White Walls of Sucre, Bolivia

Sucre’s white buildings and terracotta rooftops from the roof of the Church of San Felipe Neri. The steeples of the city’s many churches make the cityscape that much more beautiful.

As I think about some of the more beautiful cities I’ve visited over the years, Sucre always comes to mind.  I recently revisited my photo collection from a trip to Bolivia a few years back after stumbling across a few gems of Sucre on my screen saver.  Sucre…what a beauty!  I remember how wonderful it was to leisurely visit such a beautiful and peaceful city after spending a month working in a rural Bolivian clinic (which was awesome in it’s own right).  And, honestly, what stands out most in my memory is walking amongst the white walls, terracotta rooftops, and wonderfully blue skies.  So, I want to share this visual with you in a few photos.

Plaza 25 de Mayo, the heart of the city, Sucre’s central plaza, where people come for all…to rest amongst the gardens, enjoy concerts, or to protest injustices. This beautiful plaza is surrounded by shops, restaurants, museums, the city’s first cathedral, the Prefecture (state government building), the municipal building, and Casa de la Libertad (independence hall).

Sucre is the constitutional capital of Bolivia, meaning that it shares capital status with La Paz and houses the Supreme Court.  It is the City of Four Names.  In 1538, it was founded as Ciudad de la Plata de la Nueva Toledo ( Silver City of New Toledo).  It has since been known as Charcas, Chuquisaca, and, now, Sucre.  Sitting at 9,000 ft, this city has a cool temperate climate year-round.  Narrow streets.  Colonial architecture.  Convents and churches at every turn.  It’s no wonder that this place has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1991.  Combine this rich history and beautiful architecture with a strong university, lots of arts and culture, and a large indigenous population, and you have a very interesting and charming place to be.

Wandering about in this super charming city is enjoyable in it’s own right. But, in wandering, you find great restaurants, galleries, plazas, markets, churches to explore.

The Prefecture from within Plaza 25 de Mayo

Another beautiful view from within Plaza 25 de Mayo. Resting the feet and watching people stroll by.

Catedral Metropolitana, the city’s first cathedral. One of my favorite photos from Sucre. The city is enchanting by night.


View of the over 400 year old Church of San Felipe Neri (Oratorio de San Felipe de Neri) from it’s own rooftop. Really cool rooftop to visit.


Great views of the city from both the roof and the belltower of Church de San Felipe Neri.  This church is honored for the “bell of freedom” which called for a revolt in 1809.


Another beautiful view from within the belltower of San Felipe Neri.


Sucre’s terracotta skyline from the roof of San Felipe Neri.  You can see the top of the Prefecture on Plaza 25 de Mayo.


What’s amazing about this charming city is that you see university students, workers, indigenous people, tourists all mesh together without a beat skipped.


Mercado Central, the city’s main farmer’s market, where you can go to find produce, meats, spices….and great food stalls, including amazing smoothie stands.


Just a few miles out of town, you’ll find Cal Orck’o, where a guide will educate you about the history of dinosaurs in the ares.


You, then, venture out to inspect the sheer rock faces of Cal Orck’o, where you can find over 400 dinosaur footprints exposed through years of erosion and mining.  While the excursion feels a bit cheesy, it really is quite difficult to not get a little excited about the ability to reach out and touch surfaces that the giant reptiles once stood on.


Welcome to Tarabuco…2 hours by bus from Sucre.  Sunday is market day, and the Yampara people travel for hours for this weekly market.


The Yampara people are well known for their beautiful weavings, which you can find in abundance here at the Tarabuco market.


I found the dress of the Yambara people to be so interesting. Relatively plain clothing but with beautifully vibrant pieces of cloth as scarves or vehicles to carry things (such as children…or chickens!) and interesting hats.


Some of the best hats…

Check out this amazing photo essay by OverYonderlust for more beautiful photos of this market town…puts my photos to shame.


And the drive back to Sucre…ain’t too shabby.


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