33 Exciting Things to Do in Sucre Bolivia, La Ciudad Blanca
Also known as “La Ciudad Blanca” (the White City), Sucre is Bolivia’s charming capital and a hidden gem in South America. With its rich history, stunning architecture, breathtaking natural landscapes, and delicious cuisine, Sucre offers a wide range of activities for every traveller.
In this post, we will explore 33 exciting things to do in Sucre Bolivia that will make your visit unforgettable!
Where is Sucre?
Sucre is located in the south-central part of Bolivia, nestled in the Andean highlands in a fertile valley near the Cachimayo River. Situated at an altitude of 2,800 meters (9,186 feet), Sucre boasts a pleasant climate and beautiful views of the surrounding mountains.
Is Sucre Worth Visiting?
Sucre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most picturesque cities in Bolivia. Its well-preserved colonial architecture, fascinating history, and friendly atmosphere make it a must-visit destination for travellers seeking an authentic Bolivian experience.
With Sucre being one of the more comfortable cities to stay in Bolivia, it has become a popular destination for studying Spanish, with many language schools around the city.
Sucre is also one of the best places in Bolivia for outdoor adventure activities, with amazing hikes and climbing spots located just outside the city.
How Long to Spend in Sucre?
The ideal duration for a visit to Sucre depends on your interests and travel preferences. Here are some recommendations:
- Minimum 2 days: This will allow you to explore the city’s main attractions and soak in its unique atmosphere.
- A week or two: If you prefer a slower pace and want to take Spanish lessons, Sucre offers excellent language schools where you can immerse yourself in the local culture.
- Longer stays: If you’re an outdoor enthusiast and enjoy hiking and climbing, you can extend your stay to explore the surrounding areas and take advantage of the region’s natural beauty.
How to Get to Sucre?
Sucre is accessible from various cities in Bolivia and neighbouring countries. Here are some common routes:
- From Chile: You can travel by bus from San Pedro de Atacama to Uyuni and then take another bus to Sucre.
- From La Paz: Regular buses connect La Paz to Sucre, and the journey takes around 10-12 hours.
- From Uyuni or Potosi: If you’re coming from Uyuni or Potosi, there are direct buses available to Sucre.
- From Santa Cruz or Samaipata: You can take a bus from Santa Cruz or Samaipata to Sucre, with travel times ranging from 8 to 12 hours.
Where to Stay in Sucre?
Sucre offers a range of accommodation options to suit different budgets and preferences. Here are a few recommendations:
- Hostels: Sucre has numerous hostels that provide affordable and sociable accommodation for backpackers. Hostels like KulturBerlin Sucre, Villa Oropeza Hostel, and Hostal CasArte Takubamba are popular choices. If you’re looking for the best social atmosphere, KulturBerlin is the place to stay with daily events every evening.
- Booking.com: If you prefer more privacy and comfort, you can find a variety of hotels and guesthouses on booking platforms like Booking.com. Some of the best hotels to stay at are El Jardin De Su Merced B&B and Mi Pueblo Samary Hotel Boutique.
Now that we have covered the basics, let’s dive into the 33 best things to do in Sucre to make the most of your visit.
Exciting Things to Do in Sucre
Get Lost in Sucre’s Streets
One of our favourite things to do in Sucre is to simply wander aimlessly through Sucre’s charming streets and alleys, allowing yourself to get lost in the city’s enchanting atmosphere.
Lose yourself in the labyrinthine alleys of the city’s historic center, stumble upon hidden plazas, soak in the vibrant street life, and marvel at the well-preserved 16th-century religious buildings like San Lazaro, San Francisco, and Santo Domingo, which showcase a harmonious blend of local architectural traditions and imported European styles.
Discover Dinosaur Footprints in Parque Cretacico
Embark on a fascinating journey through time as you discover dinosaur footprints in Parque Cretacico. With over 5,000 footprints of different species discovered in 1985, you’ll have the opportunity to witness the ancient imprints left by these prehistoric creatures.
Don’t miss the famous Cal Orch’o, a wall housing the world’s largest collection of dinosaur footprints.
Finish your visit at the park’s museum, where you can dive deeper into the world of dinosaurs by learning intriguing facts about these magnificent creatures.
They also offer guided footprint tours every day (except Mondays) at 12 pm and 1 pm. To join the tour on time, make sure to catch the bus to the park at 9:30 am or 11 am, which departs hourly from Plaza 25 de Mayo on the red double-decker buses(20 BOB fare).
