Sucre’s got it:
- Sunshine in spades and an all round spring like climate
- A calmness that is unmatched by any other South American city we’ve visited
- A warm terracota brick red colour when looking down from above, and uniform white washed facades on the streets
- Pretty colonial buildings and cobbled streets
- A highly developed ice cream culture
- Enough wealth and tourism to seem cosmopolitan
- A feeling of having fewer people than it actually does (300,000) and therefore seeming a bit like a village
La Paz feels like an indigenous city, but Sucre feels more European. With the climate and buildings you could easily think you were somewhere in the Mediterranean. The Bolivians look more European, and the city is also richer. It’s no surprise that Sucre draws an over representation of foreign volunteers and Spanish language learners.
Sucre is also Bolivia’s constitutional capital. It houses the supreme court and used to house all the other stuff of government until it moved up the hill to La Paz. This is conspicuously de-emphasised when Bolivians lay claim to the world’s highest capital.
On a barely related note, having two capitals also means Bolivia does very well on this approximation of what the world map would look like if it were laid out by Voroni diagrams centering on capitals. As good a reason to place borders as any, I say. The commentary on the map is also excellent.