Your Travel Guide To Sucre

Bolivia’s fifth largest, and most beautiful, city, Sucre is a sanctuary for those looking to recharge their batteries while exploring a cultural gem at a slow and leisurely pace.

Founded by the Spanish in the 16th century, Sucre has been designated a UNESCO world heritage site to protect its many pristine and historically significant buildings. From the charming colonial architecture and immaculately manicured parks to the pleasant year-round weather and unique cultural sites, Sucre is the ideal spot for leisurely exploration. Exuding old-world charm and filled with languid pursuits, most days you will find children chasing pigeons in the plaza, couples enjoying an ice-cream in the sun and old friends catching up in one of the many cozy cafes.

Largely untouched by tourism, the youthful city is a goldmine of unexplored treasures and cultural activity. It’s also one of the cheapest and safest cities in South America, making it the perfect place to visit or live.

Top Things to See and Do in Sucre

Sucre’s Colourful Markets Sucre and the surrounding area play host to several bustling and colorful markets. Walking around Mercado Central, Mercado Campesino and the famous Tarabuco Market, tourists can soak in Bolivia’s unique culture while shopping for anything from fresh fruit and vegetables to handcrafted textiles and medicinal plants.

Casa de la Libertad One of the most historically significant buildings in Bolivia is Sucre’s Casa de la Libertad where, in 1825, the republic was created with the signing of the Bolivian declaration of independence. Originally a Jesuit chapel, today Casa de la Libertad is a fascinating museum dedicated to one of the most important times in Bolivia’s history.

The Metropolitan Cathedral – As the seat of the Roman Catholic Church in Bolivia, the impressive Metropolitan Cathedral of Sucre is of great importance to the deeply religious city. Sitting prominently on the corner of Plaza 25 de Mayo, the Metropolitan Cathedral is regarded as one of the most beautiful churches in the country as well as being home to Bolivia’s most important religious museum, the Museo Catedralicio.

Parque Cretácico Sucre is the ultimate place to get your dinosaur fix, being home to a towering cliff-face criss-crossed with 5055 fossilized dinosaur footprints from about 15 species of dinosaur. Now a major tourist attraction, Parque Cretácico also features over two dozen life-size dinosaur sculptures, a museum, audiovisual display, restaurant and gift shop.The park can easily be visited in a couple of hours and is a must for any visit to Sucre. Because let’s face it – dinosaurs are awesome!

Study Spanish Whether your goal is to order a beer in the local language, indulge in Telenovelas, acquire fluency, or simply have a chat with your new Latino friends, Sucre is without doubt one of the best cities in the world to learn Spanish. With lessons starting at $4 per hour you’ll be hard pushed to find a cheaper, not to mention more beautiful place to study Spanish than in Sucre.

Trek to Maragua Crater A wonderful way to discover Sucre’s beautiful and diverse countryside is to do a 2 day trek from Sucre to the Maragua Crater. During the trek you will see some breathtaking Bolivian scenery, learn about the local flora and fauna, get up close to dinosaur footprints and share the customs and traditions of a local Quechuan family.

Volunteer Despite being a city of “old money”, only a small fraction of people in Sucre enjoy this wealth. Behind the colonial façade lies a large indigenous population living in unimaginable circumstances. Fortunately there are a number of wonderful organisations throughout the city providing constructive and worthwhile projects to help improve the lives of the city’s most afflicted. No matter your skill-base, age, education level or length of stay, there are opportunities available to anyone willing to help.

General Cemetery – Visiting a cemetery on your travels may seem a little morbid, however Sucre’s General Cemetery is quite the opposite. Offering a peaceful hideaway from life’s stresses, many of Sucre’s locals go to the cemetery to read a book, catch up with friends or simply to contemplate life. As you enter the cemetery, make sure to take note of the bold sign above the entrance – Hodie Mihi Cras Tibi: Today Me, Tomorrow You.

Espacio Cultural Origenes Show One of Sucre’s must-see tourist attractions is Espacio Cultural Origenes’ folkloric show and dinner spectacular. The restaurant is set around a large stage where, almost every night of the week, they put on a colorful, high-energy dance show featuring traditional dances from Sucre and the rest of Bolivia.

San Francisco Basilica An asymmetric classically-styled temple with baroque influences, Iglesia San Francisco’s most notable feature is its liberty bell. The story goes that on the 25th of May in 1809, the Bolivian independence movement began with the ringing of the Basilica’s bell. The bell was rung so hard that it broke. The “freedom bell” as it came to be known is now kept on display in the Basilica.

La Glorieta Castle One of the oddest chapters in Bolivia’s history is the tale of its only prince and princess and the crazy, fairy-tale castle they built on the outskirts of Sucre. Designed by an Italian and British architect, the building is an eclectic, almost fantastical construction painted entirely in pink. Located 5.5km from the city centre, La Glorieta can be reached either by bus or by walking for 1 hour through Sucre’s green and peaceful countryside.

