When my bus to Uyuni was cancelled because of a protest and roadblock, I decided to hop on another bus to Potosí, once the richest city in the world because of its silver mines. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage site. I went to the La Paz bus station and stopped at four or five different companies before I found Trans Copacabana, who offered a cama, or reclining bed, for the 10 hour overnight trip. My goal was to see as much of Potosí as possible and find a way to break the roadblock and get to Uyuni.
I arrived in Potosí at around 7:30am, jumped in a taxi shared by a few others, and was dropped off at the main square, Plaza 10 de Noviembre. I paid just 5bs for the ride. The square was deserted at this time of day and it was under construction, so it was tough to imagine it during a normal day. I walked around for a few minutes to try to find a travel agent.
Next to the square is Casa de la Moneda, the former national mint of Bolivia since colonial times. It opened in 1574 and now houses one of the best museums in Bolivia. Unfortunately, I never had a chance to visit, but across the street I found what I was looking for – several travel agents and tour offices to choose from.
I decided to take a tour of a working silver mine, which lasted a few hours. When I returned from the tour, I was able to have a quick lunch and walk around for about 15 minutes before attempting to get to Uyuni. I got to quickly see a market and a former Spanish government building. I was hoping to spend more time in Potosí, but it looks like I’ll have to come back one day.