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Some activities in Bolivia

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Some activities in Bolivia

1. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5595 posts) 10y

Hi, does anyone has some experience with the next two activities:
1. Visiting the mines in Potosi: nice, not nice, boring or not.
2. Downhill mountainbiking from La Paz to Coroico.

Thanks. Michael.

2. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 10y

I did the mines, and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone simply because it's actually quite dangerous. The tunnels are slippery, ladders rickety. Two people in my group sprang their ankle having to jump down a meter or two, but much worse things could have happened, like people falling down endless shafts... and apart from all that, I found it a bit boring; prefer a nice cave. But allegedly there's also hot springs near Potosi which are worth while, so it might be interesting to go anyway. Haven't done the mountainbiking, but seem to remember that that's fairly high-risk, too. Maybe someone else knows for sure.

3. Posted by MilyP (Budding Member 26 posts) 10y

I didn't actually do the biking myself as i was ill but the couple I was travelling with did. They had no experience of mountain biking and said it was absolutely brilliant and they loved it! The girl was very nervous before hand but said that she was fine when she started. While the road is dangerous for cars/buses and trucks this is because it is quite narrow so fine for bikes. They also said that the guides were really great and they checked the bikes really regularly.
Obviously this is all second hand so hopefully someone can give you a first hand account. But basically I am gutted that I missed it! Did some downhill biking here in Peru which I think was much less safe in fact. Dodgy bikes and very narrow rocky paths. Not a great combination!

4. Posted by silentkid (First Time Poster 1 posts) 10y

i did the mountain biking and well its pretty amazing and youd be a fool to miss it. just pay the money and go with a decent bunch as you really need good brakes. i went with gravity assisted and would reccomend.
one tip....they give you a free t shirt, dont mix this in with your washing as i dyed a bunch of my shirts green.
didnt go to the mines, seemed like a humna zoo altough met people who went and liked it, you get to blow up tnt so if you like explosives.....
i miss south america....

5. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5595 posts) 10y

Thanks all!
Tomorrow I am off to South America.
I think I will spend some more time in Sucre or La Paz instead of Potosi. That mountainbike trip I will definitely do!

6. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 10y

Hi Michael,

The mines in Potosi area really worth doing, in my opinion. In fact, it was one of the best things I did in South America. It's a very intense but eye-opening experience. As Bentivogli said, it's far from a comfortable experience, but I would urge you to try and fit it in.

Potosi was once the richest city in SA and its interesting to see where it is today.


7. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 10y

I wasn't talking comfortable, samsara, I was talking safety... :)

8. Posted by TylerJames (Respected Member 333 posts) 10y

i really found the mines to be quite amazing, i´ll never say that i have bad job after seeing them. when i went my group saw a lama sacficed to protect all the miners inside the mines. they slit its throat with a knife and threw the blood over the entrance of the mine. then they cut it up and cooked it. it was an expeence to say the least.
the acctual mines were crampt and it was a bit difficult to catch a breath, the little paper mask did nothing. temperatures varied from extremly hot to very cold. our tour guides were both ex miners and spoke english. they said many workers who enter the mines have a life span of no more than 40 to 45 years and children who work in the mines rarely make it past 25.
i enjoyed the mines even just for the historical sence. when the spanish had control of the city it was the richest in the world, not to mention the highest. the spanish brought thousands of black slaves from africa and used many indigenous people to work in the mines the condititions were as bad then as they are today.
i would never do the tour again but i´m glad i saw them. besides where else can you buy a stick of dynimite for a dollar then blow it up.