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Visit Sucre

How to Spend Your Downtime in Sucre

Sucre offers a wealth of things to do and see to all who come to visit and study Spanish amongst its white neo-classical buildings, neat plazas and quirky nooks and crannies. The hub of the city has to be Plaza 25 de Mayo where you can sit and watch the bustling Bolivian world go by. It is framed by the city's impressive Cathedral, the Alcaldía (City Government) and the historically important Casa de la Libertad, where Simon Bolivar founded the Republic and also where the Bolivian Declaration of Independence is to be found. Along each edge of the plaza there are pleasant cafes and places to sit, even a few gourmet chocolate shops, which aren't cheap by Bolivian standards, but taste delicious. 'Para Tí Chocolates' is one of the best. It has speciality 'quinoa chocolate', hardly surprising as Bolivian's love this stuff and use it at any opportunity they can, that should be tried if you get the chance.

Basilica

If on the look out for a bit of culture whilst visiting Sucre, and Churches and Museums are of particular interest to you, then you are in the right place. The Basilica de San Francisco is a 16th Century Church found in the town centre on the corner of Avenida Aniceto Arce and Calle Capitán Ravelo. It houses the Liberty bell used to initiate the cry for independence from the Spanish in 1809, an important symbol for the people of Sucre, and is ornately decorated with a Mudejar style ceiling and gold leaf alter. It is a popular spot for weddings so keep an eye out and you might catch a glimpse of a typical Bolivian celebration. Also in the town centre, on the Calle Nicolas Ortiz, is the Temple and Convent of San Felipe Neri. It was built by slaves and founded by monks in the 18th Century and contains some impressive artwork, a delightful courtyard and a Mudejar style roof terrace with fantastic views of the city.

Speaking of good views, and also churches as it happens, the best place by far in the city for panoramic pleasures is the Monastery of Recoleta. Whilst located a short walk u quite a steep hill out of the town, it is worth a few moments of puffing and panting. At the top you will find the Monastery, a museum with work from a number of Bolivian artists and the Mirador Cafe, a perfect spot for a refreshment with beautiful views of the city below. There are also often crafts sellers and musical events held here in the picturesque setting of the large central courtyard.

It may be hard to believe, but museums are perhaps even more plentiful than churches in Sucre. The largest anthropological museum in Bolivia is to be found here and it contains an extensive collection of artifacts and relics, amongst which are Incan mummies, ceramics and textiles. The Modern Art Museum houses mainly work from Bolivian Artists and the Santa Clara Museum contains a vast collection of colonial, religious art. Also worth a look are the Natural History Museum, complete with plenty of stuffed animals and the museum found inside the Casa de la Libertad, documenting Bolivia's path to freedom and independence.

Outside of the city there is an abundance of things to do during your time in Sucre, perhaps as part of a Spanish language course. A trip that comes recommended is visiting the dinosaur tracks at Cal Orkco where you can see the longest track of dinosaur footprints in the world, left by a dinosaur known as 'Johnny Walker' and various other footprints left by a brontosaurus, a tyrannosaurus and a carosaur. To visit it there is a 'Dino Truck' that leaves Sucre town centre at various times throughout the day.

If all this puts you in the mood for more adventure, then head off in search of the 'Siete Cascadas' or Seven Waterfalls. To do this you will have to take a taxi or a 'micro' (the city buses in Sucre) to the small town of Alegria, from which you can hike to the waterfalls. You could pack a picnic of juicy salteñas from the Central Market and make a day of it, walking and swimming in the pools.

Bolivia Tarbuco

For something truly and authentically Bolivian then you have to experience the Sunday market at nearby Tarabuco where the indigenous folk come to sell their wares. It is a whirlwind of colour, bartering and savoury aromas and it is hard to leave without spending at least a few Bolivianos.

Back in the town centre, the perfect place for some relaxation is the charming Bolivar Park, where you can admire a mini Eiffel Tower (and even climb it if you wish), a disused train and the Bolivian Supreme Tribunal. The park is particularly popular with young lovers, soaking up the closest thing they can get to a little bit of the European city of love.

Sucre is a fun city to spend some time in and attending a Spanish school here will give you a priceless insight into the lifestyle of the Indigenous communities of the region, mixed with the modernity brought by the influence of the University students and the many foreigners that have chosen to spend time here and even to make Sucre their home. Moreover, as a place to learn Spanish Bolivia is renowned for being one of the best due to their quite neutral accent and understandable pronunciation, combined with the good value of their Spanish courses, especially One to One lessons which elsewhere would be incredibly pricey.