Exploring Potosi: A Comprehensive Guide
Nestled in the Andes mountains of Bolivia lies the historic mining town of Potosi. With its rich culture, captivating history and stunning natural beauty, Potosi is a must-visit destination for travelers who want to experience the true essence of South America. In this guide, we will take you through the top 10 places to visit and also recommend some places to avoid.
Top 10 Places to Visit
1. Cerro Rico
The Cerro Rico, or “Rich Hill,” is undoubtedly the most iconic landmark in Potosi. It is a former silver mine that once produced vast amounts of silver for the Spanish Empire, earning it the nickname, “The Mountain that Eats Men.” Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a popular hiking spot for visitors.
2. Casa Nacional de la Moneda
This museum is located in a restored colonial building and showcases the history of the silver mining industry in Potosi. The exhibits include coins, machines, maps, and paintings that date back to colonial times. Visitors can enjoy a guided tour in English or Spanish.
3. Plaza 10 de Noviembre
The heart of Potosi’s historic district is the Plaza 10 de Noviembre. This is the central square surrounded by colonial-style buildings, restaurants, and cafes. It’s a great place to relax and take in the charm of the city.
4. Church of San Francisco
This beautiful Baroque-style church was constructed in the 18th century and is adorned with intricate carvings and paintings. It’s a must-visit for anyone interested in religious art and architecture.
5. Convent of Santa Teresa
This convent dates back to the 17th century and boasts beautiful gardens and an impressive collection of religious art. Visitors can explore the chapel, library, and living quarters of the nuns who lived here.
6. Potosi Cathedral
One of the most impressive buildings in Potosi is the Cathedral. It is a beautiful example of Baroque architecture and houses valuable works of art, including a set of silver crosses and a wooden statue of the Virgin Mary.
7. Mirador de Kari Kari
The Mirador de Kari Kari is a lookout point where visitors can take in breathtaking views of Potosi and the surrounding mountains. It’s a popular spot for sunset watching.
8. Pueblo Andino
This indigenous community lies just a few miles from Potosi and is an excellent place to experience traditional Andean culture. Visitors can take part in workshops on weaving, pottery, and traditional dance.
9. Lagoons of the Bolivian Altiplano
The Bolivian Altiplano is home to some of the most stunning landscapes in South America, including the beautiful lagoons near Potosi. Visitors can experience the unique flora and fauna of this region, including flamingos and vicunas.
10. The Mines
While not for everyone, visiting the mines is an unforgettable experience for those who want to learn more about Potosi’s history. Visitors can take a guided tour of the mines and witness the grueling work of modern-day miners.
Places to Avoid
1. El Alto Market
While El Alto Market is an authentic local market, it’s not recommended for tourists due to its reputation for pickpocketing and a generally unsafe environment.
2. San Sebastian Neighborhood
This neighborhood is known for its high crime rate, and travelers are advised to avoid it, especially after dark.
3. Bus Terminal Area
The bus terminal area is known to be sketchy, with reports of theft and assault. It’s best to avoid wandering around this area, especially at night.
4. Selva Pura Jungle Park
This amusement park has a reputation for being poorly maintained and swarming with mosquitoes. It’s best to skip this attraction and spend your time elsewhere.
5. Calle Comercio
While this street is great for shopping, it’s known for a high number of scams and pickpocketing incidents. Visitors should be cautious and keep their belongings close while exploring this area.
Overview About the City
|Currency||Bolivian Boliviano (BOB)|
|Average Temperature by Season||Summer (December – March): 45°F to 75°F | Autumn (April – May): 25°F to 58°F | Winter (June – August): 25°F to 55°F | Spring (September – November): 45°F to 70°F|
|Best Time To Visit||April through November, during the dry season when there is less rain and cooler temperatures.|
|City Official Website||https://www.potosi.gob.bo/|