Traveling Between Potosi and Sucre

ferrobus potosi to sucre

The mining town of Potosi sits at the base of Cerro Rico, a mountain “made of silver” which famously enriched the Spanish empire. Despite the flow of silver out of the town, the population remain poor and many work in very tough dangerous conditions in the mines, tracking down the remainder of the silver. It is possible to tour the mines. You can learn more about Potosi and its mines by watching the Devil’s Miner, a film about a young Potosi mine-worker, which is regularly shown in bars throughout Sucre.

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By Bus

The road between Potosi and Sucre is paved and pleasant. Buses leave roughly hourly from 6.30am, and take around 3-4hrs. In Sucre, they can be caught from the bus station which is a short taxi ride (costing 4 bolivianos per person) from the center. If leaving from Potosi you can catch the bus from the new terminal (Nueva Terminal) which is located about a 20 minute taxi ride form the town center (around 5 bolivianos per person).

The bus costs around 20Bs, with more expensive semi-cama (half-bed) and full cama (full-bed) options available (as the buses are generally going to or from La Paz – you’re unlikely to need the cama options if just going from Potosi to Sucre or vice versa). One of the best operators on the route is El Dorado. Tickets can be purchased at the bus station on the day, or sometimes a day or two in advance (depending on the company). There is a 2 Bs “uso de terminal” departure tax to be paid at the bus station.

By Train

A train service known as the buscarril or “Ferrobus” (as it is basically a bus with train wheels and tracks) runs between Potosi and Sucre. It is slower than a regular bus, taking around 8hrs, but offers spectacular views of the surrounding countryside (some of which can be seen from the bus, some not). The service runs leaves from Sucre to Potosi on Mondays at 8am. It returns from Potosi to Sucre on Tuesdays, again leaving at 8am. Tickets cost around 25 bolivianos. The train departs and arrives Sucre from the El Tejar station which is a short taxi ride from the center (again around 4 bolivianos per person). In Potosi, the Ferrobus operates out of Potosi’s Estación Central located on the corner of Sevilla and Universitaria avenues.

By Taxi

As taxis in Bolivia are cheap, a third option is to have a taxi take you all the way from Sucre to Potosi, or vice versa. The trip will take around 2-3 hours. Shared taxis (called trufis) leave from the bus station and cost about 45bs ($6.50) per person. A taxi off the street will cost more, at about 60bs per person ($8.68). If you’re staying in a hostel or hotel, you may also be able to get the owner to organize one for you. We did this and it cost 50bs per person ($7.25).

Accommodation in Sucre

If you haven’t already, be sure to book your accommodation in Sucre as well as Potosi to avoid missing out.

If you have any advice you’d like to share about travelling between Sucre and Potosi please leave a comment below:

Sucre City Guide

Let's Discuss...

  1. Helen says:

    Hi the ferrobus isn’t running so often now. On arriving in potosi it only goes to sucre once a week on Tuesday and in reverse Sucre to potoi on a Monday.
    The locals couldn’t tell us when this happened or if it will stop.

    • Brigid says:

      Thanks for the info Helen, have updated the website. Hope you’re enjoying your time in Bolivia 🙂

  2. When there is a train, I will take the train, regardless of how much longer it takes.

    • Brigid says:

      I love train rides too Andreas! Not sure exactly why, but there’s a romanticism about train travel that you just don’t get from the air or car 🙂

  3. S says:

    Hi ,
    May I ask for an update information ?
    I would like to take the bus (which I can take our heavy luggage) from Potosi to Uyuni.
    Where can I check the updated prince , bus timetable…etc. THanks for advise.

    • Brigid says:

      You can try checking out Ticketsbolivia.com, otherwise I think you’re only other option will be to ask at the bus station.

  4. Jen says:

    Just an update for travellers as we have just come from Uyuni to Potosi and onwards from Potosi to Sucre by bus.

    Uyuni to Potosi – buses leave from outside the mercado (no terminal as such). The cost is 30 bs. We hopped on the bus just before 3:30pm. They came around at the end to collect payment. We were led to believe they depart hourly. On arriving to Potosi you are dropped at the old terminal. A taxi to the centre cost 20 bs for 4 pax. It’s uphill so l wouldn’t recommend walking.

    Potosi to Sucre
    Taxi to the new terminal on the outskirts cost 20 bs for 4 pax. We bought a ticket from a counter upstairs. There are signs with departure times and also a lady wailing Suuuuucre Suuuucre. You will be allocated a seat. Tickets cost 20 bs plus 2 bs to enter the platform area! 3 hr scenic ride. There are several companies and the buses seem to fill up so arrive a bit earlier to ensure you get a seat. The bus drops you in the terminal that’s about 12 mins from the main square. It’s hilly so do not recommend walking. Taxi cost 20 bs for 4 pax.

    Sucre to La Paz
    Will be heading to La Paz on an overnight bus via Copacabana bus company – 3 seat cama (full recline) for $26 US each. Booked online via Tickets Bolivia.

    Happy travelling!

    J&S

  5. valerie says:

    Hi Dan,

    I have a question.

    After the Uyuni tour we would like to go directly to Sucre.

