How Much Does It Cost To Live In Sucre?

how much does it cost to live in sucre bolivia

When it comes to great-value long-term living, it’s hard to find a better destination than Sucre. The city is a top choice for expats looking to start a new life, digital nomads looking to work online and backpackers looking to recharge the batteries.

A couple can live quite comfortably for under $800 US a month in Sucre. Here we have outlined for you the main living expenses you can expect to incur during your stay in the ‘White City’.

Accommodation

cost to live in sucre bolivia

Accommodation options in Sucre vary ranging from cheap and cheerful hostels to private apartments. We managed to find ourselves a fully furnished modern 3 story house for $400 a  month, including all utilities, cable TV and fast Wi-Fi. The incredible thing is, this apartment was on the expensive side for Sucre; you can find self-contained studios or 2 bedroom apartments for as little as $250 per month.

Hostels and B&Bs are a great option for shorter stays and are generally priced based on quality and location. Before we found our apartment we stayed in a lovely hostel ($20/night for private room with bathroom), and a peaceful B&B ($40/night private room, own lounge area, and bathroom).

You can find a bed in Sucre for as little as $7 a night and, if you plan on staying for more than a week, the hostel or B&B will usually be open to negotiating a better price.

Click here to download the Sucre City Guide 2017 Edition

Food and Drink

condor cafe sucre bolivia

One of the best things about Sucre is that it’s often just as cheap to eat out at a restaurant as it is to cook at home.

A nice meal will tend to set you back somewhere between $2-$5 and a 1L bottle of beer about $3. Keep in mind, you can eat and drink even cheaper than this if you frequent the street vendors or head to the mercado central.

Menus del dia are a great option for lunch, where you can get a three course meal for around $3. A few restaurants also offer daily deals such as ‘Sweet Mondays’ and ‘Pasta Night’.

Grocery items range in price depending on whether you purchase local or imported products. Our weekly shopping bill including a nice bottle of wine tended to be around $70 (which is great considering we dined at home most of the week), meaning our daily food budget came in at about $5 per person.

Mainly for convenience, we did the majority of our grocery shopping at Pompeya and SAS supermarkets, however cheaper prices can be found at mercado central or mercado campesino, especially if you buy in bulk.

Entertainment

joy ride cafe sucre bolivia

Keeping yourself entertained in Sucre will not break the budget as many of the city’s events are free.

Throughout the week a couple of the bars host movie nights, showing both movies in English and documentaries such as popular Bolivian movie, The Devil’s Miner.  You can also catch a Hollywood blockbuster at Cine SAS with Wednesdays being 2 for 1 tickets all day long.

A night out on the town is cheap as chips thanks to frequent happy hours around the city’s bars and entry into the most popular clubs will only cost around $2.

The Teatro Gran Mariscal holds a regular stream of events including ballets, folkloric dancing, music concerts and plays with many of the events being free.

There is often no charge for entry into the wealth of museums and churches around the city, but if a ticket is required it will only cost you between $2-$4.

Spanish Lessons

living costs for sucre bolivia

Sucre is one of the cheapest places in Latin America to study Spanish. You can expect to pay $4 an hour for group classes or $7 an hour for a private tutor. Teachers are of excellent quality, with a number of instructors also speaking English, making lessons a little less daunting. Most Spanish schools offer extra-curricular activities (cooking classes, sporting activities, etc.) to help you improve your Spanish and get to know other travelers. These activities are often free or, in the case of cooking classes, have a minimal cost (e.g. $2) just to cover the cost of ingredients.

There are many Spanish schools to be found in Sucre, and whilst all offer similar experiences for similar prices, they do vary in quality. From personal experience, we can highly recommend Me Gusta Spanish School and Continental Spanish School.

Click here to download the Sucre City Guide 2017 Edition

Miscellaneous

how much does it cost to live in sucre bolivia

If you limit your search to the city centre, clothing can be just as expensive as Western prices as many items are imported from the US. However, if you make your way over to mercado central or mercado campesino you will more than likely find what you need at a fraction of the price.

Getting a haircut in Sucre is easy as there are many options available. Guys can expect to pay $2-5 and ladies between $5-8.

Transport within Sucre is safe and reliable. Traveling anywhere by taxi within the city center will cost $0.60 per person and local buses are even cheaper again.

The best laundromat in town is Laverap and costs $1 / kilo

Thankfully we never had to use a doctor or hospital during our time living in Sucre. We did however use a fantastic dentist where we received better service and cheaper prices than we ever did in Australia.  A checkup and teeth cleaning costs $58 and takes about 30 mins.