Hike to Maragua Crater
Embark on a memorable hike to the renowned Maragua Crater, considered one of the best hiking experiences in Bolivia, and spanning an impressive 34 kilometres over 2 to 4 days.
Maragua Crater is a geological wonder, offering breathtaking panoramic views, remarkable fossilized dinosaur footprints, and captivating cave paintings.
Along the trek, you will also pass a section of well-preserved Inca trail, remote villages, and unique multi-coloured rock formations.
While it is possible to undertake the hike without a guide, it can be easy to get lost and you will be passing through remote villages where the locals speak only Quechua (no Spanish or English). We’d recommended going with a trekking agency, and Condor Trekkers is the best agency to book with as they are both local and a non-profit company.
If you’re looking to make a positive impact, you can even consider volunteering in the crater at Biblioworks, a village school and library operated by a US-founded NGO.
Go Rock Climbing!
If you’re up for an adventure, indulge in the thrilling activity of rock climbing around Sucre. You have the option to join Climbing Sucre for a guided climbing tour or venture on your own if you have the necessary gear and experience.
There are many great climbing spots near Sucre. Sica Sica, just a 10-minute drive from Sucre, is ideal for beginners in top rope climbing. It offers great views of Sucre and routes ranging from 5.0 to 5.11c.
Another option for more advanced climbers is Garcilazo, located 15 minutes outside of Sucre, which provides varying difficulty routes and rocks up to around 25 meters high, suitable for top rope and lead climbing.
For the ultimate climbing adventure, consider visiting El Eden near Potosi, the best climbing area in Bolivia, offering top rope, lead, and bouldering routes of various difficulties from 5.6 to 5.13c.
Learn Bolivian Cuisine in a Cooking Class
Delve into the rich culinary heritage of Bolivia by joining a half-day cooking class dedicated to Bolivian cuisine. Led by a local chef, you will learn unique cooking methods and techniques, discovering the secrets behind traditional Bolivian dishes.
As part of the class, you’ll enjoy a hands-on experience preparing a three-course meal and even learn to create a delightful cocktail using seasonal fruits. The highly recommended La Boca del Sapo is the go-to destination for an authentic and engaging cooking class in Sucre, providing you with take-home recipes and a deeper understanding of Bolivian gastronomy.
Admire the Views from Recoleta Viewpoint and Monastery
One of the best things to do in Sucre is to visit the cobblestone, arch-lined courtyard of La Recoleta Viewpoint for some amazing views of the city below.
While here, explore the fascinating La Recoleta Monastery and Museo de la Recoleta (entrance fee: 10BOB), learning of the area’s rich history.
While here, enjoy a delightful dining experience at Café Gourmet Mirador, where you can savour Italian cuisine while overlooking the city. If you’re lucky, you’ll see local musicians playing traditional Andean music, which is a common feature throughout the week.
You can easily reach this popular local spot by taking a leisurely walk from downtown, or catch the breathtaking sunset by visiting during the afternoon (just a 1 km walk from Plaza 25 de Mayo).
Hike to Cerro Churuquella
Embark on a rewarding hike to the summit of Cerro Churuquella, a nearby mountain offering stunning views of Sucre and its surroundings. This scenic trail takes you through valleys and rocky terrain up to the summit.
Once at the top, you’ll be rewarded with the best views of Sucre’s picturesque cityscape, with its charming white-walled buildings and red-roofed houses set against the backdrop of the Andean mountains.
Hike through the Canyons of Icla, near Tarabuco
Venture to the picturesque village of Icla, situated 100 kilometres southeast of Sucre, and discover the enchanting canyons carved by the crystal-clear waters of Rio Icla. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the surrounding valley area, with many hiking trails on offer.
For nature enthusiasts, camping in the wilderness near Icla or staying at the local hostel provides an opportunity to truly connect with the tranquil ambiance of the region. While dining options may be limited, there is a local restaurant in Icla where you can enjoy authentic flavours.
If you’re up for some aquatic fun, consider tubing along the Rio Icla, adding an extra element of excitement to your visit. To reach Icla, catch a bus leaving every morning from Sucre, departing from the main terminal or you can jump on at Avenida des Americas.
If you’d prefer to join a 2-day hiking tour of the Icla Canyons, Greentrekkers Sucre offers one of the best hiking experiences in the area.
Take Spanish Lessons
Enhance your stay in Sucre by taking Spanish lessons in this language-rich environment. It is an excellent opportunity to improve your language skills, as most locals do not speak English fluently.
Many hostels in the city offer week-long Spanish courses that include accommodations, making it an affordable and convenient option for language learners. Alternatively, you can hire a private tour to receive personalized lessons.
