- For other places with the same name, see Sucre (disambiguation).
Sucre is a city in Chuquisaca Department, Bolivia. It is the official capital of the country, though most of the government is based in La Paz. Its center is a UNESCO world heritage site, and it is a pretty city with welcoming people and a peaceful atmosphere.
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 tranquil 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-16th 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 south and east of Cusco and encompassing what is today Bolivia, Paraguay, 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 17th 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, and is the second oldest university in the Americas. Sucre’s football team in the Bolivian league is Universitario, and originates from St. Francis Xavier College.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
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 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, and the city has suffered from sporadic outbursts of protest since his election in 2005, occasionally accompanied by racial violence against the poor indigenous and rural people who voted for him.
- 1 Sucre Bus Terminal (The terminal is about 2 km from the city centre. A taxi to the centre should cost Bs. 4. This is per person not per vehicle. If you are not comfortable sharing a taxi, you should make this clear. Alternatively, micros 3 and A go from Junín near the plaza to the bus terminal.).
The prices, times and destination for buses to and from Sucre are as follows, but expect considerable bargains if you show up short notice. However, many companies sell only cama tickets, so if you want to travel cheap (semi-cama), maybe 3 hr before would be better. All origins/destinations but Potosí are overnight rides.
- Potosí – There are hourly connections that take 3-4 hr. You can also take a shared taxi for about Bs. 50 per person, it will take about 2½-3 hr and the driver will go very very fast. Bus, minimum Bs. 10, normal bus Bs. 17, semi-cama Bs. 25, full cama Bs. 35.
- La Paz – 12 hr. Minimum Bs. 45, normal bus Bs. 90, semi-cama Bs. 125, full cama Bs. 180 (Boliviana) Bs. 150 (Cochabamba).
- Oruro – Minimum Bs. 30, normal bus Bs. 50, semi-cama Bs. 60, full cama Bs. 95.
- Santa Cruz – 14 hr and buses pass through Samaipata. Minimum Bs. 35, normal bus Bs. 80, semi-cama Bs. 90, full cama Bs. 110.
- Cochabamba – It is 10-12 hr hours by bus. Buses only leave in the afternoons and evenings, with the last bus typically leaving between 21:00 and 22:00. Much of this road is unpaved, and it can be a quite uncomfortable and cold ride. Expect to pay minimum Bs. 30, normal bus Bs. 52, semi-cama Bs. 60, full cama Bs. 100.
- Tupiza – Leaves at 22:00 from Tupiza.
- Tarija – Minimum Bs. 60, normal bus Bs. 83.
- Villazon – Bs. 70-80; 9 hr.
- Uyuni – Leaves at 22:00 from Uyuni. 7-8 hr. Bs. 45-60.
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 (although El Dorado will sell you a ticket the day before), so to be sure of getting a seat you need to arrive at the terminal before midday. However, if you are flexible, you can also arrive a few hours or an hour before and can get great bargains, e.g. semi-cama for La Paz for Bs. 50—see the country article. 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. If buying at the terminal itself, make sure to go to the operator's office inside the terminal - the touts in the car park outside are usually genuine, but have been known to "double sell" seats.
Whichever route you take or level of bus you opt for, do not expect to find a toilet on board unless you travel with the most expensive operators. Ask to make sure in any case. Do expect the bus to stop in the middle of the night somewhere close to a cheese vendor, and to see half of the male passengers lined up to relieve themselves against a convenient wall.
Blockades around Sucre and to nearby towns and cities are not uncommon, so ask whether the road is open or blocked before buying a ticket.
Since the government of Bolivia pulled the plug on the national carrier, Lloyd Aero Boliviano, no international airlines serve Sucre's Lajas Tambo airport. Boliviana de Aviación (BoA), operates flights to Cochabamba, La Paz, and Santa Cruz. Amaszonas also operates flights throughout Bolivia and some neighbouring countries. TAM is a cheaper alternative, and also flies to all the major cities.
