By bus, a trip from Sucre to Potosí takes just a few hours, and it’s even faster by taxi. But if you’re more interested in scenery than speed, check out the ultra slow bus-train, which winds its wobbly way around mountains, lakes and valleys, offering spectacular views every inch of the way.
The trip takes almost seven hours, but it’s seven hours of the most beautiful landscapes imaginable, particularly if you’re able to snag the front seat next to the driver. Amazingly, this train isn’t a touristic draw. We were the only foreigners on board, and among a minority who wasn’t carrying a bag full of potatoes or chickens.
Tickets were about $3.50 apiece, already worth the price after the first fifteen minutes. Vertigo-sufferers may want to take a pass on the trip. The train never feels especially steady, and I felt my stomach lurch while looking over some bridges. But if you’re a fan of mountain scenery and not on a tight schedule, this trip is definitely something to consider. It’s also a slow, healthy way to ascend to Potosí’s 4000+ meter altitude.
Plus, the length of time gave me plenty of time to read up on the city. By the time we arrived in Potosí, we were aching to start exploring what must be among the world’s most interesting cities…