The UNESCO city of Sucre is one of Bolivia’s two capitals and it’s known for its beautiful white buildings. Given its size, Sucre has plenty of interesting things to do. It’s a great place to start your trip because the city is full of history and culture and is at a lower altitude (2,800m) than most destinations in Bolivia. Here are 10 best things to do in Sucre!
1. Go to a Folklore Dance Show
Origins Cultural Space puts on a phenomenal show displaying traditional music and dance from each region of the country. For 170 bolivianos (BOB), it’s a bargain and by far the highlight of Sucre for me. You must make a reservation in advance and the shows take place from Thursday to Saturday.
2. Take in the Views
The interior of Iglesia de San Felipe Neri is beautiful, but the real reason to visit is for the terrace. It’s massive, with two levels and unobstructed views of Sucre. This is no doubt the best place in the city to take pictures. The entrance is 17 BOB and it’s only open in the afternoon.
3. Admire the Art
Museo Colonial Charcas is a baroque-style religious art museum with a very impressive collection. Bolivia as a whole has fantastic art, and Museo de Arte Indigena is another great place in Sucre with colorful textiles on display.
4. Shop at an Exotic Market
Mercado Campesino has llama fetuses and guinea pigs for sale that are not going to become family pets. This market exemplifies the weirdness and authenticity that is Bolivia and it’s quite the experience. However, I wouldn’t recommend eating anything from here.
5. See the Oversized Simón Bolívar Bust
Sucre is the constitutional capital of Bolivia, and Casa de la Libertad is the house where the founders signed the Declaration of Independence. There’s info about the battles, art, and the main attraction is the comically oversized bust of Simón Bolívar.
6. Eat the Best Salteñas in Bolivia
Salteñas are a favorite among Bolivians and El Patio is a popular place to enjoy the mid-morning snack. I found myself here nearly every morning for their delicious salteñas and passionfruit juice.
7. Take Spanish Classes
Sucre is a very popular place to study Spanish because of the mild accent in this part of Bolivia and the affordable classes. You can turn up in Sucre and find classes for as cheap as $7 US per hour.
8. Visit a Historic Castle
In the 1890s, a wealthy couple from Sucre built the Glorieta Castle and an orphanage on the same property. A few years later when the pope came to Bolivia, he named them honorary royalty. The comments about the castle being rundown are not unfair, but the history of the place is very interesting.
9. Marvel at Bolivian Jewelry
The Treasure Museum displays gold, silver, and other minerals mined in the country. You will also learn how Bolivians incorporate these stones into their fashion and what type of jewelry is gifted for important life events.
10. Drink chuflays and Dance with Locals
The nightlife in Sucre is not as crazy as in La Paz, but there are more than a few places where backpackers and locals alike drink chuflays (a Bolivian cocktail) and dance late into the night. Kultur Berlin and Joy Ride are two popular places on the weekend.
Where to Next
Bookaway is a great resource that allows you to compare the prices of both buses and flights, and secure your seat in advance!
Potosí (3.5 hours by bus) – Take a tour inside an active mine that once produced 60% of the world’s silver.
Uyuni Salt Flats (8 hours) – These 12,000 square kilometer salt flats are undoubtedly one of the top attractions in South America.
La Paz (11 hours) – This unique and chaotic city has lively markets, cable cars, and adventure activities.
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