The airport is about 20 km from the centre. Transportation to the centre is either by taxi (Bs. 70, 45 min) or Minibus (leaving from Av. Gregorio Donosa Daza near Plaza Vicente Camargo). Minibuses depart right from outside the terminal, cost Bs. 8 and drop you off in Av Gregorio Donoso Daza. From there it's a short walk to Plaza 25 de Mayo. Micros do not drive up to the airport but only pass by it. Walk to the road 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, cafes and restaurants, including a shop selling the chocolate the city is locally famous for.
Some of the attractions outside of Sucre, such as Tarabuco market and the dinosaur footprints, can be visited by guided tour, tourist bus or public transport.
Sucre is a small city and the center is very walkable. For the most part, you won't need to move more than five blocks from Plaza 25 de Mayo, the main square.
Outside of the city there are many hiking and walking opportunities, as explained below. For reliable trails in this region, consult OpenStreetMap, which is used by many mobile Apps like OsmAnd (complex with many add-ons) and MAPS.ME (easy but limited).
Sucre has plentiful taxis. Within the centre do not pay more than 5Bs pp.
Sucre has small buses (micros, really not much bigger than vans) that run set routes. They don't have actual stops, so just flag them down whenever and let the driver know when you're ready to get off. The fare is Bs. 1.50 (2019), which you pay to the driver. Micros run frequently and can sometimes be very crowded—don't be surprised to see someone hanging out the door.
- 1 Cal Orcko (Parque Cretácico). Tu–F 09:00–17:00, Sa Su holidays 10:00–18:00. A collection of dinosaur footprints imprinted on a 70 degree sloping wall of a limestone quarry, which used to be a lake floor. To visit the footprints and the museum that accompanies them, you can take the Dinobus at 09:30, 11:00, 12:00, 14:00, 15:00; return times 10:00, 11:30, 13:30, 14:30, 16:00, 17:00. This bus leaves from the front of the cathedral at Plaza 25 de Mayo (Bs. 15 round-trip). Or take Bus 'H' or Bus number '4' that leaves every 5 minutes and returns every 5 minutes from Cretaceous park and to the city (Bs. 1.5, 45-60 min). You can take this bus from Arenales street at the corner of Junin street, one block from 25 de Mayo square. Alternatively, you can get there by taxi at whatever time you want for a bit more money. A guided visit takes about 1½ hr and is included with admission. Only the guided visits at 12:00 and 13:00 get to go down into the quarry to see the footprints up close; otherwise you'll just be able to look at them from a distance. You need closed shoes to go down the quarry. Bs. 30, plus an extra Bs. 5 if you want to take pictures.
- 2 Casa de la Libertad, Aniceto Arce (Central Plaza), ☏ . This museum is 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. Bs. 15 + Bs. 10 for camera.
- 3 Plaza 25 de Mayo. The heart of Sucre, surrounded by the cathedral, the office of prefecture, the town hall, the historic Casa de la Libertad, as well as a swag of restaurants and bars. Get a shoe shine (don't think that wearing flip-flops you will deter the shoe shine kids), use the free Wi-Fi, 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.
- 4 National Military History Museum (Museo Histórico Militar de la Nación), Ravelo 1. M-F 09:00-11:30 & 15:00-17:00; Sa 09:00-12:00. The military museum has a big collection of Bolivian and international weaponry. It is really interesting if you know a thing or two about weapens and if you can understand some Spanish. They do not offer guided tours. In their collection they have a jet engine, airplanes, miniatures, typewriters, a parachute, engines, all sorts of artillery. They also have a room dedicated to their combat history. During the Pacific war, Bolivia lost its access to the Pacific Ocean. In the last room, you will find a roll with thousands of letters from children asking their sea back.
- 5 Museo del Tesoro, Plaza 25 de mayo # 59 (north corner), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 09:00 - 12:30 and 15:00 - 18:30. The museum's valuable collections show the history of silver and gold in Bolivia, and the evolution of the famous jewelry from Sucre. The museum has a section dedicated to the mining and jewelry of the “ametrine”, a beautiful gem that only exists in Bolivia. The museum also has a store with some good values. US$4.
