Resting at the foot of the Cerro Rico mountain, Potosí is the capital city of the Potosí department in Bolivia and one of the few cities in the world that are the highest in terms of elevation. It is a city best known for its silver mines and has also earned the status of a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Bolivia is a democratic country located in the midst of South America and is known for being geographically diverse and multi ethnic. The country possesses great potential for tourism because of the cultural heritage, diverse geography and a history that is saturated with tasteful cuisines.
The word “Potosi” extracts its origin from Mexico, where its meaning reflects “hope for equal riches”. Potosi came into existence in the year 1546, after the rich silver deposits were found on this piece of land. This new discovery made Potosi one the wealthiest cities in South America. What should top your “things to do in Potosi” list, is a visit to the cooperative mines. Your tour to this city cannot be considered complete without paying visit to this site and crossing it of your “things to do in Potosi” list. If you are still wondering about the things to do in Bolivia, pack your bags and head toward city’s centre. The history of the place is reflected from every brick present here, where all you want to do is get up and explore the destination. Convento de San Francisco is defined as the best spot for tourists. However, you have to book a guided tour to visit this place. For the best view, get to the roof top by climbing the stairs and observe the view of Potosi and Cerro Rico. The design of the tiles embedded on the roof top of this place is something that cannot be missed.
For sightseeing, there are a number of places to visit in Potosi, which is considered to be one of the wealthiest cities of South America. The mines of Cerro Rico are considered to be the world’s largest mines of silver, as they yield the production of 60,000 annually. This colonial city is located on an even higher altitude than the Andes, being 13,500 ft or 4,050 cm high. In Potosi, you can begin your day by having a few sips of the coca tea, to cut back on the fatigue of yesterday, which may be the result of all the walking and exploration. In this city, which has been protected by UNESCO, if you walk down the hill, on the flat roads, you cannot resist staring at the beautiful infrastructure of this place. The well maintained streets belonging to the colonial era connect you with the 16th and 17th century. In order to get the best view of the city, you can climb 100 of stairs, get on the top of the cathedral and enjoy the incredible sight. Casa Nacional de Moneda, is a museum present in the city and one of the places to visit in Potosi that features the religious, contemporary and other forms of art. If you want to observe the work of the nuns and the Christian monarchy, you better visit Convento de Santa Teresa. Other popular places to look up for once you reach Potosi are Reserva Avaroa, Train Cemetery, Laguna Verde, National Mint of Bolivia, Cerro Rico and Miner's Market.
The National Mint of Bolivia is one of the star attractions of this area and paying a visit to this place is one of the highly recommended things to do in Bolivia. It is one of the finest museums located in South America. Visiting this place should be on your “things to do in Bolivia list”. There are many things to do in the National Mint apart from the actual sightseeing. But obviously, you would not like to miss the view of the historical treasures located in this place, therefore make sightseeing your priority and plan rest of the things for later.
The place exhibits some of the most fascinating collection of paintings by Mélchor Perez de Holguín. The last coins were minted at this destination back in the year 1953. However, the Bolivian coins that you are going to use to get access to the museum are made in Chile and Canada, with the alloys of copper and zinc. The old building where the first mint was constructed back in the year 1572 has now been replaced by a striking one, which takes up the whole block of the city. If you need the tour of the place, you can choose the language of your choice, for tours in English and French are available upon the request of the visitors.
If you are planning to visit the Potosi Mines, you should first head towards the Miner’s market to grab some supplies. In the Miner’s market, you will find shops that are selling diverse things. If you are looking for tools, you are at the right place and even if you are looking for things like coca leaves, you will find them in the Miner’s market. There are a lot of things to do in the Miner’s Market including shopping.
The Coca leaves are readily found here, as they are the crucial part of their diet. One of the interesting things to do in Bolivia also includes shopping for souvenirs from the Miner’s Market, as you can find a lot of affordable items that could be given as giveaways to friends and relatives, when you get back home. These items include coca leaves, soda or Miner’s gloves that are used by them while working. Such items can be used as the representation of Potosi in your homeland. If you ever visit this place, do not forget to try the strong alcohol which is a favorite of the miners and is considered to be the specialty of that area.
