After a very long flight from Israel, with layover in Madrid, I finally arrived back in South America, this time in Sucre, Bolivia. after doing a lot of online research, Sucre seemed like a great city to start my 3rd solo journey and second trip in South America, and get acclimatized to the high altitude.
Unlike Argentina, Bolivia is much more traditional, and so on the white streets of Sucre I encountered las Cholitas, Bolivian women dressed in traditional wear. During the 3 days I spend in Sucre, I was absolutely fascinated and enchanted with the women, sticking to their tradition and customs.
So, how to have the best time in Sucre, and start your South American adventure off right? Head over to the Condor Cafe, an amazing organic cafe, with great food, trekking company and organized city tours, all in one spot! You can definitely explore the city alone, but when traveling solo, city tours are great to meet new people and more fun to discover the city, churches and beautiful squares. As mentioned above, Condor cafe is also a trekking company. I really wanted to hike and explore the area so I booked a 2-day trek to Maragua crater discovering parts of the Inca trails, one of the most beautiful treks I have done.
We met at 6 am at the cafe, me and 3 other travelers, with our amazing guide who was also an amazing cook! to start the trek, we had a ride of about an hour to the outskirts of the town, where we started our 1st hiking day. The first day is quite challenging, as the last part is hiking up from the valley to the view point of the crater, and literally takes your breath away. Walking along the river, passing through high mountains, colorful landscape and beautiful valley, not far from the dinosaur footprints.
The first hiking day is about 20 km of hiking up and down the hills, lunch by a beautiful waterfall, bridge crossing and arriving at the small cottage in the heart of the crater, surrounded with only 100 families. No WIFI, just you and the company you are trekking with spending a great evening of chatting, cards games and again delicious dinner made by our awesome guide.
In the morning you will be greeted by clear blue sky, peaceful nature and the most beautiful day to start hiking back and out of the crater. The second day was much easier than the first day as you are hiking down from the crater, yet you will definitely still be out of breathe. After a fabulous breakfast we started hiking, but unfortunately we had a long way to go and started late, so our guide called up the driver that managed to meet us half way. Even though we didn’t hike all the way, we admired the beautiful and red hills from our van.
Maragua trek is beautiful adventure and perfect to begin your journey in Bolivia. Condor trekking offer 3-5 day treks, with everything included from transport, to meals, all you need to do is come prepared with good hiking boots, water, wet wipes, as there is no shower out there and lots of high spirits.
The day before or after you could enjoy the city tour and walk up to Recoleta square, where you have a beautiful view of the city and it is perfect for sunset and people watching. In the afternoon you will find lots of kids after school running around, shouting Hola and smiling to all the tourists around.
For snacks, fruit and verduras (vegetables in Spanish) head to the local market, not big but has everything you need. If you prefer eating out, Condor cafe offers plenty of delicious dishes and a great menu de dia. Menu del dia is usually a lunch menu at a special price, with sopa (soup), main course and a glass of juice, usually up to 15 soles ($5).
I have found Sucre and mountains around to be most beautiful and unique in colors, yet reminding me a bit the landscape in Jujuy region, Argentina. Similar but different, Maragua is magnificent and if you love hiking, don’t miss this trek!
Sucre is a great city, very safe during day and night, small so you can definitely get around on foot, with enough ATMs and supermarkets. This city should definitely be on your Bolivia trip and I loved every moment, before continuing to my next and highlight of the trip, Uyuni salt flats.