What is the Capital of Bolivia?

Sucre is the constitutional capital of Bolivia, hosting the country’s judicial power.

However, the actual seat of the Bolivian government, including the Council of Ministers, is located in La Paz, making it the administrative capital. Therefore, while Sucre is officially recognized as the capital, the day-to-day governance of the country primarily takes place in La Paz.

A map showing a highlighted area labeled 'Sucre' with a star marking its location, surrounded by other geographic names and boundaries.
Sucre, the capital city of Bolivia

Sucre is the regional capital of the Chuquisaca region, as well as the Corte Suprema de Justicia, the Supreme Court of Bolivia. Located at 2,800 meters above sea level, the city was named Charcas, La Plata, and Chuquisaca.

Where is Sucre?

Close-up of Sucre's location on the map
Location of Sucre, Bolivia, and its neighboring countries

Sucre lies in the south-central part of Bolivia, in a region known as the Andean highlands. It’s positioned in the Bolivian department of Chuquisaca, for which it serves as the capital.

History of Sucre

Sucre, known as “La Ciudad Blanca” or “The White City,” has a rich and storied history.

Here’s a summary of the city’s past, including the significant events and periods that shaped it:

Before the Spanish arrival, the area around Sucre was inhabited by indigenous cultures, including the Charca people. The Spanish founded the city of Sucre in 1538 under the name Ciudad de la Plata de la Nueva Toledo.

The city was an important center for the Spanish Empire in South America. It was known for its wealth derived from local silver mines, especially in Potosi, one of the wealthiest cities in the world during the 17th century. Sucre served as a key administrative, ecclesiastical, and cultural center.

Sucre was a significant location in the struggle for South American independence. The first call for freedom in Bolivia, the Liberty Bell, rang out from Sucre’s San Francisco Church on May 25, 1809.

San Francisco Church in Sucre significant for first call for freedom in Bolivia in 1809
The San Francisco Church in Sucre, also known as Basílica de San Francisco, dates back to the 16th century, making it one of the oldest churches in Bolivia.

Eventually, after many battles and a long struggle, Bolivia gained independence from Spain. This was formally declared in Sucre on August 6, 1825, in honor of which the city was renamed after Antonio José de Sucre, a Venezuelan leader who played a crucial role in the fight for independence.

In 1839, Sucre became the capital of Bolivia. However, after the Federal War (1898–1899), a conflict triggered by economic and political differences between regions, the government seat was moved to La Paz, which is located in the western part of the country, leaving Sucre as the constitutional and judicial capital of Bolivia.

The city of Sucre continues to be an important cultural and educational center in Bolivia. Its historical city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its well-preserved colonial architecture and significant historical monuments.

This is a broad overview, and many more events, people, and cultural changes have shaped Sucre throughout its history, but this gives you an idea of some of the significant periods and turning points.

Features of Sucre

Aerial view of the old streets in Sucre
Aerial view of the old streets in Sucre

Sucre, also known as “La Ciudad Blanca” or “The White City,” is one of the most beautiful cities in Bolivia with a rich and storied history.

Sucre is the constitutional capital of Bolivia and was a crucial location in the struggle for South American independence from Spain. The city was named after Antonio José de Sucre, a key figure in the fight for freedom.

Geography and Climate

Typical weather in Bolivia
Typical climate for Sucre, Bolivia

Sucre is located in the south-central part of Bolivia, in a valley surrounded by low mountains. The city lies at an altitude of about 2,800 meters (9,186 feet). Because of its elevation, Sucre enjoys a relatively mild, temperate climate despite being located near the equator.

The average temperatures range between 14 °C (57 °F) to 20 °C (68 °F), with the warmer months typically from October to March. The city sees most of its precipitation from November to March, during the rainy season, while the rest of the year is relatively dry.


Sucre locals celebrating Fiesta de la Virgen de Guadalupe
Sucre locals celebrating Fiesta de la Virgen de Guadalupe, which typically takes place every year on September 8th, holds significant cultural importance in Sucre.

The population of Sucre is around 300,000 people. The population comprises various ethnic groups, including mestizos (people of mixed Indigenous and European ancestry), Indigenous people from different ethnic groups, and smaller populations of Europeans and other groups. Spanish is the most commonly spoken language, but Indigenous languages like Quechua are also widely spoken.