Avenida de las Americas Visitors to Sucre will usually find that they spend the majority of their time within a few blocks of the central square. Those willing to look further afield will come across Avenida de las Americas, a wide, imposing two-laned avenue adorned with manicured gardens, historical statues, dinosaur telephone boxes, a beautiful large flower clock as well as a handful of restaurants and bars frequented by locals.

Go To The Movies – After a long stint on the road, sometimes it’s nice to relax with a good movie. Sucre’s main cinema is CineSAS, showing many of the biggest releases at the same time as they premiere around the world. The cinema has 3 screens showing movies in either 2D, 3D or both. Depending on the movie it will either be in English, English with Spanish subtitles or dubbed into Spanish. On Wednesdays CineSAS offers 2 for 1 tickets, allowing you to see movies for as little as US$1.80 per person.

Paragliding With Joy Ride Tours – One of the most adventurous ways to experience Sucre’s city views is to go paragliding with Joy Ride Tours. The paragliding flight takes place in the skies above zona de Viña Pampa, 1.5hrs from Sucre. The take-off point is 500 meters above the landing site on the banks of the River Chico, giving a minimum flight time of 10 minutes. With favorable air currents, the flight can last up to 20 minutes.

Las Siete Cascadas – Those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life will appreciate a day trip to Las Siete Cascadas; a series of small waterfalls with natural swimming pools just 8 kilometres outside of Sucre. While the waterfalls themselves are not particularly remarkable, the gorge in which they’re located is stunning. On a sunny day, the picturesque area is filled with locals enjoying picnics with their family and friends as well as outdoor enthusiasts looking to spend the afternoon hiking, swimming, climbing and exploring the surrounding valleys.

Hike Or Climb Sica-Sica Sucre lies at the foot of the twin hills Sica-Sica and Churuquella. The peak of Cerro Sica-Sica is 2,732m above sea level, but only a few hundred metres above Sucre itself. At the top of a hill is a large crucifix which is illuminated at nights and often glows eerily against a backdrop of low-lying cloud. Sica-Sica offers panoramic views over the city, and climbing it is about a 2hr round trip from the center of town, making it a great way to spend a sunny morning (or afternoon). The hill is also a popular place for rock-climbing due to its proximity to the city and the presence of several rock-faces with routes suitable for a range of skill levels.

Where to Eat & Drink in Sucre

By plane

Located in El Alto, La Paz's international airport is the highest airport in the world at 4,058 m (13,313 ft). The distance between El Alto Airport and the centre of La Paz is around 20 kilometres with an estimated travel time of around 30 minutes. Be aware that during peak hours busses fill up fast, so factor in plenty of time in order to secure a seat.The price of a taxi to and from El Alto airport is Bs 70 ($10 US). Minibuses leave every 5 minutes from Plaza Isabel de Católica and pass by Plaza San Francisco. The cost is around Bs 4 ($0.60 US per person) and busses run daily from 6.15am to 9pm.

By bus

Traveling by bus tends to be the most common way all types of travelers get into La Paz, as they either start further up north or south in South America until they make their way into La Paz. Buses are the cheaper and usually, a more comfortable option, while also getting the chance to enjoy the different sceneries throughout the trip.

For those in Peru coming from Lima or Cusco to La Paz, we strongly recommend Bolivia Hop. They are hop-on, hop-off bus service offering a flexible bus pass (50+ options from long distance to short day trips), in which you can stay however long you want in any of the destinations, letting you enjoy travel at your own pace. Apart from this, there’s onboard bilingual assistance on all their busses, as well as discounts on accommodation. But the biggest advantage of traveling with Bolivia Hop with have to be the border-crossing assistance provided by the onboard guides, who will give you the necessary paperwork and instructions, all while making sure you don't get scammed or lost throughout the process. If you want to learn more about them, click here

For those coming from any of the other bordering countries, there are many options to choose from. But as with most things in life, you get what you pay for. We recommend to fully research the companies, read reviews, blog posts and/or contact the company if necessary!

The following links provide information on how to travel between La Paz and other popular destinations in Bolivia:

 

Where to Stay in Sucre

By plane

Located in El Alto, La Paz's international airport is the highest airport in the world at 4,058 m (13,313 ft). The distance between El Alto Airport and the centre of La Paz is around 20 kilometres with an estimated travel time of around 30 minutes. Be aware that during peak hours busses fill up fast, so factor in plenty of time in order to secure a seat.The price of a taxi to and from El Alto airport is Bs 70 ($10 US). Minibuses leave every 5 minutes from Plaza Isabel de Católica and pass by Plaza San Francisco. The cost is around Bs 4 ($0.60 US per person) and busses run daily from 6.15am to 9pm.

