Potosi – The Highest Silver Ore Mining Town in the World

Potosi

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Potosi is a city in Bolivia also it is the Potosi department capital. In the world, Potosi is very famous as the highest city. The city’s elevation is 4,090 meters or 13,420 ft. Besides its elevation, Potosi is also famous because of its treasure. Beneath the Cerro Potosi, there is the place where Potosi lies. Cerro de Potosi actually is a mountain that contains many silver ore. Many people refer Cerro Rico as Rich Mountain because of it. Used to be, Spanish colonial establish mint on here. Potosi was founded in 15th century right after the discovery of the deposits of rich silver in the Cerro de Rico.

Potosi
Potosi, Bolivia
Photo by Benjamin Dumas

If you want to travel to Potosi, you must visit the cooperative mines. You would encounter great and also shocking experience how the miners work on the mines. The method of mining hasn’t change very much since the colonial era. The tour of mines starts with a visitation to the market of miner. There the tourist can buy various kind of gift for the miners. Usually, the traveler would buy drinks, coca leaves, and cigarettes. After that you would be guided to the ore refinery plant. The next destination is the mines. The place is not very big so that sometimes it insists you to crawling or walking it. During the journey, you can share the gift to the miners.

Cerro Rico, Bolivia
Cerro Rico, Potosi, Bolivia
Photo by Benjamin Dumas

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There are many good places on Potosi. Besides mines, you can visit Potosi restaurant. There are also many to drink, eat, and sleep. You can get around the Potosi by taxi because it is cheap. However, remember to use your bartering skill.

Nature Reserve Eduardo Abaroa
Reserva Natural Eduardo Avaroa (Potosí, Bolivia)
Photo by Miguel Navaza

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