- 6 Catedral Metropolitana (Metropolitan Cathedral), on Plaza 25 de Mayo. Its construction started in 1551 and took almost a century.
- 7 Basílica de San Francisco. One of the oldest in the country.
- 8 Aguas Danzantes (Fuente del Bicentenario). Tourist attraction with water, lights, and sound, making the water look like it changes color and moves to the music. Located in Parque Bolívar.
- 9 Parroquia de San Lázaro. The oldest surviving church in Bolivia, built in 1544.
- 10 Cemetery (Cementerio General) (go south on Loa or Junín; the entrance is on the eastern side of the cemetery). M–F 08:00–11:30, 14:00–17:30; Sa Su 08:00–17:30.
- 11 Iglesia de la Merced, Ortiz and Azurduy. M–F 14:00–17:30. An old church, built between 1581 and 1630. Bs. 10.
- Museo de Arte Indígena ASUR, displays various art forms of the indigenous groups in the region. Quite interesting. Everything is translated to English in a booklet offered by the staff. Make sure you drink enough coffee because there is a lot of information to read. Entry Bs. 30.
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 in other attractions, from traditional villages to dinosaur footprints to trekking through the mountains of the Cordillera de las Frailes.
- 1 La Recoleta. Walk up Calle Dalence ("Pantaleón Dalence"), Grau, or Calvo ("Daniel Calvo") from the central plaza to La Recoleta, a spot up on a hill with a plaza and old buildings. Although there are often events here, as well as a monastery (Convento de la Recoleta), church and museum, the main attraction is definitely the view of Sucre from the Mirador Cafe. The drinks and food here are of European price level. Adjacent Hotel Kolping also has excellent views and a lunch buffet. If you don't want to pay, there are nice views from the plaza itself. At the entry to La Recoleta there is a small but rich market where native people sell weawings and handicraft.
- 2 Parque Simón Bolívar. Take a stroll in the park, the city's favourite lovers' hangout. Just don't step on the grass. You can watch people (nice people there), watch street performances, eat. People have their small Eiffel tower there, just next is a big playing park for kids. At the upper end of Parque Bolivar stands Bolivia's supreme court. At the lower end is Estacion Aniceto Arce, Sucre's train station which is 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).
- [dead link] Independence Day. 25 May. The day the city came alive. Sucre was where Latin America’s fight for independence started, at least that’s what we were told. The parade around they city make you feel proud, even if not close to being a Bolivian. This is also the reason for the naming of the main plaza: Plaza 25 de Mayo. Today, the plaza is full of families and couples, and it’s a fantastic place to sit and watch people go by, preferably with an ice-cream in hand.
Beyond the center
- 3 7 Cascadas (8 km NE out of town). Go for a hike to the 7 waterfalls. Take a taxi from Sucre to the tiny village of Alegria for Bs. 20 (or catch the red 12 micro bus to the last stop for Bs. 1.50), then walk the remaining 3 km. Or negotiate for the driver to take you all the way. Take food, water, towels, bathing suit, sunscreen 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. As of October 2010 this site was closed due to frequent robberies in the area. Ensure you check with locals before travelling. In May the waterfalls were almost entirely dry. This attraction may be better in wet season. As of April 2016, it was a very popular spot with locals and tourists, very safe feel and while the waterfalls were almost dry it was still a beautiful place to swim and jump from the cliffs.
- 4 Maragua (crater and village). 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. There can be nice children on the way, who may ask for some gift, so buy some pens, notebooks, dried fruits, or nuts in Sucre (no sweets please - people may not have access to dentist service) - you'll like making these children happier. It is possible to spend a night in Maragua village inside the crater (i.e. Bs. 60 a night) - ask local people, other tourists, or local kids will organize you a place. Conditions are basic but the experience unique. Simple meals are available too.