Outside of lessons, immerse yourself in the local culture and practice conversational Spanish with the friendly locals, gaining confidence and fluency in the language.
Sucre Spanish School is the top-rated place in Sucre for taking Spanish lessons with private or group lessons, and offers flexibility on duration whether a few days or a week.
Eat Salteñas (Sucre’s Best Local Food)
Treat your taste buds to the flavours of Sucre by indulging in the local specialty, salteñas. These delicious Bolivian empanada snacks feature a flaky pastry crust filled with savoury filling options like chicken, beef, or vegetarian ingredients.
For an authentic salteña experience, head to El Patio Salteneria for their mouthwatering chicken or beef salteñas, or visit Saltenas Flores for delectable vegetarian options.
Both establishments are conveniently located on San Alberto, next to Plazuela Santa Cruz and just a block away from Plaza 25 de Mayo.
Spend an afternoon Bouldering Outdoors or at Sucre’s Bouldering Gym
For bouldering enthusiasts, a form of rock climbing that doesn’t require ropes or harnesses, head to La Cueva, Sucre’s outdoor hub for bouldering. Spend an afternoon challenging yourself on new routes and enjoying the thrill of this dynamic activity.
Alternatively, you can visit Climbing Sucre’s bouldering gym located in the north of the city. Here, you can have fun solving new routes or engage in a satisfying training session with fellow climbers.
Take a Day Trip to Tarabuco Market
Take a memorable day trip to Tarabuco Market, located three hours east of Sucre. Every Sunday, farmers from the countryside gather here to buy and sell their goods. The market offers an authentic and vibrant atmosphere, preserved from mass tourism.
To get there, you can take a colectivo (shared taxi) from the crossing of Avenidad de las Americas and Avenida German Mendoza for a fare of 20 BOB.
Hike to Las Sieta Cascadas
If you’re in the mood for a scenic hike, consider venturing to Las Sieta Cascadas. You have the option to hike on your own or join Condor Trekkers on a guided tour.
To reach the starting point, take the ‘Q’ colectivo from Calle Junin outside Mercado Central. Get off at the final bus stop, ‘Alegria’, and then follow a trail that leads you through the canyon along the river to a series of beautiful waterfalls. Some scrambling over rocks may be required, adding a touch of adventure to the hike.
The hike to the first waterfall will take around 45 minutes, a great spot to rest and go for a quick dip in the hidden pools and refreshing mountain water. Enjoy the soothing sound of cascading water and marvel at the natural beauty that surrounds you.
Eat Chorizo Chuquisaqueño
Chorizo Chuquisaqueño is a regional pork sausage known for its bold flavours, often accompanied by hot peppers and grilled onions, providing a delightful blend of spiciness and smokiness.
For the ultimate Chorizo Chuquisaqueño experience, head to El Huerto Restaurant, a renowned establishment that not only serves this delectable sausage but also offers a wide selection of traditional Bolivian dishes, allowing you to immerse yourself in the local culinary scene.
Make sure to try their chorizo appetizer, priced at 45 BOB, and explore their enticing range of main dishes, which typically range from 60 to 90 BOB, delivering a satisfying and authentic dining experience.
Take a City Walking Tour
Immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of Sucre by taking a comprehensive guided city walking tour. Join knowledgeable local guides as they lead you to the main city sites like Casa de la Libertad, offering in-depth insights into Sucre’s captivating past and Bolivia’s fight for independence.
Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to savour delicious street foods that showcase the culinary diversity of the region. While booking a tour with a local guide is recommended, you can also opt to explore the city at your own pace without a guide.
Eat Sucre’s Best Vegetarian Food at Condor Café
At Condor Café, you can indulge in Sucre’s best vegetarian food from a menu that is 100% vegetarian. Made from fresh, local ingredients, their most popular dishes are their mouthwatering vegetarian burgers and homemade desserts. If you’re a digital nomad, they also have fast wifi making it a great place to grab a coffee and settle in to get some work done.
Condor Café is also the go-to place if you’re interested in hiking as it is home to Condor Trekkers, offering valuable travel information for Sucre and the surrounding areas.
Go Mountain Biking
Embark on an exhilarating mountain biking adventure and spend a day exploring the canyons surrounding Sucre. Traverse rugged terrains, navigate thrilling descents, and soak in the awe-inspiring landscapes as you immerse yourself in the thrill of mountain biking.
