"Potosi and the Fabled Mountain of Silver" Top 5 Page for this destination Potosí by AlbuqRay

Potosí Travel Guide: 126 reviews and 359 photos

The Mountain that Created Potosi

Potosi was one of the largest, richest cities in the world in the 1600's, all because of Cerro Rico. It was a mountain rich with silver and tin. It was 5165 m then but now is 4830 m due to centuries of mining. The legend says the riches were discovered when a shepherd built a campfire one night and liquid silver ran out from under it. Now silver and tin are hard to find. Although the legacy of colonial architecture remains in Potosi, so do polluted rivers, barren slopes and miners struggling to make a living. For more information on Potosi, see also my Bolivia travelogue, It Was One of the World's Great Cities.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Can view art and architecture from a colonial past
  • Cons:High altitude and steep streets
  • In a nutshell:Historical treasures but poor people still exploited
  • Last visit to Potosí: Oct 2003
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (22)

Comments (11)

  • ellielou's Profile Photo
    Oct 18, 2006 at 6:04 AM

    just back from one trip, and am thinking of next...Bolivia is on the list; but, after struggling around the mtns in Georgia, I'm thinking of a 'flat' country!!!!! Great tips, btw!

  • elpariente's Profile Photo
    Jul 10, 2006 at 7:08 AM

    I am impressed with your pages and photos By the way , here in Spain I have a friend called "Albuquerque"

  • ChuckG's Profile Photo
    May 24, 2006 at 10:56 PM

    Thanks for the great page, I saw "The Devil's Miner" yesterday, very touching

  • DPando's Profile Photo
    May 5, 2006 at 2:19 AM

    wow!! man ... such human page...my best congratulations ..im blocked by ur remarks,..definitelly im going next october!!!

  • chewy3326's Profile Photo
    Feb 28, 2006 at 7:27 PM

    Interesting page, though it's sad that mine workers there have such bad working conditions...

  • Wann's Profile Photo
    May 3, 2005 at 7:09 AM

    Looks like, very sunny there, to get rooftop views of the city sounds great !!! Good to know about your Mine visiting, Very interesting Ray ! Thanks!! W.

  • chancay's Profile Photo
    Apr 4, 2005 at 4:56 AM

    very very interesting and well done page full of thoughtful impressions!

  • zizu's Profile Photo
    Mar 7, 2005 at 2:41 AM

    Sometimes, the explotation never ends. Thanks for sharing your experiences

  • Jan 17, 2005 at 6:41 PM

    Interesting page, Ray! Then again, all of your Bolivian adventures are interesting!!!

  • annieruel's Profile Photo
    Dec 8, 2004 at 4:39 PM

    Beautful pictures... it's a amazing place.


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