Sucre, Bolivia was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Sight in 1991. It’s a bustling modern city in comparison to its surrounding regions. The old colonial streets are smeared with a mix of multi-culture faces and indigenous people. The city sits at 2,790m above sea level and its temperatures are mild and pleasant. It is nice to be in manageable elevations once again. You can breathe with out huffing and puffing and your energy appears out of the thin air putting a bit more pep in your step. Although La Paz took Sucre’s status of the Governmental Capital it is still known as the judicial capital of Bolivia.
There are a handful of sights to see and an array of churches and cathedrals scattered around the city. It’s the home of La Casa De La Libertad. This is the most important building of Bolivia. It was erected in 1621 and was the birth place of the republic. Simón Bolivar wrote and signed the constitution in these walls. The Salón De La Indepencia houses the Bolivian Declaration of Independence. Most of the churches have steep staircases that lead to the bell towers where you can get some spectacular views.
From the town square you can hop on a tour bus that will drive you out to the spot where they have excavated and found dinosaur tracks walking across a mountain’s wall. The tracks were originally found completely on accident after workers were mining in recent years. There are four types of dinosaurs found in South America that have not been found anywhere else. The tracks are as vivid to the eye as if they were made yesterday. At one point the mountain wall was a flat stretch of land. But through the centuries the tectonic plates and earthquakes caused the ground to rise and created the mountain range we see today. There is a museum that has been recently built around the fossils themselves. It has only been there for the past three years and was erected in hopes to preserve the fossils from the relentless rainy seasons. There is an English speaking guide that seemed so into her job she made you feel a part of the excavation team. Her enthusiasm was contagious and you could not help but bluster with excitement.
Outside of Sucre is a small village nestled in the mountains bringing milder temperatures with the higher elevation. Tarabuco is a predominantly indigenous village. It is famous for its Sunday market and Phujllay festivities. It is a place full of photo opportunities with people not very willing to be photographed. Take a leisure stroll through the market and view the handicrafts and wide range of stalls set up and decorated to impress.
You can hop on a shared taxi and journey with the locals to there secret corner of the world. It is quite off the beaten track and not too many foreigners appear to have walked these adobe streets outside of market day. The people are curious and stare intensely. The occasional grumpy old lady in her bola hat will spout something in Spanish and make a hand gesture as her wrinkled lips curl in a frown. They use these tactics to distract you so be leery of picked pockets. Unless your spending money you do not seem to be very welcomed. The people like there peace and are not to willing to share it with a stranger’s face. If you have a curious heart that wants to see some great mountain views the ride to Tarabuco is more interesting then the village itself.
Sucre and the surrounding areas have a wide range of personalities from curious to scared, all the way to simply downright mean. Bolivia in general is a bit more rustic than the rest of South America. The poverty is visible but the scenery is rich. The back drop is covered with mountain tops and cloudless blue skies. The distant stares are enough to make you feel compelled to encourage a smile from behind their deep brown eyes. You’ll never get tired trying and it makes for a good laugh when you fail.
FOR MORE INFO: For questions or comments you can contact Rebecca Hosking. If you would like to read more of the traveling lite series please visit. All photos were taken by Rebecca Hosking. All rights reserved. copyright 2009