Department of Chuquisaca The department of Chuquisaca is located to the south of Bolivia. It is rich in hydrocarbon, forest resources and limestone deposits. Tempered valleys are surrounded by brooks and rivers, bathing resorts (Yotala, Ñucchu, La Palma, and Cachimayo) and thermal water fountains (Los Alamos, Huata and Talula). Sucre is the department’s capital and also the constitutional capital of Bolivia. Known as “America’s White City” because of its houses and buildings painted entirely in white. It was declared a Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO because it is a living museum of what life was like for Spanish aristocracy in the colonial era. It was the seat of important institutions, such as The Archbishop of Silver, The Royal Congress of Chacras, the first University of Bolivia, and the Carolina Academy. South America’s first shouts of freedom were heard emanating from its bosom, and it was here that the first Constitutional Assembly was held, defining the birth of Bolivia as a free Republic. A tour of its streets allows us to enjoy the civic and religious structures built to house the population. They still conserve their architectural and artistic value with great zeal. These buildings today are a part of the old shell as well as the current image of Sucre.
In the city Casa de la Libertad (House of Independence): This is the most important national monument because it was within its walls that Bolivia’s Declaration of Independence was signed. The colonial furniture and decorations are well preserved, as well as the historical documents of Bolivia’s independence. The Metropolitana Cathedral: This is the largest religious monument in Charcas, built originally in a renaissance style and then enhanced with baroque and baroque-Mestizos style. Highlights include the main altar, annex hall; which houses a collection of portraits belonging to authority figures, the Temple Atrium encircled by a balustrade of stone, and a clock placed in the high in the main tower. The Recoleta Museum: Among its exhibits we can find valuable colonial and republican paintings, sculptures, gold and silver work, as well as archaeology and numismatics collections. Visiting the museum also offers the pleasure of taking a stroll through the colonial courtyard of the convent. The General Cemetery: It houses ornamented mausoleums, sumptuous sepulchres, and florid gardens that are very well kept throughout the various areas. In this cemetery are the tombs of several personalities linked to science and the arts, as well as regional, national and Latin-American history. The ASUR Ethnographic textile museum: Located within a beautiful colonial house in Sucre, its main objective is to revitalize the traditional textiles found in the Jalq’a and Tarabuco areas. It features twelve exhibit halls and a gallery where artisans showcase their skills. The International Festival of Culture: This is Bolivia’s most important cultural event. Approximately 2.000 national and international artists congregate every year. The event lasts two weeks and uses the cities of Sucre and Potosi, both of which transform into unique stages for art, music, literature, theatre, film and other demonstrations of popular culture. The Charcas University Museum: It was funded as part of the Athenaeum of Fine Arts, with colonial works of art, beautiful paintings by Melchor Pérez de Holguin, Fourchault and Villaroel. It features sections dedicated to Anthropology, Ethnography and Folklore. Likewise, the Gallery of Modern Art and the Alfredo Gutiérrez Valenzuela Museum feature art from the XIX Century, furniture from the Luis XV and XVI periods, bronze, marble and glass sculptures, etc. The Catedralicio Museum: This features a great number of liturgics and religious objects, beautiful golden containers, chalices, pectorals, incense vessels, and work by Bolivian and European artists; valuable jewels used in worship, featuring precious stones traditional to Bolivia.
Cal ork’o dinosaur tracks: This makes for the most extensive tour of dinosaur tracks found in a 30.000 meter area, upon which one can see over 5.000 tracks belonging to a great variety of dinosaurs that lived at the end of the cretaceous era.
Marshall Antonio José de Sucre hanging bridge: This is one of the most interesting feats of engineering in the department. For decades it linked the cities of Potosí and Sucre. At each end are two immense stone masonry towers with gothic characteristics.
7 waterfalls: A gorgeous spot located in the Oropeza province gets its name from seven cascades of crystal-clear water. It is a place of unique beauty and a tempered climate surrounded by streams.
Tarabuco: This serves as the stage for one of Bolivia’s most important folkloric demonstrations: the Phujllay, a celebration in which we remember the battle of “Jumbati.” More than forty communities participate, each wearing costumes with unique characteristics.
Yotala: This is a small town with an urban structure and colonial design. Among its natural sites we find the Churo Ravine, with unique rock formations as well as crystal-clear pools and small waterfalls.
Potolo: This is a great open space between mountains brimming with the colours of crops that surround them. It shelters the native community of the Jalq’a ethnic group. A highlight is their textiles, featuring abstract figures and complex shapes of different sizes. Cajamarca: Located 40 km from the city past the Bramadero, this is a high valley with pine forests, kewiña and clear water that flows through craggy rocks.
Inca Machay and Puma Machay (Patatoloyo): The paintings of Inca Machay belong most possibly to the Sauces culture and the Puma Machay paintings belong to the Huruquilla culture. They are 2.500 and 1.500 years old respectively. The images presented are anthropomorphic, zoomorphic and geometric.
Candelaria: This town is 26 Km. from Tarabuco and Sucre City. The best tailors of the Tarabuco culture live here. Symmetry shapes and degradation of colours characterize these textiles. There are also palaeontology deposits in the region.
Sopachuy: A town 197 Km. from Sucre, Sopachuy is surrounded by the Orcas and San Antonio rivers. One is cold, the other warm and both have natural deep pools, where you can bathe while enjoying the spectacular landscape and comfortable weather. Another attraction is kirusillas, a pleasant tasting alcoholic beverage that comes from the plant of the same name.
Villa Serrano: This town is rich in culture and famous for its Christmas. It’s also worth mentioning the making and playing of charangos. The Pescado river, good for swimming practice on its shores, encircles the town.
Camargo and Villa Abecia: The Camargo canyon is a valley where grapevines are harvested for making wine and Singani (an alcoholic beverage traditional to this region) since colonial time. In both, one can see rustic paintings, beautiful colonial ranches, the vast grapevines and sumptuous bathing areas.
Monteagudo: Its main attractions are the Heredia Canyon Bathing Resort and the Iñao Mountains, where one can observe flora and fauna as well as find archaeological remains. Ché Guevara’s guerrilla made this province an essential part of their combat route.
Muyupampa: This town is located 367 Km. from Sucre. They hold a party in honour of the town’s patron saint, Virgen del Carmen every 16th of July. Near the town, in the Taperillas community, one can find caves filled with pictographs. Adventure tourism abounds in the Iboperenda region.
Parapeto: This town was featured in Ché Guevara’s guerrilla tour. Map of Sucre city