Potosí, located at 3826 meters above sea level, is one of the highest cities in the world. Next to the city is the Cerro Rico whose history dates back to the Spanish conquest years. It was here that the greatest wealth of Bolivia was extracted during the time of the colony.
To visit Potosí is to know part of the history of America, to enjoy the city with its colonial buildings and to discover the life of the miners of Cerro Rico.
Potosí (Villa Imperial de Potosí) was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco.
How to get to Potosí?
Potosí has a new bus terminal to which different companies that connect the city with the rest f the country arrive and depart.
Estimated time of travel by bus from and to Potosí: La Paz 11 hours. Sucre 3 hs. Uyuni 7 hs. Oruro 8 hs. Villazón 11 hs. Tarija 14 hs.
Other attractions in Potosí
Tower of the Company
Church and Convent of San Francisco
Visit to the Cerro Rico mines
The Pailaviri mine (4200Mt.) Belonging to COMIBOL, is the oldest mine in Potosí, in continuous work since 1545; There the silver was spread and the tin is now exploded. The hill came to have more than 5,000 bocaminas and many of them interconnected.
Before visiting the mine is recommended to pass through the Mining Market, where they sell from spikes, shovels, coca leaves, alcohol to wicks and cartridges of dynamite. In the market it is a good idea to buy some present to take to the miners, like for example coca.
Some tourists arrive at the mines on their own, taking some “combi” from the center of Potosí and on the hill arrange the tour with the miners themselves. This option is freer but also riskier.