We won’t lie, the main reason that we visited Bolivia’s “white city” was to go see the dinosaur park!, although we did want to see what all the fuss was about. Especially after Katie informed me that this was actually the capital! I always thought it was La Paz… theres some pub quiz fodder for you now!
This low built, colonial city is quite beautiful, with relaxed vibes, sunny days and salsa-loving nights, it just wasn’t for us, but cities like this rarely are. We’re, forever in favour of the rough around the edges, slightly less polished and certainly more smelly cities such as La Paz (you’ll always be the capital to me).
From Cochabamba to Sucre:
From the main terminal in Cochabama we boarded the 9.15pm Trans Real Audiencia bus and headed for Sucre. It was the cheapest option (c’mon, surely you know us by now) at 40B (€4.80).
Accommodation in Sucre:
Speaking of things that don’t make sense, we quickly discovered that hostal, does not mean budget accomodation in Sucre. In fact it’s totally the opposite. There are a few “budget backpacker” options two blocks from the Plaza de Armas on Calle Avaroa (Berlin and Beehive being the two most popular) with dorms starting at 45B (€5.50) and private or double rooms starting at 100B (€12.50) they’re a bit more flashpacker and a bit less budget.
I know, I know, I hear the cries of “that’s not expensive!” and “don’t be such a tight arse”, but it’s bloody expensive for Bolivia and it’s my job to be a tight arse. You try telling Katie there’s no room in the budget for chocolate!
So off we went hunting for the cheapest place we could find armed with our best smiles and our newly acquired and equally budget conscious polish friend Justyna, whose Spanish catchphrase “por favor, es possible más barato?” (Please, it’s possible for cheaper?? secured us cheap lodging GOLD in the form of Marios hostal.
Now Marios is most certainly not for everyone. Even Mario himself will tell you he prefers a certain type of clientele. Street performers, artesanos and hippy backpackers are his bread and butter. But if, like us, you’re ok to sleep on a mattress on the floor of a bare graffiti covered room, recycle your dishwater for flushing the toilet and give up your wifi in exchange for conversation and interaction, then you’ll find a wonderful 25B (€3) a night home in Marios.
The place has a cool earthy, hippy vibe, basic cooking facilities and a garden for chilling or camping. You won’t find Marios on any site or advertised in any tourist information office, this is stricly a haven for those in the know, and now you know!
The address is 16 Raul de Cordoba, you can’t miss the small hand painted sign outside. You could also call ahead or pop him a text on +519 71156660.
Tell him “los Irlandeses” sent you.
El Parque Cretácico AKA Sucre’s Jurassic Park:
Nestled quite spectacularly, but oh so randomly, at the back of a cement factory on the outskirts of Sucre is El Parque Cretácico or Dino Park!
One of Sucre’s most famous attractions, it’s the site of 9 different types, 465 different paths and 12,000 individual DINOSAUR FOOTPRINTS *dramatically sings Jurassic Park music*.
The park is also home to a museum, gift shop and several scale models of the dino’s that were found on the continent, including a MASSIVE Titanosaurs over 65 feet tall and 130 feet long.
The main feature, the walled footprints, is best enjoyed from 12pm to 2pm as this is when the sun hits with the best angle for photo ops! also at 12pm there’s a guided tour that brings you within 1 meter of the prints (which we of course missed, d’oh!)
If you miss the 12pm tour fear not, you can still see all the prints from a viewing platform with mounted binoculars. The entry to the park is 30B (€3.50) and includes a short 20 minute documentary, which is actually an episode of BBC’s “Walking with Dinosaurs”, and a 20 minute guided tour of the park in English (although the guides English was atrocious, and we spent most of the time trying to figure out what he was saying).
We would recommended taking the tour first so that you can ramble at your own pace and take loads of pictures, because after the tour that’s pretty much all there is to do.
To get to the park first head towards the main market and take the local bus from the corner of Calle Arenales and Calle Junin. Both the “4” and the “H” busses head here. Busses and routes can change, so always triple check. Mention “Parque Cretácico” to the driver.
Depending on traffic, it takes around 30 minutes, the park being the last stop for both bus lines. It costs 1.50B (€0.18)per person. Do make sure to state this price or hand over exact change instead of asking “how much” on our way out to the park, the driver quoted us 3B each, on the way back the more honest bus driver only charged us 1.50B. Some people are just *insert swearword of choice*.
At the last stop, across from the small market stalls, to your left you will see gates and a factory. Walk through the gates and up the hill to enter the park.
So there you have it, Sucre’s answer to Jurrasic Park is hardly of the, John Hammond, spared no expense level. But for 3 quid it’s not a bad way to spend an afternoon.
As always if you have any questions or comments, in the immortal words of Jim Carey from The Cable Guy… “I’m here for you!!”