Sucre Travel Guide
Introduction to Sucre
Quick quiz: what is the capital of Bolivia? Even the most savviest of travelers will often answer this question wrong, as the city of La Paz not only is the only city in Bolivia of significant size, it also contains a number of notable governmental institutions.
However, it is the city of Sucre that is the official capital of Bolivia, and while it is much smaller in terms of population compared to its big brother, the Spanish colonial atmosphere of this breezy town makes it feel worthy of that title.
Standing in stark contrast to the sprawling nature of La Paz, you might find yourself tempted to book an extended stay once you have gotten your first few days in Sucre under your belt.
Cultural Attractions in Sucre
Start your time in Sucre by heading over to the Casa de la Libertad. It is here where Bolivia officially became a nation in 1825 with the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
Originally a chapel run by Jesuits, it was within this building where the Republic of Bolivar was declared, resulting in its re-designation as a museum in later years.
Highlights of the visit here include the original copy of the Declaration of Independence, as well as a portrait of Simon Bolivar, who personally declared it to be the most accurate depiction of him ever captured on canvas.
Make the Oratorio de San Felipe de Neri the next step on your tour of the Bolivian capital. This convent was designed in the neoclassical style at the end of the 18th century, and while it originally started out as a religious institution, it serves as an all-girls school in the present day.
Be sure not to miss the painting of The Last Supper with in its interior, nor its courtyard, which is a very pleasant place to be on a sunny day. For a small fee, photographers can climb the bell tower with in this monastery in order to get a great vantage point over the city of Sucre.
The First Nations people that inhabited Bolivia for thousands of years prior to the arrival of the Spanish had a very lively culture when it came to the arts, and there’s no better place to learn that fact than at the appropriately named Museum of Indigenous Arts.
The focus of this institution is on the various types of textile weaving for which local indigenous tribes are best known. This place has a unique twist in that many of the artists work on their creations within the museum itself, allowing for dialogue to take place between those that can speak Spanish and the artisans.
Other Attractions to Sucre
If you just want to chill out for a while and watch the inhabitants of Sucre go about their daily business, then the Plaza 25 de Mayo is the best place to go in town.
From college students to office workers, this place is a hive of activity during the day, and if you’re looking for souvenirs to bring home to your friends and family, there are plenty of sellers that peddle their wares in this park.
Street food is abundant here, but if you would rather have something prepared in a restaurant or cafe, there are plenty of those ringing the periphery of the plaza as well.
Bolivia is well known in mining circles for its mineral wealth; if you wish to bear witness to the diversity of the precious stones and metals that have been dug up from the earth in this nation, then spending a couple of hours exploring the exhibits of Museo del Tesoro.
Situated within one of the city’s oldest and grandest homes, there are not only displays showing off the gold and silver bullion that has been extracted from mountainsides throughout the country, but also exhibits showing off various gems. This includes Ametrine, a magnificent stone that has only been found within Bolivia.
Looking for a vantage point that provides sweeping views of the city of Sucre? It’s hard to do better than what the viewpoints in La Recoleta have to offer, with Plaza de Anzurez providing the perfect setting for a late afternoon photography session overlooking the rooftops of Bolivia’s constitutional capital.
With a cafe overlooking the lower parts of the city, it is a great place to chill out after you have gotten the shots that you are looking for, and in the plaza above, locals often come out in the evening to socialize with their neighbors while their children play football.