Cerro Rico, Potosi

4.3
#1 of 8 in Historic Sites in Potosi Department
Receive an inside look into the world of miners as you tour through the active mine at Cerro Rico. The mine, built during the Spanish Empire in the New World, has been working for more than 500 years. Originally, so much silver came from the mountain that people began to say it was made of the metal. Now take a tour through the mine with a guide who can bring the everyday miners’ life to you in an exciting way. Put Cerro Rico on your schedule, and learn what else deserves a visit by using our Potosi road trip site .
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Cerro Rico Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
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4.3
TripAdvisor
  • We went here with koala tours. It was amazing and eye opening. The mines are incredible and our guides ensured our safety and enjoyment while providing excellent in-depth information. Must see in poto...  more »
  • Still affected by soroche was venture by the claustrophobic Potosí silver mine at the beginning of my experience a shortness of breath, but it was incredible to meet the work of local miners. Recommend the tour.
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  • The Cerro Rico-from which about 70,000 tons of silver were extracted during 5 centuries of mining-now produces a mixture of minerals of Tin, lead, zinc and-probably somewhere-some more silver. Approximately 110 mining inputs are still operating in this immense cone of gruyere, where miners ' deaths are still common for both silicosis that for accidents. Working conditions, backed by results from small cooperatives of miners paid a ton of extracted material, are very harsh. To resist 8-10 hours or more in narrow galleries men-12 to 64 years people here work-300-400 are forced to chew coca leaves every day, and is frequent intake of pure alcohol (95°) to give himself strength. Coke and alcohol are also offered by miners at the statue of Tio: the demon possessor of the mountain-present in each gallery. Whoever visits a mine accompanied by expert guides, possibly ex-miners, before entering the market buys mineros coca leaves, alcohol, bags of soda bottles, sticks of dynamite, to give them as a gift to the miners who agree to stop for a few minutes to talk to visitors and answer their questions. This is people who get 10-15 euros per day to push for 8-10 hours carts from one or two tons of ore for hundreds of meters into the bowels of the mountain, risking their lives every moment and with the expectation of living up to 45 years. The visit-for atmosphere rich in mineral powder, the altitude, the dark, the humidity, the psychological impact resulting from working conditions-can be very distressing for sensitive people, claustrophobic, with breathing problems. A very interesting experience, but with due caution.
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  • Iconic mountain with a dramatic history dominating the city centre. Lots of mines are still functioning these days: try to visit them with a local guide and buy some presents for the poor miners as an expression of respect, solidarity and interest
  • Must see in Bolivia. Great tour with lot of information. You can buy the respirator at miners market you don't have to buy overpriced scarf from your tour guide. Instead spend some extra bucks on the stuff for miners.
  • Visiting the mines is not a joke but it's such a strong experience and I believe shouldn't be missed while in Potosi.
  • Amazing mine tour. Dynamite cost 20 Bolivianos. Large soda cost 7 Bob. Air filter cost 200 BoB.
  • Mine tours are amazing. make sure you take masks with you. Therr is so much dust im the mines.
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45 days in Bolivia, Argentina & Chile BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA December, culture, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: December, culture, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 21 days in Bolivia BY A USER FROM ARUBA April, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, popular sights PREFERENCES: April, outdoors, romantic, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 30 days in Bolivia BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular sights PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 18 days in Bolivia BY A USER FROM BELGIUM July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 30 days in Ecuador, Bolivia & Cusco BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM November, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, museums, hidden gems PREFERENCES: November, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 14 days in Bolivia BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Potosi BY A USER FROM BOLIVIA October, popular sights PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 4 days in Potosi BY A USER FROM BOLIVIA October, popular sights PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 14 days in Bolivia BY A USER FROM PAKISTAN December, popular sights PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 10 days in Bolivia BY A USER FROM PAKISTAN December, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 16 days in Bolivia BY A USER FROM MEXICO May, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, popular sights PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 32 days in Bolivia BY A USER FROM PORTUGAL July, culture, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium
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