PotosíThe highest larger town in the world - above 4000 m. - and in historical perspective the most important one in Bolivia. Famous for the 'Cerro Rico', the hill which brought richdom to some and a short lifespan to others due to the presence of silver and tin.
To this very day miners are working here in unhealthy conditions, a situation that started in the 16th century. The photos below show the main Plaza with Cerro Rico looming in the background and a look inside one of the narrow corridors of the intricate system of galleries.
A trip about 25 km northbound from the city brings one to the hot springs of Tarapaya and Miraflores. Past these villages a river (see photo at top of page) flows through a canyon. The river is very much polluted by deposits from the mining activities, turning redbrown rocks into metallic and smelling nasty. But the scenery is great and a walk is rewarding, for there are bromeliads basking on the rockfaces, the species in question being Tillandsia cardenasii.