Southern Bolivia: Places to Explore



Sucre has had many names since it was founded by the Spanish in 1538. The town's first official name was La Plata, but it was just as often called Charcas. In 1776, after splitting the region from Peru, the Spanish changed the name to Chuquisaca. Locals now refer to Sucre as la ciudad blanca (the white city)—no wonder, since by government edict all buildings in the center of the city must be whitewashed each year.

It was in Sucre that the region declared its independence from Spain in 1825. The country was named for its liberator, Simón Bolívar. Sucre was the country's original capital, but the main government functions were transferred to La Paz in the late 1800s, leaving the Corte Suprema de Justicia (Supreme Court) as Sucre's main governmental function.

Although its population now tops 200,000, Sucre—with its ornate churches, cobblestone streets, and broad plazas—retains the feel of a colonial town. Its moderate year-round climate and friendly people make it a pleasant if somewhat dull place to stay while taking side trips to Tarabuco or Potosí, or checking out the dinosaur prints outside of town.

Elsewhere in Southern Bolivia


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