, so make sure to make some time available to just wander around the city center. And, prioritize these stops…
The view from Iglesia de San Felipe Neri
You can’t leave Sucre without a visit to the rooftop of this beautiful church. It’s only open in the afternoon, we went close to sunset (as it’s closed during the actual sunset), which I think is a great time of day to pop up to the roof. The entrance will only set you back 17 bolivianos per person, and (I think) you can basically stay as long as you’d like. Until they close, of course.
Good to know: the entrance is a bit hidden, you’d assume it would be through the gates of the church itself, however, it’s not, haha. When you’re standing in front of the church, walk to the right a bit. It’s the brown double door with a small wooden ‘San Felipe Neri’ sign.
Delicious fruit juice at Mercado Negro
Every Bolivian city has a Mercado, Sucre is no different. And we love strolling around a market, bustling with people, while buying some groceries, so off we went. I especially love the fruit and veg section, as it always looks so colorful! At some point we came to a little square within the market, let’s call it juice square, where dozens of women were selling fruit juice and smoothies. All that shopping makes you thirsty, so of course, we got a juice. De-li-cious!
Walk around Cementerio General
The second city where we’ve brought a visit to the cemetery (first was in Buenos Aires), and it’s still a bit strange to do, but the one in Sucre is beautiful. And, we were definitely not the only one just walking around, many locals were as well. It’s a very peaceful place with lots of plants and trees, and very well maintained.
It’s a bit out of the way, but it’s free to visit and a nice escape from the hustle and bustle of the city center (especially if you just visited the market!)
Try Salteñas at El Patio
A must do while in Sucre is to eat salteñas! These snacks look like empanadas and are a very typical Bolivian food. The traditional version comes with a meat filling, but at Salteñaria El Patio they also serve a vegetarian version.
When you arrive at the restaurant you order your salteñas (and a drink if you want), after which you can find a seat somewhere. Someone will take your receipt from you and before you know it your table will be filled with your order! It went super fast for us, we had barely sat down at our table before the waitress came back with our food.
Good to know: they’re only open in the morning, from 8 to 13!
After a great time in Sucre it was time for some more nature…