Potosi's Cerro Rico


Potosi was founded in 1545 following the discovery of silver in the Cerro Rico. The city soon blossomed and during the 18th century it became the largest and wealthiest city of South-America. In the early 19th century the silver production began to wane, and the city lost most of its importance. If it had not been for the discovery of Tin, it might have been a complete ghost town by now.


For the traveler Potosi is still quite an important place to go, mainly because of its architecture form the colonial heydays. The Casa Real de la Moneda is the star attraction here, but there are many churches and mansions worth visiting. A surreal experience you can live in this town, is a visit to the Cerro Rico. The mountain is a dantesque landscape, perforated with mining pits, of which hundreds still are in use. Bring some coca if you want to enter a mine, because if you don´t make a small contribution to the mine god Tio, bad things might happen inside. Workers will be all to happy to consume the coca afterwards to forget their miserable and dangerous working conditions.