Offered by many companies as a tour, but can also organised independently with a proper map. Buy food and water beforehand. You may want to take some chlorine pills to purify some water on the way. Take the minivan to Potolo (ask people in Sucre for the proper place to catch such a minivan; Bs. 12; a breathtaking ride), and get of at the chapel (ask the driver for "Chataquila" or "camino del Inca"). Start following the inka trail from Capilla de Chataquila. When down (Chaunaca; lady takes 10 Bs. for the community), turn left and follow the river (don't cross the river yet). Further (where you see trees, church, some houses), cross the river over suspension bridge (Puente en el camino al Maragua; the lady takes Bs. 10 for the community), then hike up to Maragua (a waterfall and some water spots on the way). Here you could stay overnight, or you choose the camping site right at the beginning, depending on when you start the trek. From Maragua down to the dinosour footprints, from where you continue further to Potolo (2nd night?).
From Potolo there are regular buses back to Sucre. Alternatively, you can continue from Potolo into the valley for another half day hiking. Yet another alternative is to walk the main way from Maragua (start early - 07:00 or 07:30), through the other village in the crater, Irupampa, out of the crater, and all until you join a bigger road in the village of Quila Quila, take the road left, but wait there until some 12:00 to catch a truck back to Sucre (it's really a long way), or catch some other car. Along the trail there are many sightseeing points, and you can do some side tours to rupestrian paintings or the Salar de Chullpas. Check out the downloadable trail and waypoints in the following.
Details: Maragua Trail (green). Distance: 30.5 km, hilly. Duration: 2 days. Grade: Easy to medium. Altitude range: 866 m. Total climb: 963 m. Total descent: 1,513 m. Download: KMZ, GeoJSON, for GPX and waypoints download see GPSies.
- Centro Ecológico San Antonio de Aritumayu (Resort), Aritumayu (18 km from Sucre. A 1½-hour drive.), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. If you stay longer and want to escape the city for some fresh air and nature, consider the ecological centro in Aritumayu. Splendid clean river with waterfalls nearby, and basic but clean accommodation available (romantic: no electricity nor cellphone coverage).
- 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-minute flight.
- Other companies offer quad and motorbike tours. Climb up to 3,665 metres through natural surroundings (somewhat trashed by quads) with superb views.
- Many tour companies offer single or multi-day treks into the surrounding countryside, focusing on understanding the local cultures and ecology and offer the chance to stay with local communities. If you are just interested in hiking and trekking, many trails can be done on your own using GPS and OpenSteetMap—see above.
- In addition, the following leisure tours that can be arranged:
- 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.
Sucre is a popular place to learn Spanish and to volunteer. There are many Spanish schools including the Sucre Spanish School or the Fox Language Academy. 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 of management. Fenix a few blocks 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 volleyball games. Fenix also offer a variety of volunteer projects including with the elderly, orphans and disabled. They have a Facebook page email: firstname.lastname@example.org and the address is Calle Miguel Angel Valda No. 61 (2nd Floor).
For a different approach to learning Spanish, check out Spanish in Sucre. Instead of keeping you in a classroom, they take you out to explore Sucre, and learn Spanish at the same time. Because they don't have the typical costs of a traditional school, they are cheaper. Lessons only cost US$3.50 for group lessons per person per hour and US$5 per hour for private lessons.
- Cheryl Zegarra, ✉ email@example.com. Private instructor.
- Continental Spanish School, Calle Olañeta Nº 224, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. A fairly new school in the centre of town, enthusiastically run by sisters Patricia and Maria Elena.
- Fenix Spanish School, Calle Miguel Angel Valda Nº 61, 2nd floor, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 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.
- Fox Language Academy. Fox claims that 50% of the study fee at Fox goes towards paying for Bolivians to learn English.
- Me Gusta Spanish, Calle Junin 333 (Centre of town), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. A great Spanish school. 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 prices and promotional discounts available. Also offering Cooking classes, Futsal, poker and other out of school activities. Home Stay can be arranged for the full Bolivian culture experience.
- Pepe Arce, ✉ email@example.com. Private instructor.
