Sucre claims to be the capital of Bolivia and it is the city where the nation first asserted its independence. Quiet, laid back and removed from the bustle of La Paz, it is a place where travellers stop far longer than they originally intended.
Here are the 5 reasons you should go…
Relax, Disconnect and Reconnect in Sucre
If you want lively nightlife, commuters dashing to catch buses and a buzzing cultural scene, then turn back now. Sucre is not the place for you. However, travellers who plan to stay for a day or two often struggle to drag themselves away a week or two later. Why? Sucre seduces with its sleepy charms. Spend an afternoon sitting on a bench in the Main Square. Watch as street entertainers and families emerge for their walks at nightfall. Climb the long main street to the Recoleta Convent to get views across the city. Get back online over a chat with the charming owner of the Bibliocafé Classic (while wolfing down a delicious strawberry pancake).
Welcome to the Hotel California of your South American journey! Such a lovely place, really!
Visit a Unique Building
Take in the vista across the red roofs of the city from the unique San Felipe Neri Convent. Housing a school, you will need to go there in the afternoon during term time. Unprepossessing from the outside, photographers will swoon over the colonial architecture. The shots of the city… This is another place to languish for the afternoon. If time permits, don’t forget to pop into the nearby Templo Nuestra Señora de la Merced. There you can climb the bell tower for more relaxation and great views.
Walk in the Footsteps of Dinosaurs
Take a bus or a taxi out to the Parque Cretácico (Cal Orck’o) just outside the city. Workmen quarrying for stone in the early 90s discovered the perfectly intact footprints of dinosaurs from the Cretaceous period. This was their watering hole and their footprints are still clearly visible in the rock face. Along with replicas of these giants, there is an informative film in the visitor centre. For the total hands-on experience, there are tours right up to the rock face. Click here to read more on my visit to this unusual attraction.
Learn Spanish and Get Involved In Sucre
With its relaxed, safe atmosphere and colonial charms, Sucre is many travellers’ choice destination to learn Spanish. Costs are low and there is a whole range of language schools from which to choose. For those who want to learn more about the local culture, most schools can arrange homestays. Many schools also work with local charitable organisations where students can volunteer. Academia Andina offers all the above of the above in a small, family-run setting. Click here to discover more about learning Spanish in Sucre.
Visit the Birthplace of Bolivian Independence
Learn about the role the city played in the Bolivian fight for independence at Casa de la Libertad. See where great men sat, oaths were sworn and walk in the footsteps of the legendary Bolivar. Sucre, his right-hand man, gave his name to the city. Key moments in the struggle played out in this very building. Located in the Main Square, this monument should not be missed, particularly if you wish to understand local pride in the city. After all, they still claim to be the rightful capital of the country.
Museo del Convento de la Recoleta: Polanco 162, Sucre, Bolivia
Bibliocafé Classic: Nicolas Ortiz #50
Convento de San Felip Neri: Ortíz 165, Sucre
Cretaceous Park: http://www.parquecretacicosucre.com/¨
Academia Andina (Spanish School) http://academiaandina.com/
Casa de la Libertad http://www.casadelalibertad.org.bo/