The visitors claim that they have never experienced such a surreal view before in their lives, as they experience it in here. This place offers a perfect amalgam of geological features, animals and colors. There are various shades of brown that you may experience at this place. Exploring and sightseeing are two of the things to do in Reserva Avaroa. This place is located in the southwestern part of Bolivia, offering variety of landscapes that spreads over the area of 2,760 kilometers.
Visiting this place is counted as the best things to do in Bolivia, as you do not want to miss such a phenomenal landscape under the blue sky. Through the desert floor towers the smoking volcano that is also considered to be a worth visiting site. Another thing that adds to this breath taking view is the flock of flamingos that is part of the wildlife of this area. This is a location that is highly recommended by the tourists for visiting purposes, as it offers the combination of various experiences. You can directly communicate with the nature at Reserva Avaroa.
Uyuni, is one of the significant places in Potosi due to its crucial commercial location. The railways running from Chile and Argentina merge here. This place can also be considered as the entrance of this geographically diverse country. There is a weird place located in this area, known as the “Train Cemetery” which encloses the skeletons of abandoned wagons and trains. There are many things to do Train Cemetery in spite of its chilly and windy weather. Visiting this place is something that you should consider, when thinking about the things to do in Bolivia.
The train service in this area has been inactive and quite limited as there is only one rail route available that is being used. If you consider yourself to be a train fanatic, then this place would serve as a playground for you, where you can climb over the top of the train skeletons. You can capture some great shots of the abandoned train and add them to your travel dairies. The location of this place is something that makes it worth visiting, when you plan your things to do in Bolivia.
Laguna Verde is a lake located on the southernmost tip of the country Bolivia. This lake is located along the borders of Argentina and Chile. This place consists of the world’s most spectacular and wildest landscape. Laguna Verde appears to be green from a distance, which forms the origin of its name. The water gives a striking color to this lake, where three species of the flamingos breed. The town that is nearest to the location of Laguna Verde is Uyuni that is easily accessible through train and bus. There is no means of air transport available in this area.
If you are thinking of the things to do in Laguna Verde, you better get ready for the magnificent view that would take your breath away for a second or two. If you are planning on travelling alone to this place, it would be better to talk to the locals and book a tour for that would be a more feasible option for you, if you want to enjoy the mesmerizing view of this place without stress. Visiting Laguna Verde is suggested as things to do in Bolivia by the tourists who frequently visit this area, as the breathtaking view of this place is enough to leave you stunned for a moment.
Salar de Uyuni is the world's largest salt flat that is situated near the crest of the Andes in Bolivia. It is located in the in the city of Potosi in Daniel Campos province to the south western side of the country. The salt flat was formed due to alterations between different prehistoric lakes. It is covered by salt crust while the entire area has an exceptional flatness with the average altitude varying less than a meter over the entire area. The crust of the area serves as a salt source and is covered with brine that is rich in lithium. In fact, around 50% to 70% of the world's lithium reserves can be found in the region's crust.
Visitors will be spoilt for choice when it comes to things to do in Salar de Uyuni. Isla Incahuasi is a prominent hilly area that is located in the middle of Salar de Uyuni. The area is famous due to its unusual coral like structure consisting of algae and fossils. The place is said to be the remains of an ancient volcano that was submerged in a prehistoric lake.
A number of salt hotels are located in Salar de Uyuni that are built entirely with salt blocks. The hotel is filled with foreign tourists for most part of the year. Here you can find exotic flora and fauna that is unique to the region including James' Flamengo, Culpeo, giant cacti, Bolivian, vizchcha, Andean goose, Andean hillstar, and Andean flamingoes. Apart from that, you can find many other fun, exciting, and interesting things to do in Salar de Uyuni.