- Spanish in Sucre. A different approach to learn Spanish. Instead of keeping you in a classroom, they take you out to explore Sucre, and learn Spanish at the same time. Because they don't have the typical costs of a traditional school, lessons only cost US$3.50 per hour for group lessons per person and US$5 per hour for private lessons.
- Sucre School of Spanish, Riosinho 403, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. A small, personal school with one-on-one lessons for USD5 per hour.
Sucre is a popular place to volunteer.
- CEMVA. Educational centre.
- Centro de Apoya Integral a la Mujer (Juana Azurduy), Casilla 799. A centre for helping women and rape victims.
- Centro de Salud Sagrada Familia, Barrio Alto Mesa Verde, Bolivar 716. A centre to give medical attention to the people. They also serve lunch to the children. You can volunteer in the health centre, help with cooking and serving food, or help the social worker.
- Clinica Juan de Dios, Av Japon 46. Childrens hospital.
- Escuela Movil (CERPI), 560 Nataniel Aguirre. Integrated centre for pedagogical resources (CERPI) offers pedagogical services to children from marginal neighborhoods (mobile school, homework area, music classes, computer classes).
- ETI (In the Libertadores neighbourhood). A centre for taking care of disabled children.
- Fenix, Miguel Angel Valda 61. A not-for profit language school that needs English teachers to teach their underprivileged students and can arrange volunteer positions at nursing homes, orphanages, and with disabled children.
- Fundacion Guia, Ballivián 41. A foundation for improving young people's lives. They organize pedagogical and recreational activities (job orientation, helping with CVs, etc.)
- Hogar Santa Rita, Ravelo St. Nursing home.
- Hogal Sucre Orfanato, Dalence St. A centre for orphans.
- Hogar Tata Juan de Dios, Avenida Japon #46. Church home for 40 abandoned children (<5 years old).
- Hogar 25 de Mayo, Grau St. Nursing home run by Fenix.
- Hospital Psiquiatrico. Psychiatric hospital.
- Miski Wasi (Hogal Mallorca), Anastacio Paravicini St. A home for children who cannot stay in their house during the week because they live in extreme poverty. Miski Wasi is a wonderful place to volunteer.
- Ñanta (Anastacio Paravicini St). Home for working children that organizes recreational activities.
- Nord-Sud Circo Infantil. Inter-cultural centre that helps children and teenagers (school, workshops, job orientation).
- Realidades, Estados Unidos 600 (in Barrio Petrolero). Small NGO working with indigenous minorities, human and children rights.
In Sucre, shops tend to be clustered by type. So you might see one block with 15 jewelry stores, then another with a dozen toy stores, and so on.
Sucre is famous for its tapestries, which are sold at Tarabuco 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 Tarabuco 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.
- 1 Mercado Central (Central Market), Arce and Siles. Big market selling food, produce, and other products, from birthday cakes to potatoes to candles to cow snouts. Wide variety of fresh fruit, and some stands near the back selling different kinds of fresh juice.
- 2 Mercado Negro (Mercado Salvador Sánchez), Junín and Regimiento Campos 6 de Infantería (follow Junín north from the center). Its name means "Black Market", but there doesn't seem to be anything shady going on. Mostly though just cheap China clothes and textiles.
- 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 Bs. 8).
- Sucre is also famous for its chocolates. Chocolates Para Ti and Chocolates Taboada, both with shops just off the central plaza, are the best known, and there are several shops selling artisanal chocolates (aka confectionery) between the plaza and the central market. Para Ti also have shops at the airport and bus terminal, although the latter is usually closed. However, the incredible amount of sugar they put into the confectionery leaves doubts whether it will be of everyone’s taste. But no wonder one of the many chains selling confectionery is simply called Sucre.
- Salteñas, a type of large empanada, usually filled with meat, that's popular in Bolivia, can be found easily. Several small salteña eateries are at the lower end of Calle San Alberto.
- Joy Ride Cafe, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Calle Nicolas Ortiz 14, (Cell phone +591 711 73146) ,is an Italian (formerly Dutch) run bar, restaurant and tour operator. International dishes. Expensive gringo place with average food. Problematic, but fairly fast WiFi. Staff treated poorly by owner. Feel like a chain. Better options available.
