Potosi remains intact, not only in its architecture, but also with the presence of indigenous cultures, In its landscape stands out the imposing Cerro Rico in combination with all buildings, churches and towers with characteristic roofs of the colonial era.
The declaration of world heritage conferred on the colonial cities of Potosi and Sucre, as the most important in America and the world during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, testifies that these gems of that era showed metropolitan splendor, to be considered so important and cosmopolitan as London or Paris. Exploiting the silver mines of Cerro Rico de Potosi led to the development and the European apogee.
The magnificence of the urban layout, the rich and diverse architecture of the temples, palaces, monuments, houses and villas, show the wealth of its inhabitants, but also of exploitation and indigenous blood that costed the extraction, transport of mineral and the construction of such sudden grandeur.
Potosi is a city of the Republic of Bolivia, capital of the department of Potosí. Its average altitude is 4067 meters above sea level, according to the National Statistics Institute of Bolivia, its population was 164,481 inhabitants in 2007 although that figure is disputed by the Mayor who claims that there are more than 200,000 people in its jurisdiction. It extends to the slopes of Cerro Rico, a legendary mountain that has a large vein of silver, which always dominated the city's skyline. It is the third highest city in the world.
Potosi was the world's most populous city with some 160,000 inhabitants, more than London, Paris or Madrid because of the generosity of the imposing Cerro Rico de Potosi which housed inside the most coveted silver veins of the world, with a production that could've built a bridge between Potosi and Madrid. In 1987, Potosi was declared by the UNESCO a Cultural Heritage Site.
When you visit Potosí your attention will be drawn to all the different contrasts that can be seen. The people wear fine handmade wollen clothes, thus continuing the tradition of Quechua ancestry. Then the Creole descendants who wear modern clothes.
The museums, churches and mines of the department are the most important attractions, however due to the height it is advisable to take a good rest before starting the tours. Always starting from the main square to the Cerro Rico you will pass through more than 80 churches or what's left of them built more than four centuries ago. Be sure to appreciate the Cerro Rico, which is perforated with over 5000 tunnels made by mining activities in the exploitation of silver.
THE CERRO RICO
Overlooking the Cerro Magnífico(Sumaj Orcko), which dominates the town and its mines, imposed from every standpoint while in Potosi. The mine Pilaviri (4200Mt.) belonging to COMIBOL, is the oldest mine in Potosi, continuously working since 1545, silver was mined here and now tin is exploited The hill had more than 5,000 mine shafts and tunnels many of them interconnected.
The panoramic view from this hill is beautiful, the city to the north, to the east the Cordillera Kari Kari and its famous artificial lakes, in the south the Tahuaco Nunu (virgin's nipple) and the road to Cinti, Tarija and Argentina. To the west the Nuevo Mundo Volcano, in the midst of a huge volcanic tufa plateau.
CASA REAL DE LA MONEDA
It is certainly the most important building of the colonial civil architecture in South America. Its construction started probably in 1750, concluding on July 31, 1773, at a cost of 1,487,452 pesos and 6 reales.
Its builder and architect was San Salvador de Vila, who had designed and built the mints of Mexico and Lima.
The gallery, collections of furniture, fabrics, costumes of numismatic and anthropology, offer visitors and students many cultural opportunities.
The view of the artificial lagoons, located east of the city and built by order of the Viceroy Toledo, in 1575 approximately, it is of great technical interest, since given the era, they represent excellent works of hydraulic engineering, currently storing water in times of rain for later use in the potable water system of the city.
Its main objective was that precisely, to collect water during the rainy season and use it later in the process of amalgamation. These lagoons are San Sebastian, Chaviri, Ppisco Ccocha, San Idelfonso Laccka Chaca.
UYUNI SALT FLAT
One of the largest salt deposits in the world. With a truly amazing landscape, it is a great white vastness. Do not try to cross it without a guide.
Famous for its color and its James flamingos.
Old town and Colla villa, before the Incas and the founding of Potosi. With an interesting geological structure of colorful red sandstone. Your tour ends with the Devil's Cave.
Beautiful church from 1750, with Baroque altar and carved cover.
COMMUNITY ENTREPRENEURSHIP “CABALAS TURÍSTICAS POTOLO JALKAS - ASUR”
This entrepreneur is located in the department of Chuquisaca, in the Oropeza Province, municipality of Sucre, on the #8 district Potolo. Within the destination “Sucre”.
Services: Hosteling, hikes, cabañas, artistic shows, fabrics.