Whether you’re a seasoned rider or a beginner seeking an adrenaline rush, the canyons near Sucre provide an ideal setting for an unforgettable biking experience. Joy Ride is the go-to agency for booking your mountain bike adventures.
Eat Ice Cream in Plaza 25 de Mayo
Treat yourself to a delicious ice cream cone from one of the many vendors in Plaza 25 de Mayo, Sucre’s charming central square surrounded by trendy cafes and beautiful large trees. Enjoy your frozen delight while sitting on a bench, people-watching, and taking in the lively atmosphere of the plaza.
Not only is it a picturesque spot, but it also holds historical significance as it commemorates the start of Bolivia’s war of independence against Spanish colonials in 1809. Take a moment to admire the majestic statue of Mariscal Jose Antonio Sucre, a prominent leader of the independence movement.
Shop at Mercado Campesino
Discover the vibrant atmosphere of Sucre’s bustling markets by visiting Mercado Campesino. This market is the largest in Sucre, spanning an impressive 10 blocks. Stroll through the vibrant aisles filled with colourful textiles, showcasing local craftsmanship and traditional techniques.
Engage in some friendly haggling with the vendors and immerse yourself in the vibrant sights, sounds, and scents of the market. While here, don’t miss the chance to indulge in flavourful street food options that make for a satisfying and hearty lunch.
Alternatively, you could visit Mercado Central, filled with fruit vendors, meat stalls, desserts, and street food.
Pay your Respects at Cementerio General
To pay your respects, take a reflective stroll through the Cementerio General, Sucre’s main cemetery. Instead of traditional headstones, you’ll find shadow boxes adorned with golden memorabilia, complemented by well-landscaped surroundings, fresh flowers, and striking mausoleums and statues.
Pay homage to the resting place of notable Bolivian figures and gain insight into the local customs and traditions surrounding death.
The cemetery is free to enter and can be reached by taking a 20-minute walk from Plaza 25 de Mayo, turning left on Aniceto Arce and following the street until it becomes Bustillos, then turning right at J.M. Linares, where you’ll find a large white gate bearing the message “Hodie Mihi Cras Tibi.”
Tour an Urban Organic Farm
Gain a deeper appreciation for sustainable agriculture by embarking on a tour of an urban organic farm near Sucre, offered in partnership with Condor Trekkers. Engage with the friendly and welcoming host families, learning about their organic farming processes and techniques.
You will learn the importance of organic produce, and even have the opportunity to participate in hands-on activities like harvesting fresh vegetables or making natural fertilizers.
At the end of the tour, enjoy a delectable vegetarian lunch lovingly prepared with fresh produce from the farm, providing a true taste of the region’s farm-to-table delights.
See Sucre from the Rooftop of Churches
Experience Sucre from a unique perspective by ascending the rooftops of its churches.
Explore the panoramic views offered by Iglesia Nuestra Senora La Merced (roof access for 10 BOB) and Templo de San Felipe Neri (roof access for 20 BOB).
While Sucre Cathedral does not provide roof access, its grandeur is still worth admiring.
Marvel at the sight of Sucre from above as you take in the city’s architectural beauty and picturesque surroundings.
Hike the Inca Trail of Chataquila
Embark on a captivating journey along the Inca Trail of Chataquila, commencing at the historic chapel of Chataquila, perched at the rim of the majestic Cordillera de los Frailes.
As you traverse the ancient trail, you’ll be captivated by awe-inspiring views and immersed in the rich history and mystique of the Inca civilization. The trail leads you to the charming village of Chaunaca, allowing you to soak up the serenity of the region while relishing the impressive vistas that unfold at every step.
Although it is possible to do this hike on your own, we’d recommend going with a guide to learn more about the area and the Jalq’a culture.
Immerse yourself in Sucre’s cultural heritage by visiting one or multiple of its captivating museums.
Begin your exploration at Casa de la Libertad, the renowned museum where Bolivia gained its independence from Spanish rule (entrance fee: 15 BOB; an additional 10 BOB if you wish to take photos).
Another great option is the Museo del Tesoro, which delves into Bolivia’s mining history featuring dazzling displays of gold, silver, and precious stones (entrance fee: 25 BOB).
For those interested in the rich weaving arts of the region, visit the Museum of Indigenous Art, where you can witness live demonstrations (entrance fee: 22 BOB).
Lastly, explore the Ethnographic and Folklore Museum, which offers a fascinating insight into various aspects of Bolivian culture (free entrance).