Visitors to Bolivia are normally granted a 30 day tourist visa upon entering the country. This can easily be extended up to 90 days while you are in Sucre and is free of charge.  If you wish to stay in Sucre beyond the 90 days, one option is to apply for a student visa at a cost of $36. The other option is to apply for a Special Purpose visa which is necessary in order to apply for temporary or permanent residency. If applying within Bolivia this visa will cost you $362, however if you apply outside the country it will be significantly cheaper at around $87.

Which countries do you consider the best value for money in terms of expat living? Share below:

Sucre City Guide

Let's Discuss...

  1. simon says:

    What about Santa Cruz de la Sierra ? Have any of you guys been there seems an intersting place too. Another thing, I have lived in Asia before, it has great value for money, especially about accomodation, as Asia is generally very safe, so there are not really “dangerous” parts of the city, compared to Latin America where you have to avoid some “parts of the city” because they are too dangerous, but those parts of the city tend to be the cheapest too, so I think because you are limited to certain Areas in Latin American cities so it tends to be more expensive than Asia !!!

    So is Santa Cruz de la Sierra a good place to spend some time in ?!

  2. Kacy says:

    This is great information! I would love to spend an extended trip in Sucre. I’m doing my first expat trip of around 180 days in a small Brazilian city this year, and thought the cost of living there was very cheap, but it is expensive compared to this.

    • Brigid says:

      Oh I would love to travel to Brazil one day Kacy, I’m sure you’re going to have a wonderful experience! Hope you make it to Sucre in the near future, it’s a wonderful place to visit and live 🙂

  3. borgespaulor says:

    We are older in our 50’s and would like to try Bolivia for 6 months. How about safety?
    Do you feel comfortable walking out in the evening?

    • Dan says:

      Hi borgespaulor,

      We’ve found Sucre to be a safe and pleasant city. The evenings are one of my favorite times of the day – there’s generally a very friendly atmosphere with lot of people milling around (young couples, families and fellow tourists). Like any city you’re not familiar with you may want stick to the “tourist areas” and to be off the streets by the time the bars start emptying out (though that’s not until early morning). Even then we’ve never encountered any problems. Bolivia as a whole is remarkably safe and Sucre especially so.

      I hope you make the trip. I’m sure 6 months in Bolivia would be an unforgettable experience for you!

  4. I think we might have to take some of those Spanish classes…

  5. Eflores says:

    I have been living in sucre for almost two years now and have seen things change. For example rents are getting more pricey, food is the same if not more expensive than Cali. Rotisserie chickens are 45b and at costco they’re 6 bucks, that’s almost the same.

    You can’t compare apples to oranges, yes some things are cheaper but not all things. You might only spend $800 a month, but to Bolivian that is substantial. Most work all day and only make 2000b, about $287 American. So that creates an imbalance in their small economy and prices on all things go up, for the foreigner and especially the locals.

    • Dan says:

      Hi Eflores, that’s always been our dilemma as travelers – do we visit somewhere like Sucre and risk exacerbating the economic inequalities, or do we keep our money for richer economies and deny Bolivia the opportunity to catch up? One way for travelers to minimize their economic impact (or at least have the most beneficial impact) would be to choosing places such as Condor Cafe who put all their profits into social projects to help the most needy. But even that will never be to everyone’s benefit.

      Sucre’s growing popularity as a tourist destination, and Bolivia’s economic growth as a whole is definitely seeing prices beginning to rise in the city. There are also some temporary supply issues putting pressure on food prices. Beef has been in short supply and has become noticeably more expensive. The search for cheaper alternatives is probably partly to blame for the chicken prices you mentioned.

  6. NA_LEE says:

    many many thanks, wonderful intro for Sucre tourists, backpackers, newbies. For myself, this site is all i need to get infos (which i got) about sucre. getting there, language course, etcetera pp.

    a job well done!

    cannot wait for my sucre adventure. flight will be booked nownow.

  7. stephenacs says:

    I am so excited that I found this site. I am considering moving to Sucre for at least 3-4 months to see if I’d like to live there longer. This info is invaluable to me!

    • Brigid says:

      So happy you found the post useful. That’s wonderful you’re considering moving to Sucre, I’m sure you will love it 🙂

  8. Danuta says:

    $58 for a check-up and cleaning is a lot! In Chochabamba you pay anything from 100 to 300 Bs!

    • Dan says:

      Just to clarify, that was for treatment in the best private dental practice in town where there was no waiting and a level of service which exceeded that which we were used to back home, at a fraction of the cost. Of course, if you’re willing to lower your standards a bit you can get dental treatment in Sucre for prices similar to those in Cochabamba!

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