July 10, 2014 – July 13, 2014
After exploring the badlands of Bolivia for dinosaur footprints we headed to civilization in the beautiful city of Sucre, Bolivia. Sucre has been called the nicest city in Bolivia and after visiting we agree. Colonial buildings filled with fancy shops line streets dotted with beautiful green public parks. The poverty visible in much of the country is noticeably absent here.
Another noticeable difference in Sucre is the abundance of food. There is a huge daily marketplace next the city center and the restaurants here have full menus. Often throughout Bolivia restaurants will display an impressive menu filled with options but then tell you that they are out of nearly everything. In one case we visited a large restaurant in La Paz, with a seven page menu and everything we asked for they said they were out of, when we asked what did they have, they responded bacon and rice.
I had my first real cup of coffee in all of Bolivia in Sucre, and we went out to a French restaurant to celebrate my birthday, one of the nicest restaurants in town, and went all out ordering a five course meal and bottle of wine for both of us, the cost …about US $45. Krista also fulfilled her week long craving for a real caesar salad.
Part of the reason for the wealth of the city is that Sucre is Bolivia’s capital. But wait isn’t La Paz the capital? Bolivia actually has two capitals with the government functions split between the two cities. La Paz is the administrative capital and home of the president, while Sucre is the constitutional capital.
Government buildings in Sucre.
Krista discovered salteñas, meat and vegetables in a hot soup cooked inside a crispy flaky crust. Think hand held chicken or beef pot pie or hot pocket and you have the idea. We visited a restaurant called The Patio which specializes in them and was packed with people ordering just salteñas.
All over Bolivia and indeed much of South America you can find rugs, tablecloths and other fabrics woven by the indigenous people. In Sucre we visited a museum dedicated to some of the best examples from a variety of small villages around Bolivia. Some of them were painstakingly crafted with very fine details and often sell for hundreds or even thousands of US dollars.
Throughout the city can found many older cars that have been customized into rally cars. Customized cars are popular in Sucre and can be seen and heard throughout the city.
We stayed at a nice hotel across the street from the marketplace near the center of the town.
The city may have many modern niceties but the water should still be filtered or even better just buy bottled water and be careful about eating any raw vegetables or salads that may have been washed in tap water. I got sick in Sucre and twice overall in Bolivia, more than any other country in South America, and we heard stories from other travelers all saying Bolivia has the worst water.
Besides the risky water we found Sucre to be a great city to relax in and enjoy some modern conveniences, it is a must for anyone traveling through Bolivia.