View Map

Overview

The intriguing city of Potosí is full of highs and lows. This stunningly beautiful colonial city is set against the backdrop of the barren Cerro Rico, a controversial mountain, whose mine made a fortune for Spain in the 16th century. It continues to operate today under abysmal conditions, providing meager earnings for those extracting the remaining ore. In 1987 Potosí was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site — the city boasts grand, ornate colonial architecture, and fascinating museums, convents and the Casa Nacional de Moneda (National Mint). For many visitors, a trip isn't complete without a visit to the cooperative mines, ...

The intriguing city of Potosí is full of highs and lows. This stunningly beautiful colonial city is set against the backdrop of the barren Cerro Rico, a controversial mountain, whose mine made a fortune for Spain in the 16th century. It continues to operate today under abysmal conditions, providing meager earnings for those extracting the remaining ore. In 1987 Potosí was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site — the city boasts grand, ornate colonial architecture, and fascinating museums, convents and the Casa Nacional de Moneda (National Mint). For many visitors, a trip isn't complete without a visit to the cooperative mines, truly a shocking but extraordinary experience (note: these can be dangerous and should be investigated thoroughly. Definitely a no-no for claustrophobes). More enlightening experiences are in the surrounding fertile and lush mountains and valleys where there are beautiful haciendas, artificial lakes and hot springs. Potosí is at an altitude of 13,350 feet so it gets especially cold during winter and at night.

Kate Armstrong
About the Expert

Kate Armstrong is coauthor of Lonely Planet's Bolivia, South America on a Shoestring, Mexico, Greece, and South Africa.

view full overview

Kate Armstrong for Triporati

Compare Flight, Car Rental, and Hotel Rates

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Facts at a Glance

  • Location: In Southern Bolivia, beneath the Cerro de Potosí sometimes referred to as the Cerro Rico ("rich mountain") a mountain of silver ore
  • Language: Quechua, Spanish, Aymara
  • Currency: Bolivian Boliviano
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Any time, but can be extremely cold in winter, especially at night.