Sucre - A Bolivian Oasis

We had an uneventful overnight trip from Uyuni to Sucre, arriving at some ungodly hour - 4:30 AM I think. We made our way to our hostel, Forastero Guest House, and got a warm reception from our host. We passed out for a few hours before we started to explore the city. 

Relaxed. Peaceful. Welcoming. Calm. Just a sample of the words I kept using throughout our 5 days in Sucre to describe not only the city but how I felt. The only place that was at all stressful was the upstairs lunch area in the market, where the ladies would do everything to try and get you to eat at their table. Thankfully, an older woman took us under her wing the first day, served us a great lunch, and we were hooked. We went back to her every day for lunch and each time we had a relaxed, delicious meal. 

Albondigas - One of my favorite meals in all of South America. Read more about it here

Similarly delicious Mondongo. Read more about it here

After lunch, we would head downstairs to the many juice stalls and have a big juice or a delectable fruit bowl.

We spent plenty of time around Plaza 25 de Mayo, either spending the afternoon enjoying the relative warmth and people watching or enjoying some ice cream at Abis Cafe or hot chocolate at Chocolates Para Ti

We'd also recommend a visit to Casa de la Libertad, a museum right on the plaza. The hours can be a bit odd, but check in and ask about their free tours in English - they are a great way to actually understand the history draping the walls around you, including the story behind Argentina's first flag and why it's stored in Sucre.

The relaxed look on his face personifies how I felt during our time in the city

Of course, this post wouldn't be complete without a shining review of Cafe Monterosso. A 15 minute walk from the main plaza, ring the doorbell and the Italian owner will greet you warmly and show you to a hopefully-available table in his living room. The first night we ordered pastas from the menu - Carbonara for the missus, Diavolo for myself - and loved it so much we proceeded to pre-order mushroom risotto and gnocchi with a pesto-bolognese sauce for the next night. You have to pre-order these two dishes and ravioli so the owner can make them fresh for you. There's a chance others will have done so and you can have them just showing up, but definitely don't count on it! 

Maybe it was because we had been on the salt flats for three days, maybe it was because we'd been eating meat, rice, and potatoes every day for a month and a half, who knows, but we found both meals we had here absolutely delicious. We highly recommend this restaurant - it's great Italian food and makes for a great respite from the traditional foods of Peru and Bolivia. 

View of the city at dusk from near Recoleta and Plaza Plaza Pedro de Anzúrez

Sucre is a great city to spend time in to relax. While there are certainly many activities you can busy yourself with (and plenty of agencies to help you book tours), you can also spend a week here just relaxing. It's also arguably the hottest place to be learning Spanish these days, given how cheap lessons, food, and accommodation are. Whatever one might come here for, it's hard to imagine someone not finding something to like about this quiet capital city.

-The slideshow at the top features photographs taken from the Church of San Felipe Neri (also a school). Walking from Plaza 25 de Mayo, the entrance is on the right on Nicolas Ortiz just before you reach Colon. You have to ring the doorbell near the door to enter. Entrance is 15 Bs per person. 
- We highly recommend Forastero Guest House as a base for exploring Sucre. Beatrice, the owner, is a gracious host and is happy to help with whatever you may need, including booking tours and Spanish lessons. Breakfast was very good and had a special item that changed everyday: eggs, smoothies, museli with yogurt - a definite upgrade from the usual bread/jam combo. 
- Bolivia actually has two capitals, Sucre and La Paz. Sucre is the home of the Supreme Court, while the President and Legislature reside in La Paz.