Bungee Jump from Bolivia’s Highest Bridge
For thrill-seekers, an unforgettable adventure awaits at Bolivia’s highest bridge, Puente de las Americas. Take a leap of faith and bungee jump from the bridge, plunging towards the river below before being lifted back up. Feel the rush of adrenaline as you soar through the air and experience an adrenaline-packed activity in a stunning natural setting.
If this interests you, head to Climbing Sucre which has trained and experienced guides who can make this bungee jump happen for you.
Watch a Performance at Espacio Cultural Origenes
Immerse yourself in the vibrant Bolivian culture by watching a captivating performance at Espacio Cultural Origenes. Experience traditional Bolivian dances and gain insight into their history and significance.
You can choose to reserve a dinner package or simply enjoy a two-hour show. Reservations can be made online or by phone, and the shows are available from Tuesday to Saturday.
Eat Bolivian Chocolate
Sucre proudly boasts the presence of two esteemed chocolate producers, Taboada and Para Ti, offering a tantalizing array of Bolivian chocolate creations that are a must-try for chocolate enthusiasts.
To fully immerse yourself in the world of Bolivian chocolate, consider joining a tour of the chocolate factory, where you can witness the process of transforming cacao beans into exquisite chocolate bars, truffles, and other delectable confections.
Indulge in the rich flavours and unique profiles of different chocolate varieties, and unleash your creativity by participating in a hands-on chocolate workshop, allowing you to craft your own personalized treats and savour the artistry of chocolate making.
Explore Pitantorilla near Yotala
Pitantorilla, located near Yotala, offers a range of captivating experiences for travellers seeking adventure and natural beauty. One notable event is the Santa Rosa Festival, held annually on the 30th of August, where you can immerse yourself in the vibrant local culture and witness traditional festivities.
Additionally, the region is renowned for its remarkable hiking opportunities in the Cordillera de los Frailes mountain range. A recommended hike is up Obispo Mountain, a majestic peak towering at 3,352 meters above sea level, rewarding trekkers with breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes.
Admire the Architecture of El Castillo de La Glorieta, once home to Bolivia’s only royalty
El Castillo de La Glorieta holds a fascinating history as the former residence of the prince and princess who held exclusive royal titles in Bolivia, making it an extraordinary architectural gem to behold.
The castle’s striking pink hue, combined with its architectural styles influenced by Byzantine, Moorish, and Gothic elements, creates a captivating visual spectacle, transporting visitors to a bygone era of elegance and nobility.
Take an Overnight Trip to Centro Ecologico Juvenil in Cajamarca
Escape the hustle and bustle of Sucre by embarking on an overnight trip to the serene Centro Ecologico Juvenil located in Cajamarca, a reforestation area teeming with natural beauty and tranquil hiking trails that invite exploration.
Experience the charm of this eco-friendly retreat, offering accommodation options ranging from dormitory-style lodgings to cozy log cabins, allowing you to immerse yourself in nature’s embrace and enjoy a peaceful getaway.
To reach the Centro Ecologico Juvenil, board a bus from Sucre to Potolo and exit at the crossroads to Punilla, from where a pleasant 1.5-hour walk will lead you to this secluded haven. It is advisable to book your accommodations in advance, as the owners may not always be there.
Enjoy Sucre’s Nightlife Scene
Unleash your inner night owl and explore Sucre’s vibrant nightlife scene. Start your evening at KulturBerlin, a popular cultural hub and hostel that hosts live music performances and art exhibitions, creating a dynamic and eclectic atmosphere.
Dance enthusiasts can head to Joy Ride Café, where salsa beats fill the air, inviting you to join in and showcase your moves.
For beer lovers, Brewcraft is the place to be, offering a wide selection of craft beers to satisfy your taste buds and provide a laid-back ambiance for an enjoyable evening.
Eat at La Taverne
Indulge in a delightful culinary experience at La Taverne, a highly acclaimed French restaurant in Sucre. This exquisite establishment offers a high-end dining experience, where you can enjoy succulent steaks and a curated selection of wines. La Taverne is the perfect choice for those seeking an elegant atmosphere and an unforgettable gastronomic journey.
Learn to Dance Cueca
Immerse yourself in Bolivian culture by learning the traditional dance of Cueca. Take dance lessons from local instructors who will teach you the basic steps and movements. Experience the joy of dancing to lively music and embrace the vibrant spirit of Bolivia’s folk traditions.
If you’re a full-time or part-time digital nomad like us, check out the following post of ours on the Top 25 Cheapest Cities for Digital Nomads in 2023, which includes Sucre!
We hope you enjoyed this post, and feel free to leave a comment below on your favourite thing to do in Sucre!