By bus

Traveling by bus tends to be the most common way all types of travelers get into La Paz, as they either start further up north or south in South America until they make their way into La Paz. Buses are the cheaper and usually, a more comfortable option, while also getting the chance to enjoy the different sceneries throughout the trip.

For those in Peru coming from Lima or Cusco to La Paz, we strongly recommend Bolivia Hop. They are hop-on, hop-off bus service offering a flexible bus pass (50+ options from long distance to short day trips), in which you can stay however long you want in any of the destinations, letting you enjoy travel at your own pace. Apart from this, there’s onboard bilingual assistance on all their busses, as well as discounts on accommodation. But the biggest advantage of traveling with Bolivia Hop with have to be the border-crossing assistance provided by the onboard guides, who will give you the necessary paperwork and instructions, all while making sure you don't get scammed or lost throughout the process. If you want to learn more about them, click here

For those coming from any of the other bordering countries, there are many options to choose from. But as with most things in life, you get what you pay for. We recommend to fully research the companies, read reviews, blog posts and/or contact the company if necessary!

The following links provide information on how to travel between La Paz and other popular destinations in Bolivia:

 

Shopping in Sucre

By plane

Located in El Alto, La Paz's international airport is the highest airport in the world at 4,058 m (13,313 ft). The distance between El Alto Airport and the centre of La Paz is around 20 kilometres with an estimated travel time of around 30 minutes. Be aware that during peak hours busses fill up fast, so factor in plenty of time in order to secure a seat.The price of a taxi to and from El Alto airport is Bs 70 ($10 US). Minibuses leave every 5 minutes from Plaza Isabel de Católica and pass by Plaza San Francisco. The cost is around Bs 4 ($0.60 US per person) and busses run daily from 6.15am to 9pm.

By bus

Traveling by bus tends to be the most common way all types of travelers get into La Paz, as they either start further up north or south in South America until they make their way into La Paz. Buses are the cheaper and usually, a more comfortable option, while also getting the chance to enjoy the different sceneries throughout the trip.

For those in Peru coming from Lima or Cusco to La Paz, we strongly recommend Bolivia Hop. They are hop-on, hop-off bus service offering a flexible bus pass (50+ options from long distance to short day trips), in which you can stay however long you want in any of the destinations, letting you enjoy travel at your own pace. Apart from this, there’s onboard bilingual assistance on all their busses, as well as discounts on accommodation. But the biggest advantage of traveling with Bolivia Hop with have to be the border-crossing assistance provided by the onboard guides, who will give you the necessary paperwork and instructions, all while making sure you don't get scammed or lost throughout the process. If you want to learn more about them, click here

For those coming from any of the other bordering countries, there are many options to choose from. But as with most things in life, you get what you pay for. We recommend to fully research the companies, read reviews, blog posts and/or contact the company if necessary!

The following links provide information on how to travel between La Paz and other popular destinations in Bolivia:

 

Events & Festivals in Sucre

The Pujllay Festival of TarabucoLocated in the Chuquisaca department, about 65 km east of Sucre, is a town famous not only for its vibrant open air market and unique Yampara culture, but its annual two-day weekend fiesta held each year on March 12.

Virgin of Guadalupe FestivalEach year, in the first half of September, the serene city of Sucre transforms into a voracious party zone featuring non-stop dancing, joyful music, delicious food and elaborate costumes, all in honour of Sucre’s patroness, the Virgin of Guadalupe.

Semana Santa – Semana Santa, or Holy Week, is the week leading up to, but not including, Easter Sunday. The Christian holiday is observed throughout Latin America with Sucre being no exception, though celebrations in Bolivia’s capital are more peaceful and subdued than elsewhere.

Carnaval Each year on the Saturday before Ash Wednesday, the usually tranquil city of Sucre comes alive for Carnival. The unique festival features spectacular folk dances, extravagant costumes, beautiful crafts, lively music, and up to 20 hours of continuous partying.

Christmas – Christmas in Sucre combines the best of traditional religious celebrations and Western festivities to produce a holiday which is both deeply meaningful and outrageously fun. It’s a unique blend, the likes of which you’ve probably never experienced before.

International Cultural Festival – Every two years, artists from all over the world flock to Sucre to partake in a festival of multicultural artistic expression. Held over two weeks in the months of October/November, more than 2000 local and international artists, writers, musicians and photographers come together to exhibit their works at the International Culture Festival.

Getting To, From & Around Sucre

By plane

Located in El Alto, La Paz's international airport is the highest airport in the world at 4,058 m (13,313 ft). The distance between El Alto Airport and the centre of La Paz is around 20 kilometres with an estimated travel time of around 30 minutes. Be aware that during peak hours busses fill up fast, so factor in plenty of time in order to secure a seat.The price of a taxi to and from El Alto airport is Bs 70 ($10 US). Minibuses leave every 5 minutes from Plaza Isabel de Católica and pass by Plaza San Francisco. The cost is around Bs 4 ($0.60 US per person) and busses run daily from 6.15am to 9pm.