- Pizzaría Napolitana, 25 de Mayo #30, Pastas, pizzas and big sandwiches. A lunch menu cost Bs. 25, somewhat overpriced, but serves until 17:00.
- La Taverna, Aniceto Arce 835, in the courtyard of the Alliance Francaise. Good French inspired food but using local ingredients and wine. Good continental breakfast at Bs. 20, but the place was rarely found open in the morning. Set menu for Bs. 45, from 12:00-15:00.
- Bohemo´s, Junin 433 (Adjacent to central market on the former Peatonal). 4-course lunch Bs. 15.
- El Germen, San Alberto 231. Serves a fusion of delicious Bolivian and German cooking. All lunch specials (Bs. 18) 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 (Bs. 12). 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. Bs. 30 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 Bs. 25, though if you buy a meal plan (pensión) for at least 2 days, you'll receive a discount to Bs. 15 per meal.
- Pizzeria Napoli, Calle Argentina, ☏ . 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.
- Monte Rosso, Padilla 70 (Four blocks up Calvo from the square, then turn left), ☏ . M-Sa 19:00-22:00. A hidden gem, and the best Italian restaurant in town. Almost pathologically averse to advertising (the signage is a 30-cm plaque next to the front door, which is kept closed - ring the bell), but nevertheless very popular among those in the know. Roberto is an exceptionally friendly host, and the food is delicious and inventive. It's a good idea to book a table, as the place fills up quickly. Bs. 35.
- Chifa New Hong Kong, San Alberto 242. Decent Chinese food (by Bolivian standards); popular with both locals and tourists. No vegetarian options, but if you're lucky and/or charming enough, they can sometimes be persuaded to throw something together. Advertises delivery, but in practice refuses to deliver. Bs. 30.
- 1 Salteñería Flores, San Alberto 26 (A block and a half up the road from the central market). Next door to the rather more swanky salteñeria El Patio, Flores has faster service, better salteñas, and, unlike its neighbour, is not regularly closed down for public health violations. It's also the only place in town to offer vegetarian salteñas. Opens early, so it's good for breakfast. Bs. 7 per salteña.
- Tentaciones Pasta Pizza, Arenales 13 (Half block away from main square next door to Chocolates Para Ti), ☏ . M-Sa 09:00 - 22:30, Su 11:30-14:30 and 18:30-21:30. Amazing Italian food, only place with a full menu of handmade pasta choices. Pizza (Neapolitan style. Try the Tex Mex and BBQ chicken). Also a great variety of 7" sandwiches, salads, natural fruit juices and awesome fruit combinations. Real cheese fondue, Bolivian wine menu, spirits, big breakfast including excellent coffee (from espresso machine), fruit juice, and lots of things on the plate. Really friendly and efficient service, great music. Modern (IKEA-style) decor, excellent desserts (when available). Bs. 30-40.
- Abis café y heladeria, Plaza 25 de Mayo, 32, ☏ . 08:30-22:00. Excellent and real coffee with home-made pastry, home-made icecream, and batidos. It is delicious. Breakfasts, sandwiches, salads, tacos and quesadillas. Cosy and very friendly - Belgian owner speaks 6 languages from Bs. 10.
- Patio de Comidas, an outdoor cooked food center inside Parque Bolivar that is frequented by only locals. Mainly meat and pizza. There are two stalls very cheap food from Bs. 3 with vegetarian options, don't ask, just eat.
- Condor Cafe (Near central plaza, on the corner of Bolivar and Calvo streets). Good selection of food and drinks (including specialties like stuffed potato and quinoa beer), middle-priced, very nice atmosphere. Local tourism agency Condor Trekkers works from there, so you can meet the guys (very friendly) and discuss with them different options for exploring Sucre surroundings.
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. 17:00-22:00. 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 17:30 to 22:30 offers 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. 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 Bs. 12.
