Potosi – the closest town to the sky

Or should I call it as gem of the Andes? Not only I found Potosi a little jewelery box but also a sparkling little town up in the sky. Colourful colonial houses, smiling people and the red Cerro Rico mountain in the background.

Potosi is at 4090 meters high and the highest town on Earth. It was established by the Spanish conquistadors to gain the silver out of the surrounding mountains. Today Potosi is still a mining city and is rich in minerals. However, its architectural heritage and its romantic little streets is discovered by more and more tourists. What you can do in Potosi? Walk on the streets, visit the still-woking mines or dip into the thermal baths.

From the central square
Streets of Potosi

Refreshing in the "heat"
The "Rich Mountain" (Cerro Rico)
Colonial balcony

The day when I left the town, was the celebration of Corpus Christi. Primary school students were preparing religious pictures of colourful sliver on the main square in the morning sun. Everyone was working. Everyone was enthusiastic. I felt that the whole town was working together to celebrate. While the children were busy with their pictures, the teachers were decorating the trees and walls, and the priests were pulling big veils around the cathedral. The square was filled with the acoustics of Gregorian songs. That is, how I felt, the religion comes alive and fills the hearts with emotions.

Students preparing a picture
The square is busy
The Cathedral is being dressed up


  • The bus ride from La Paz to Potosi took approx. 8 hours. I traveled with Illimani, but most of the bus companies offer the ride around 70-80BOB. Make sure there is heating/ blanket on the bus, or wear all your layers. It is cold during a night ride.
  • In Potosi slept in the "La Vicuna" Hostel. It was two blocks from the center, very well located. There was warm water, the beds were comfortable and breakfast was included. There was no heating, but the blankets were warm enough at night. The hostel also offered lunch for an extra 15BOB. Antonio, the owner was one of the most professional tour guides I have met in Bolivia.

About Tiny Girl With Big Bag

Hobby writer and autodidact photographer whose passion is to travel and get to know new people and cultures. She has been on 4 continents and 30 countries, and the outcome is this travel blog where she shares travel stories, thoughts, tips and photography always through a subjective eye.

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