Mining!

Potosi Travel Blog

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Potosi is famous because of its mining activity, especially silver which used to be found here in abundance. There are numerous tours set up now which can take you into a live working mine. I was extremely nervous about going into the mines but eventually convinced my self that it would be worth it.

We stayed in a very nice hostel called Koala Den in Potosi. We decided to get a private twin room after the salt flats tour so we could get some proper sleep. The room was nice and included cable tv which was a bonus.

Koala Den have a tour agency which we booked the mine tour through. The tour with them cost us 100 Bols each. We were the only two on the tour that afternoon so we got the guide to ourselves. The mines were like I thought hot, cramped and dirty. Im not sure I enjoyed much of the crawling through narrow tunnels but netherless the whole experience was really worthwhile. Its so interesting to see what the men do to extract the raw ore and how harsh the conditions are.

Before you enter the mines it is good practice to buy gifts for the miners. A thanks for letting you watch them work. We bought them things such as dynamite and soft drinks. Our company dont recommend buying the miners cigarettes or alcohol as they can react with the chemicals in their bodies.

There is a really nice mint museum in Potosi. We were in a slight rush to catch the bus to Sucre that we didnt have long there. However if you have time there are organised tours in lots of different languages which are supposed to be really informative.

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Potosi
photo by: Biedjee