- Stigma, Calle Bolivar. Biggest club in town, -young crowd. Fills up at 02:00. Entry Bs. 10, small beer Bs. 10.
- Tabaco´s Soul, Calle San Alberto. Never ends. Plays rock. Check your bill! great mixed drinks served in pitchers. Cheap and very social Drinks Bs. 15, 0.6 l beer Bs. 11.50.
- La Posada, Audiencia 92, ☏ . Just a few steps from the main square the hotel La Posada offers every Sunday a nice buffet that is worth the Bs. 40. because of the vegetarian parts. Starts at 12:00, don't be too late, since it can be crowded.
- The Celtic Cross, Calle Grau 508, Sucre. Nice, small hostel. Great owner who knows everything about Sucre. (The guy named Alan, who works there, can help a lot, i.e. with preparation to visit the countryside, too—but of course everyone will that gets a proper share of the costs.) The hostel has a well-equipped kitchen and a TV room with lots of DVDs. Spanish lessons are possible at the hostel for Bs. 45 in hour per person. If you take four or more per day accommodation is free. dorm from Bs. 45.
- 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 Bs. 90.
- [dead link] Amigo Hostel, Calle Colon 125 (two blocks from main plaza), ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 11:00, check-out: 10:30. 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 Bs. 45, double shared bath Bs. 70, dorm bed shared bath Bs. 30, breakfast included.
- Hostal Austria (opposite the bus terminal), is a good and comfortable place if you're looking for something close to the bus terminal. Single with shared bathroom Bs. 35 / with private bathroom Bs. 60.
- Hostal Charcas, Calle Ravelo 62 (One block from the square), ☏ . Low pressure on hot water. Single, shared bath Bs. 40, with bath Bs. 70, Breakfast Bs. 7.
- Alojamiento San Jose, Calle Ravelo (next to Hostal Charcas) (One block from the square, opposite the market). Basic, but friendly. Single, shared bath Bs. 25/30.
- Gringos Rincon, Calle Loa #743 (2.5 Blocks from the plaza). 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. Bs. 35-40.
- Wasi Masi, Urcullo 233 (Between Arce and España, one block from the central market), ☏ . Check-out: 11:00. Popular with backpackers, Wasi Masi is built around an attractive courtyard (sometimes a bit too small for the number of guests), with a reasonable almuerzo style cafe attached (only open at lunchtime). Rooms of variable quality (some are as dirty and humid as a basement with loads of mosquitoes which is quite rare in Sucre), a good dormitory, gas & electric showers, free wifi, excellent book exchange, breakfast on request, laundry, TV lounge (with a good DVD collection), and a small but serviceable kitchen. Roxana, the manager, is somewhat crazy but likeable with it. Regular barbecues in the patio. Bs. 60.
- 1 The Beehive, Calle Avaroa 607, Sucre, Bolivia, ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 11:00. Chill non-for-profit hostel where guests often stay for a week or two to take Spanish lessons or volunteer nearby. Private Spanish lessons available for Bs. 35 per hour in the courtyard. Best breakfasts in Sucre. Bs. 60.
Mid-range to splurge
- Hotel Parador Santa Maria la Real, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. This singular hotel with past, history and art in every room occupies a house since the 18th century. It was renovated but conserves its structure and constructive details intact with meticulous restoration. Bolivar street #625.
- Santa Cecilia, Calle Potosi 386, ☏ . Really private 5 room guest house with cable and wi-fi in each room (Double or Twin), communal kitchen, TV room and courtyard. The family live next door so it's as if you have the place to yourself and it's 3 streets from the plaza (5 min). Bs. 140 double (Jun 2013). There is B&B sign outside, so just ring the bell.
- [dead link] Hostal Libertad (1 block from Main Plaza), Aniceto Arce & San Alberto (on the corner opposite Iglesia San Francisco), ☏ . Good-value hotel despite the faded rooms in need of renovation. The hotel has Wi-Fi, cable TV, minibar, breakfast, friendly and helpful staff, and every room has a view with lots of light. Singles for Bs. 120.
