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Potosi, located at 3,826 meters over the sea level, is one of the highest cities in the world. Near Potosi is "Cerro Rico", with a history that dates back to the years of the Spanish conquest.

Potosi Bolivia Tourism

Visiting Potosi you will learn part of America's history, enjoying the city’s colonial buildings and discovering the life of Cerro Rico miners.

Potosi (Potosi Imperial Villa) was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco.

How to get to Potosi

Potosi has a new bus terminal to which different companies connect the city with the rest of the country.
Estimated travel time by bus to and from Potosí: La Paz: 11 hours; Sucre: 3 hours; Uyuni: 7 hours; Oruro: 8 hours; Villazon: 11 hours; Tarija: 14 hours.

The Cathedral
Built in 1808 with stones and bricks, it has a central dome and two towers. Potosi Cathedral is one of the most characteristic temples with a neoclassical architectural style. Inside there are important gold and silver religious relics. You will also find an organ donated by Simon I. Patiño. A sector operates as a religious art museum.

The Tower Company
This symbol of the city is an eighteenth century religious convent. The building was conceived as a triumphal arch with five openings, 32 columns and three domes. The Tower can be visited and from its summit you get a privileged view of Potosi. Hours: 8.30 am to 12 pm and from 2.30 to 6 pm.

Potosi.Mines Tour
Potosi Travel Information

The Mint (Casa de la Moneda)
This is the main museum in Potosi. It was built in 1759 to function as mint. The building’s patios, cedar doors, roofs and windows missed is an architectural attraction. Today it is a museum with several galleries devoted to painting and the arts, history, numismatics and machinery for minting coins. (See useful links).

San Francisco Church and Convent
The building was begun in 1707, the church of San Francisco has a tower with two bodies, a beautiful cover and an outdoor altar for the cross. In its inside, with Baroque ornamentation, it has work of architecture in wood altar and pulpit. In the temple you will contemplate the image of Christ of Vera Cruz dating from 1550, which makes it the oldest in Bolivia. This building also holds a museum that can be visited from Monday to Friday from 9-11 pm and from 2.30 to 5 pm, and Saturday mornings.

Potosi in Bolivia
Potosi City in Bolivia
Bolivia Travel Guide

Visit to the Cerro Rico mines

An unforgettable tour is to visit the mines of Cerro Rico. On the hill there are several mining cooperatives that extract minerals such as zinc and lead in fairly primitive ways. Many of these cooperatives receive tourists, so some travel agencies have an agreement with them to bring visitors. The visit to the mines shows the miners´ stark reality, working extremely hard, in extreme conditions and often suffering serious or even fatal accidents to extract the ore that will en exchange for little money.

The Pailaviri mine (4,200 meters over the sea level), belonging to COMIBOL, is the oldest mine in Potosi. It's been worked non-stop since 1545, with the extraction of silver and tin. The hill had more than 5,000 mine entrances and tunnels, and many of them are interconnected.

Before visiting the mine you should go through the Mining Market, where they sell picks, shovels, coca leaves, alcohol, wicks and dynamite sticks. In the market it's convenient that you buy a present, such as coca, to bring the miners.

Some tourists come to the mines on their own, taking a "combi" (small bus) from the center of Potosi and arrange the tour with the miners themselves in the Cerro Rico. This is a freer option (for those who choose to travel on their own) but it can also be more risky.

More places in Potosí:

Tarapaya thermal baths

This volcanic lake is popular for its hot springs with healing properties. It's located 25 km from Potosi and it's easily accessible on "micros" (busses) and "combis" (small busses).

Kari Kari Lagoons

These lagoons were built after the Spanish viceroy's order in the sixteenth century. It has a very advanced technology for its time. Lagoons are used to accumulate rainwater for domestic consumption. They are located 8 km from Potosí and in the area you can make different walks.

Miraflores Thermal Baths

Made in the colonial era, with stone arches in the sulfurous hot springs. It is 18 km from Potosi on the road to Oruro.

Tourismo in Potosi, Bolivia Mines in Potosi Potosi Travel Information Bolivia

Potosi Travel


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