So Bolivia gave us a fairly rough time of it to be honest!
We were feeling pretty low when we arrived in Copacabana, after discovering we’d lost our GoPro. As well, Joe was still recovering from food poisoning and my sunburn from Rainbow Mountain was still giving me grief. So we’d hoped that our luck would change in Bolivia.
On our first night in Copacabana, I got food poisoning (from a lasagne of all things) so our plans of visiting Isla del Sol were ruined. We then had a fairly hairy bus ride from Copacabana to La Paz (it got to the point where we were just praying to get there in one piece) and were hoping to relax a bit in La Paz…. but La Paz isn’t the most restful of places!
We had a couple of days there exploring the city and then headed south to the beautiful white city of Sucre, which quickly became one of our favourite places!
Straight away we felt a lot more chilled out and definitely felt at home in our lovely homestay with Bertha, her family, and their lush dog Coco who quickly became Joe’s new best friend.
Parque Simón Bolivar was only a 10min walk from Bertha’s home so we enjoyed some time sitting in the sun… and admiring Sucre’s very own Eiffel Tower. Random!
We’d only been in Sucre 24 hours when we were invited by Bertha to a Bolivian fiesta, celebrating San Francisco de Assis (St. Francis of Assisi).
We were pretty intrigued to see how the locals like to party so we went along to join the celebrations.
Yes you saw correctly – even the monks like a fiesta! The local monks at the party were actually really good at dancing, particularly the traditional dance ‘la cueca’.
Turns out Joe and I are also not bad at ‘la cueca’ (lies, we were pretty rubbish but we’re dragged up on the dance floor so had to give it our best shot). Unfortunately there’s no photo evidence of this so you’ll have to take our word for it!
Everyone we met was so friendly and really made us feel welcome, even though we were the only non-locals there. They especially made sure we were well supplied with alcohol, which ended up being my downfall. 6pm is far too early to be leaving a party because of being too drunk!!
The next day we were feeling pretty rough but really glad we’d gone to the fiesta – thank you to our Bolivian friends for inviting us!
We pulled ourselves together in enough time to go and see the main highlight of Sucre, and one that we’d really been looking forward to…
Parque Cretacico is just outside Sucre and really easy to get to. We just got the local number 4 bus which dropped us off pretty much at the entrance to the park.
Even before we got into the park we could see the huge wall with the footprints on. It’s so impressive! We joined the guided tour to see the wall closer up and learned that it shows 4 examples of dino prints. Back in the day, the wall used to be flat ground but because of the shift in tectonic plates over time, it has been pushed into the earth and formed a near-vertical cliff.
Our inner geeks definitely came out and we were probably more excited about the footprints than Ross from Friends.
After exploring the wall for an hour, we headed back up to the park to check out its local residents…
Yes, there is a fairly impressive selection of fake dinosaurs on the main field and we felt a bit like we were in Jurassic Park. Turns out that as well as being good at ‘la cueca’, Joe is also very good at T-Rex impressions.
All in all we really enjoyed our time at Parque Cretacico. We LOVED seeing the dinosaur footprints and we had fun seeing the fake dinosaurs and the museum. This was our first wedding gift activity in Bolivia – huge thank you to Helen, Bridget and Matt for our dinosaur adventure!
We also couldn’t leave without getting a dino selfie…
During the rest of our time in beautiful Sucre, we really enjoyed wandering around and seeing the main Plaza, pretty white buildings, and markets.
There are so many nice souvenirs in Bolivia, especially knitwear, and we found that they are a lot cheaper than other places, so our biggest achievement was probably managing to buy Christmas presents and get them posted back to the UK for our family. Fingers crossed they arrive ok! We’re expecting to get an influx of photos of British people in Bolivian jumpers and scarves any day now.
Another part of Sucre that we really loved was up at La Recoletta, a church and convent just north of the main square, Plaza 25 de Mayo.
As well as the convent, there’s a small plaza and also a mirador with incredible views over the city. It was such a quiet and pretty area, and just a short taxi ride or uphill walk from the centre of the city.
Even though we cheated and got a taxi, we still treated ourselves to a beer at the cafe just in front of the mirador. Any excuse for a cerveza!
So the other big thing we did in Sucre was attempt to improve our Spanish with some intense lessons with the South American Spanish School. Our teacher Cecilia was really great and didn’t laugh when we made some of our infamous silly mistakes – saying ‘we wedding’ instead of ‘our wedding’, ‘where is the banking?’ instead of ‘where is the bank?’, and ‘ten and five’ instead of ‘fifteen’. Classic.
We both learned Spanish at school and did lessons before our trip to bring us back up to speed, but the intense lessons in Sucre were really worthwhile! Hopefully we won’t forget what we’ve learned and we continue to improve during our time in Latin America.
Despite a rocky start to our time in Bolivia, we feel like we had some amazing R&R in Sucre. It’s a much more chilled out city than La Paz and we loved our homestay with Bertha and her family. Thank you for making us feel welcome, inviting us to a Bolivian fiesta, and organising our Spanish lessons!
So if you’re thinking of going to Bolivia, you should definitely add Sucre to your itinerary, you won’t regret spending a few days in this beautiful city!
Have you ever visited Sucre? Where are your favourite cities are places for some R&R? Leave us your tips below! Follow us on Instagram @pitkinswithpassportsfor more of our travel photos.