Banco nacional sucre bolivia
The “Banco Nacional” in Sucre, Bolivia

Sucre’s economy is diversified across a few key sectors. Historically, the city was known for its nearby silver mines, but today it relies on a combination of other industries.

Many tourists visit the city yearly to visit its many historical sites and enjoy its cultural events. The surrounding region is agricultural, producing crops like corn, wheat, potatoes, and vegetables. Sucre has a cement factory and other small industries, including textiles, food processing, and furniture.

Things to Do and Places to See in Sucre

Sucre brims with enthralling pursuits and remarkable points of interest. Let’s explore some of the city’s most renowned and sought-after attractions and destinations:

1. Freedom House (Casa de la Libertad)

Casa de la Libertad where Bolivia's declaration of independance was proclaimed
Originally built by the Jesuits in the 17th century, Casa de la Libertad is the historic site where Bolivia’s declaration of independence was proclaimed on August 6, 1825.

This historic building in Sucre is one of the most important in Bolivia because it’s where the Bolivian Declaration of Independence was signed. Today, it’s a museum where you can see the Bolivian Constitution and other historical artifacts.

2. Parque Cretacico

Cretaceous Park in Sucre, Bolivia
The Cretaceous Park features 5,000 footprints from at least 15 species of dinosaurs on a limestone wall in the park.

This is a fascinating destination, especially for those interested in paleontology. Here you can see actual dinosaur footprints on the limestone cliff. The park also has life-sized dinosaur models and offers guided tours.

3. Glorieta Castle (El Castillo de la Glorieta)

Glorieta Castle (El Castillo de la Glorieta)
Glorieta Castle, which once functioned as an educational institution following the owners’ demise, currently serves as a tourist attraction renowned for its architectural and historical importance.

Located a few kilometers from Sucre, a wealthy couple built this eccentric castle in the 19th century. Its eclectic architecture mixes various styles, from Gothic to Moorish. It was declared a national monument in 1970.

4. Church of San Felipe Neri

Church of san felipe neri oratorio de san felipe de
Constructed in the late 18th century, the Church of San Felipe Neri serves as a historic symbol of Sucre’s abundant colonial heritage.

This beautiful colonial church offers panoramic views of the city from its rooftop. Its classic white architecture is characteristic of Sucre and an excellent spot for photography.

5. Simon Bolivar Park (Parque Simon Bolivar)

Sucre bolivia may 22 2015: tower like eiffel tower
The park is named after Simon Bolivar, an influential leader who played a significant role in Latin America’s liberation from Spanish colonial rule.

This is the largest and most popular park in Sucre. It’s a lovely place for a stroll, with beautiful landscaping, a large variety of trees, and a lagoon. The park is a favorite spot for leisure activities, including walking, jogging, picnics, and family gatherings. It is a significant social hub in the city.

The park often hosts public events, such as fairs, concerts, and cultural festivities, making it a vibrant part of Sucre’s community life.

Image Sources and Copyright Information
  • image-1189: © Mappr
  • Map of Bolivia with Sucre Location Pin: © JoaoCachapa/Shutterstock
  • San Francisco Church in Sucre under Blue Sky: © Noverth/Wikimedia | CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported
  • Aerial View of Sucre, Bolivia: © fogcatcher/Shutterstock
  • Sunny Day in Sucre, Bolivia: © streetflash/Shutterstock
  • Festival Dancers in Traditional Dress: © Devin Beaulieu/Shutterstock
  • Facade of the National Bank Building in Sucre, Bolivia: © Massiel Z C/Wikimedia | CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported
  • Statue in Courtyard of Historical Building: © Mark Pitt Images/Shutterstock
  • Dinosaur Sculpture in a Park: © Mark Green/Shutterstock
  • Castle-like Building with Minaret Tower under Blue Sky: © Mark Green/Shutterstock
  • White Colonial Church with Twin Bell Towers under Blue Sky: © posztos/Shutterstock
  • Park with Eiffel Tower Replica and Pond: © saiko3p/Shutterstock