South America Living

Sucre, Bolivia Travel Guide

Wrought Iron Balconies with the Bells of Convento Santa Clara (Santa Clara Convent in English) in the Background

When you hear or read that La Paz is the capital of Bolivia – get that ‘oh pleeez, I know better’ attitude going. The commonly referred to as “most beautiful city in Bolivia” – Sucre – is the official constitutional (and only) capital of Bolivia.    
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Note: Read the article “Does Bolivia Really Have Two Capital Cities?” for an excellent explanation of the split of governmental power between Sucre and La Paz.

      Best Time to Visit       Where To Eat       Where To Stay       City Map

Nicknamed “The White City” (due to white-washed colonial-style buildings) and “City of the Four Names” (Sucre, Charcas, La Plata & Ciudad Blanca), Sucre holds up well under both distintions plus a few more.   When visiting don´t miss:

  • Locally made (some can take over six months to complete) tapestries available at the Tarabuco Market (Sunday market) or the Textile-Ethnographic Museum.   More information: Tarabuco Sunday Market
  • An afternoon stroll around the Plaza 25 de Mayo checking out the sites such as the historic Case de la Libertad and Chapel Virgen de Guadelupe Cathedral.
  • Walk through (for free!) the exhibits at MusefMuseo Nacional de Etnografia y Folklore – at Calle Espana #74 near Plaza 25 de Mayo.
  • Poster at the Tarabuco Sunday Market - A Popular Tourist Attraction Near Sucre

  • Indulge your sweet-tooth with locally made chocolates by Chocolates Para Ti , Choclolates Taboada or Sucre Chocolates. All three companies have shops throughout Sucre (Plaza 25 de Mayo has two shops), even in the Mercado Central and lower level of the bus terminal.
  • Root for the hometeam… Club Deportivo Universitario San Francisco Xavier or the non-tongue twising version – Universitario – Sucre’s professional soccer team when playing at Estadio Olímpico Patria.
  • Walk in a dinosaur´s footstep (more accurately view from a short distance). Dinosaur tracks are located out of the city approximately 10 km (6.2 miles) at an archeological site that also contains prehistoric plant and animal fossils. For more information including photographs & videos view:   El Parque Cretácico in Sucre
  • Go horseback riding or mountain biking around the quaint little town of Yotala – 30 minutes from Sucre by bus. Arrange tours in advance at your hostal or hotel. YouTube Video of Main Square in Yotala
  • An afternoon shopping like a local at one of three primary markets: Mercado Central, Mercado Campesino or Mercado Negro. More information: Markets in Sucre

For more tourist destinations near Sucre read: Things to Do Around Sucre.

You can enjoy panoramic views of Sucre – and possibly visit a museum or two – from the mirador (viewpoint in English) at Recoleta, an eight block walk uphill from the market on San Alberto street. Museo Convento de la Recoleta (162 Polanco Street) is located at the top as well as Museo Tanga Tanga. There is a café – Café Gourmet Mirador – with lovely gardens and indoor/outdoor seating. Hotel Kolping (see below) is located a half block away with a full-service restaurant and all-encompassing view as well.

The city has become a popular place to study Spanish. There are many small schools and private teachers available to assist you in your learning adventure. If you want to arrange a stay before you arrive two of the larger, established academies include: Sucre Spanish School and Fox Language Academy. Click on the link for more information and how to contact via email.

Loved your stay and want to stick around awhile? Read how here:  Sucre, Bolivia – Cheap Place to Live in South America.

Note About Making a SKYPE Call in Sucre: Internet service is weak for the most part, best locations are cafe’s near Plaza 25 de Mayo such as popular Pueblo Chico across the street from the plaza. Often one of the only places in town to make a SKYPE call is the Internet cafe across from Plazuela Santa Cruz on Ravelo street.

Best Time to Visit

Sucre is located in Southern Bolivia and has two distinct seasons – rainy & dry. The dry season from May to October is the best time for a visit. The rainy season is from December to March (summertime) and not recommended in general for travel within Bolivia (roads can get washed out during the rainy season and cross-country travel more difficult). The months in between are hit and miss – spring is similar to summer (but with less heat and rain).

Where to Stay


  1. Name: Hotel Kolping
    Area: Recoleta, with panoramic views from the restaurant.
    Address: Casilla N. 39
  2. Name: Hotel Villa Antigua   Book Now
    Area: Two blocks from main square
    Address: Calle Calvo 237
    Website: Rooms with private terraces overlooking the old town, garden with patio seating, WiFi.


  1. Name: Hostal Pachamama
    Area: Central
    Address: Calle Aniceto Arce N. 599
    Website:None. Five blocks from the market towards bus terminal, all rooms have private bath. WiFi and cable T.V.
  2. Name: Grand Hotel
    Area: Half block from Plaza 25 de Mayo & market
    Address: Anicento Arce N. 61
    Website: None. You won’t find a nicer atmosphere for the price with plant-filled spaces, restaurant, WiFi & games room.


  1. Name: Casa de Huespedes La Torre (name change to “Cadence Hostal” soon)
    Area: Three blocks from the market
    Address: Calle Camargo 326
    Website: None. Best value hostal in Sucre. Courtyard, guest kitchen, rooms all have cable T.V. (w/ or w/out private bath), Internet, WiFi. Check to make sure the shower in your room has hot water before checking-in.
  2. Name: Casa de Huespedes San Marcos
    Area: Half block from Mercado Central
    Address: Calle Aniceto Arce N. 233
    Website: None. Casual, open-air atmosphere, simple rooms w/ shared bath, guest kitchen. Has a small, one-bedroom apartment available (nightly rental) on the property.

Where to Eat


  1. Name: Café Monte Bianco (Italian cuisine, fresh pastas)
    Area: Near main square (Plaza 25 de Mayo)
    Address: Calle Argentina 37
    Website: None. Read a review.
  2. Name: La Taverna (French cuisine)
    Area: Courtyard of Alliance Francaise
    Address: Acre 835
    Website None. Read a review.


  1. Name: Locots Café Aventura
    Area: Three blocks from Plaza 25 de Mayo
    Address: Calle Bolívar N. 465
    Website: (currently down). Gourmet Mexican fare (enchiladas, burritos), Thai curries, cesar salad – great variety on the menu and live music on the weekends, Salsa and dancing Fridays.
  2. Name: Café & Restaurant Florin
    Area: Central up the hill from Plaza 25 de Mayo.
    Address: Calle Bolivar 567
    Website: Indoor and outdoor eating areas, WiFi. Have a Facebook page


  1. Name: Broasteria Anita (Fast food fried chicken)
    Area: Outer rim of Mercado Central on street
    Address: Corner of Aniceto Arce & Camargo Streets
    Website: None. Opens around 5 p.m. with lines by 7 p.m. Popular for take-out, small seating area upstairs.
  2. Name: Restaurant Shanghai (Chinese Food)
    Area: A block from Plaza 25 de Mayo
    Address: Calle Calvo #70
    Website: None. Cheap set menu lunch. Large selection of Chinese dishes.

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Over 60 videos of South America up close & personal can be viewed on South America Living’s YouTube Channel.

Photographs by Molly McHugh, all rights reserved.

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