- Honorary French Consulate, Calle Dalence 383, ☏ . 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 - Bs. 90 for a day, but if you stay for a week, it'll be Bs. 50/day and for a month is Bs. 45/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.
- 2 Hotel Villa Antigua, Calle Calvo 237 (2 blocks from Main Square), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 10:00, check-out: 13:00. 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, Wi-Fi all-over. Stylish and comfortable. From US$50.
- Casa Verde B&B, Calle Potosi 374 (3 blocks from the main square), ☏ . A very clean, spacious, and bright hostel with a friendliest and most helpful owner named Rene. Hostel has gas heated hot showers with good pressure, Wi-Fi, nice common area, cozy courtyard with a swimming pool, and a breakfast. US$27.
- [dead link] Sky Hacienda Hotel, Mosoj Llajta (25 minutes from Sucre, towards Potosi), ☏ . Check-in: 13:00, check-out: 12:00. An architecturally unique hotel located in Yotala, 25 minutes outside Sucre. They model their hospitality on the idea of staying with a dear friend in their beautiful home in the countryside. Offering only two rooms, they are able to be attentive to their guests needs with individual service of a high standard. From US$95.
- The plain-clothed police officer scam seems to be popular (but seldom) in Sucre, especially targeting women travelers. Read all about it under Bolivia#Stay safe and be aware. If you are near the central plaza and this happens to you, walk there, as there are usually uniformed police there.
- 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.
- Mi Lavandería, Bolivar 482 (2 blocks from city centre, between Calvo and San Alberto St), ☏ , . You can bring your clothes in the morning and pick them up in the evening. The clothes will be cleaned, ironed and nicely sorted. The price in Jun 2013 was Bs. 8/kg.
- Internet is mostly slow. Places on the central plaza are generally over-priced; you should be paying about Bs. 2 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 (but hopeless) wifi in the central plaza, and in the food court above supermarket SAS.
- Tarabuco – A popular one-day or half-day excursion to the Sunday market. If you want explanation and guidance, any tour agency can arrange a tour. But you don't need an agency—there is frequent and cheap (Bs. 10 one way) public transportation (minivans) too, or even trucks on the road to and from Tarabuco. It takes about 2 hr 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.
- Candelaria – For a far less touristy experience visit this village, which is further from Sucre than Tarabuco, but a part of the same culture that is renowned nation-wide for its handicrafts. According to people from Indian Arts Musem, prices of handicrafts are better in Tarabuco (because sellers compete there), but in Candelaria you can get very sophisticated and beautiful works (not sold in Tarabuco). Transportation is very limited and people have been stuck out here, so it's best to go with a tour agency.
- Yotala and Nucchu – Yotala is a little nice town, can be reached with minivan (Bs. 4, leave Sucre from cemetery, takes more or less 30 min). You may want to head to Nucchu from there. Nucchu is a village, probably most famous for hacienda, where first presidents (Sucre, Bolivar) used to stay during independence war. The hacienda is quite nicely preserved, a local lady takes care after it. It may be possible (depends on, i.e., if the owner is in Bolivia) to spend a night there, Bs. 80 (contact/reservations: +591 645 17 98 or +591 645 20 22). There is another famous building (of some princess?) in Nucchu, and the village is interestingly laid out (a river, two hanging pedestrian bridges). To reach Nucchu from Yotala best is to catch some public transport (ask people in Yotala) that occasionally goes there. Or try to hitch-hike, you may be lucky. Otherwise it's quite a long walk, but the scenery is good, you can meet local Quechua people (they speak Spanish), they can tell you about the life in the valley and difficult conditions there.
- Potosí – Formerly the most prosperous town in Bolivia and still a mining town today. It is interesting to see and maybe do a tour into the mines.
- To get to Argentina, several companies offer direct buses from the Terminal de Buses Sucre departing at 20:00, arriving at the border town of Villazon around 06:00. (Bs. 70-80 for full cama; 9 hr.) Do not buy an onward ticket from touts at the border, only buy from the bus station in La Quiaca after crossing the border by foot.