By bus

Traveling by bus tends to be the most common way all types of travelers get into La Paz, as they either start further up north or south in South America until they make their way into La Paz. Buses are the cheaper and usually, a more comfortable option, while also getting the chance to enjoy the different sceneries throughout the trip.

For those in Peru coming from Lima or Cusco to La Paz, we strongly recommend Bolivia Hop. They are hop-on, hop-off bus service offering a flexible bus pass (50+ options from long distance to short day trips), in which you can stay however long you want in any of the destinations, letting you enjoy travel at your own pace. Apart from this, there’s onboard bilingual assistance on all their busses, as well as discounts on accommodation. But the biggest advantage of traveling with Bolivia Hop with have to be the border-crossing assistance provided by the onboard guides, who will give you the necessary paperwork and instructions, all while making sure you don't get scammed or lost throughout the process. If you want to learn more about them, click here

For those coming from any of the other bordering countries, there are many options to choose from. But as with most things in life, you get what you pay for. We recommend to fully research the companies, read reviews, blog posts and/or contact the company if necessary!

The following links provide information on how to travel between La Paz and other popular destinations in Bolivia:

 

Finding Wifi in Sucre

By plane

Located in El Alto, La Paz's international airport is the highest airport in the world at 4,058 m (13,313 ft). The distance between El Alto Airport and the centre of La Paz is around 20 kilometres with an estimated travel time of around 30 minutes. Be aware that during peak hours busses fill up fast, so factor in plenty of time in order to secure a seat.The price of a taxi to and from El Alto airport is Bs 70 ($10 US). Minibuses leave every 5 minutes from Plaza Isabel de Católica and pass by Plaza San Francisco. The cost is around Bs 4 ($0.60 US per person) and busses run daily from 6.15am to 9pm.

By bus

Traveling by bus tends to be the most common way all types of travelers get into La Paz, as they either start further up north or south in South America until they make their way into La Paz. Buses are the cheaper and usually, a more comfortable option, while also getting the chance to enjoy the different sceneries throughout the trip.

For those in Peru coming from Lima or Cusco to La Paz, we strongly recommend Bolivia Hop. They are hop-on, hop-off bus service offering a flexible bus pass (50+ options from long distance to short day trips), in which you can stay however long you want in any of the destinations, letting you enjoy travel at your own pace. Apart from this, there’s onboard bilingual assistance on all their busses, as well as discounts on accommodation. But the biggest advantage of traveling with Bolivia Hop with have to be the border-crossing assistance provided by the onboard guides, who will give you the necessary paperwork and instructions, all while making sure you don't get scammed or lost throughout the process. If you want to learn more about them, click here

For those coming from any of the other bordering countries, there are many options to choose from. But as with most things in life, you get what you pay for. We recommend to fully research the companies, read reviews, blog posts and/or contact the company if necessary!

The following links provide information on how to travel between La Paz and other popular destinations in Bolivia:

 

Further Reading

By plane

Located in El Alto, La Paz's international airport is the highest airport in the world at 4,058 m (13,313 ft). The distance between El Alto Airport and the centre of La Paz is around 20 kilometres with an estimated travel time of around 30 minutes. Be aware that during peak hours busses fill up fast, so factor in plenty of time in order to secure a seat.The price of a taxi to and from El Alto airport is Bs 70 ($10 US). Minibuses leave every 5 minutes from Plaza Isabel de Católica and pass by Plaza San Francisco. The cost is around Bs 4 ($0.60 US per person) and busses run daily from 6.15am to 9pm.

By bus

Traveling by bus tends to be the most common way all types of travelers get into La Paz, as they either start further up north or south in South America until they make their way into La Paz. Buses are the cheaper and usually, a more comfortable option, while also getting the chance to enjoy the different sceneries throughout the trip.

For those in Peru coming from Lima or Cusco to La Paz, we strongly recommend Bolivia Hop. They are hop-on, hop-off bus service offering a flexible bus pass (50+ options from long distance to short day trips), in which you can stay however long you want in any of the destinations, letting you enjoy travel at your own pace. Apart from this, there’s onboard bilingual assistance on all their busses, as well as discounts on accommodation. But the biggest advantage of traveling with Bolivia Hop with have to be the border-crossing assistance provided by the onboard guides, who will give you the necessary paperwork and instructions, all while making sure you don't get scammed or lost throughout the process. If you want to learn more about them, click here

For those coming from any of the other bordering countries, there are many options to choose from. But as with most things in life, you get what you pay for. We recommend to fully research the companies, read reviews, blog posts and/or contact the company if necessary!

The following links provide information on how to travel between La Paz and other popular destinations in Bolivia:

 

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