    Do you also have a nightbus from Uyuni to Sucre? or how much will a taxi cost? We will travel with 2 persons. Or do you have a better option?

    Thanks in advance!

    Kind regards,
    Valerie
    The Netherlands

  6. Anh says:

    Thank you very much Dan 🙂

  7. Huyen says:

    Hi,
    I found from your posts that it is easy to catch a taxi from Sucre to Potosi. But I wonder when is the departure of bus from Potosi to Uyuni. Can you tell us how to catch bus from Potosi to Uyuni, ETD at Potosi bus station?
    We are a group of 7 pax. We have just full afternoon time for moving from Sucre to Uyuni and target is to reach Uyuni town late evening time.
    Driving time from Sucre-Potosi will be around 2hours. How about from Potosi to Uyuni? Many posts said it is shorten now due to better road conditions. 4hours for this distance. Is it correct?
    Any possibility to arrange a collective taxi or car for 7pax directlyy from Sucre to Uyuni?

    Best regards,
    Huyen

    • Dan says:

      Hi Huyen,

      It’s definitely possible to reach Uyuni in the late evening. When we did it we left for Uyuni from Potosi bus station at 5pm. If I recall correctly, there were a few other bus options around the same time (perhaps an hour either side).

      Yeah, it now takes about 4 hours to get from Potosi to Uyuni thanks to the recently paved road.

      If you want to arrange a collective taxi I think it should be possible, though I’m not aware of anyone specifically offering the service. My advice would be to ask either your hostel or one of the many tourist agencies to arrange it. Alternatively you could head down to the bus station and ask around there.

      Have fun!
      Dan

  8. Anh says:

    Hi,

    We have 7 pax. Can we find a bus from Potosi to Uyuni early in the morning? Are other options?
    Thank you.
    Anh

    • Dan says:

      Hi Anh,

      Nowadays there is a reasonably regular service from Potosi to Uyuni throughout the day, starting in the morning. I’m not sure exactly what time they start running from – I don’t know if it would be possible to get to Uyuni in time for the departure of a salt flats tour, for instance (though it might be).

      Depending on what you plan to do, you may like to consider leaving Potosi in the afternoon and staying the night in Uyuni instead. We were able to get from Sucre to Potosi in the morning, visit the Royal Mint before lunch and then do a mine tour in the afternoon before catching a bus at 5pm to get into Uyuni the night before our tour. And we didn’t feel rushed doing it.

      Alternatively, if you need to leave in the morning you could consider a taxi (actually, 2 taxis). It won’t be particularly cheap as it’s a 4hr trip, but you may be able to get one for around $15-20 per person.

      Hope that helps!

  9. Juan says:

    We are 5 going to Potosi .. are there taxis for 5 people ?… If yes, Price should be between 7 and 8 USD per person right?

    • Dan says:

      Hi Juan,

      I’m not entirely sure about this.

      Most taxis in Sucre are regular cars which only have space for 4. While I think many of the taxi drivers would be happy to fit in 5 people for the extra fare, I’m not sure if they will be able to. There have been tightened restriction on the road between Sucre and Potosi to help cut down accidents. Drivers now have to pass a police check when leaving Sucre and again when entering Potosi. The purpose of this is to check the driver’s speed – if they reach Potosi too quickly they’ll get fined. I don’t know for certain, but I suspect the police might also check the number of passengers.

      Your best bet is probably to try and arrange the taxi in advance (either through a hostel, etc, or directly with a driver). They’ll be able to advise you on whether 5 people can be carried in a single taxi, whether there are larger taxis available, or whether two taxis would be willing to take you for $7-8 per person.

      Sorry I don’t have more information on this. Good luck and let us know how you get on.

  10. Matheus says:

    Hey!
    I just want to confirm this information:
    The taxi from Sucre to Potosi is around $8 per person?
    Thanks!
    Matheus

    • Dan says:

      Hi Matheus,

      That’s right, it should be around $8 per person. We paid 200 bolivianos earlier this year for 4 people (about US$7.25 per person). This was organized by the owner of the hostel our friends were staying in, and picked us up from the hostel. We had previously asked a random taxi driver what it would cost and he told us 60 bolivianos per person, so if you have someone who can organize it for you, you may get a better price. I’m not sure if you can get it cheaper with less than 4 people – taxis in Sucre charge on a per-person basis, but I don’t know if this extends to a trip to Potosi.

      Enjoy Potosi!

  11. Stefan says:

    Hola!

    a question about the ferrobus from potosi to sucre:
    Where can I find the ‘train station’ in potosi?

    Kind regards,
    Stefan

    • Dan says:

      Hi Stefan,

      I believe the ferrobus operates out of the Potosi’s Estación Central located on the corner of Sevilla and Universitaria avenues. Ferrobus have an office in the station and should be able to direct you to the departure point of the train. Enjoy the trip!

  12. We just took a trufi from the bus station and it was hard to negotiate down to 45bs per person…and we weren’t just a group of foreigners!

    • Dan says:

      Hi Jessica, thanks for the info – I’ve updated the post accordingly.

      Hope you had fun in both Sucre and Potosi!

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