Atocha Travel Guide

Read on for a complete travel guide to Atocha, Bolivia, including a list of places to visit, hiking and biking routes, food and drink, where to stay, and tips for staying safe and healthy while exploring this beautiful destination.

A Comprehensive Travel Guide to Atocha, Bolivia

Nestled in the heart of Altiplano, Atocha is a charming Bolivian town that offers dramatic landscapes, vibrant culture, and a rich history. From museums and historical places to natural attractions, hiking and biking routes, food and drink offerings, there is something for everybody in Atocha.

Introduction to Atocha

Atocha is a town in Potosí, located in the southwestern region of Bolivia. It was originally founded by the Spanish in the early 17th century and is famous for its silver mines. Today, it is home to stunning views, impressive museums, authentic food and drink, and friendly locals.

List of Places to Visit in Atocha

Here are some top cultural and natural attractions to check out during your visit:

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  1. ATOCHA MUSEUM: Atocha Museum is one of the top attractions of the city and is filled with historical artifacts, including silver and mineral specimens.

  2. SAN CLEMENTE INDEPENDENCE SQUARE: This square is located in the heart of Atocha and is surrounded by historical buildings from the colonial era, all with unique architecture.

  3. TORRE EIFFEL: This iron tower was brought from France and is located in the town’s outskirts. It is a perfect place to take pictures of the surroundings, and it will make you feel like you are back in Paris.

Natural Attractions of Atocha: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  1. CERRO RICO: Cerro Rico is an incredibly scenic hill that offers breathtaking views of Atocha. It is famous for its rich silver mines and is an ideal spot for experiencing some Bolivian history.

  2. QALA QALA MOUNTAIN: The Qala Qala is a sacred mountain located near Atocha, with stunning landscapes and hiking trails for outdoor enthusiasts.

  3. LAGUNA COLORADA: The Laguna Colorada is a must-visit natural attraction in the area and is famous for its bright red color. This salt lake is home to several bird species, and visitors can drive around in the area to spot flamingos.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Atocha

Atocha is a paradise for hikers and bikers, with stunning landscapes and nature trails. Here are some of the best routes in this beautiful town:

  • Salinas de Garci Mendoza - Located around 100 kilometers west of Atocha, travelers can enjoy 4-day hiking & biking trek, with amazing views and picnics along with several stunning spots to photograph!

  • Hike Cerro Rico - Visitors can climb to see one of the best panoramic views of Atocha and beyond.

Best Things to Do in Atocha: Activities and Tours

Atocha offers several activities, tours, and experiences that you cannot miss during your visit.

  • TOUR THE SILVER MINES: One of the top things to do in Atocha is to take a trip to one of the mines that still operate in the area. Visitors can tour underground with working miners and learn about the history of the silver mines in Bolivia.

  • TAKE A COOKING CLASS: Atocha is known for its delicious Bolivian cuisine. Learn how to cook the local specialties with a traditional cooking class.

  • EXPLORE THE AREA ON HORSEBACK: A fun way to explore the area is on horseback. Local guides can take you on a ride to see the beautiful landscapes of the surrounding area.

Week-Long Itinerary for Atocha

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or returning to Atocha for a second time, here’s a sample itinerary to guide your trip:

Day Activities
Day 1 Arrive in Atocha, visit the Atocha Museum, and check out the local markets
Day 2 Take a trip to the silver mines and learn about the mining history of the area
Day 3 Hike Cerro Rico for stunning views of Atocha and beyond
Day 4 Explore Laguna Colorada and spot some flamingos
Day 5 Take cooking classes to learn how to cook Bolivian Specialties and crafts
Day 6 Get on your bike for a cycling adventure on Salinas de Garci Mendoza
Day 7 Take some time to relax or explore any missed areas before departing Atocha

Food and Drink Scene of Atocha

Atocha is known for its delicious Bolivian cuisine and local drinks. Here are some must-try dishes and drinks:

Must-Try Dishes

  1. SALTEÑA: Salteñas are a popular savory pastry filled with meat, potatoes, and spicy chilies. Visitors can find these delicious street food snacks everywhere in Atocha.

  2. LLAJUA: Llajua is a Bolivian salsa made from tomatoes, chilies, and garlic, and it can be seen accompanying almost every dish in Atocha and beyond.

Local Beverages

  1. MOCOCHINCHI: Mocochinchi is a traditional Bolivian drink made from dried peaches, cinnamon, and cloves.

  2. API: Api is a warm thick drink made from purple corn, cinnamon, cloves, and sugar. It is enjoyed as a beverage or a dessert in Atocha.

Where to Stay in Atocha: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

There are several accommodation options available in Atocha, ranging from budget hostels to luxurious hotels. Here are some recommended accommodations that are popular with visitors:

  • Hosteria-Villa amari: A boutique hotel that offers elegant rooms with incredible views, a restaurant, a spa, and free parking. This hotel is perfect for couples or solo travelers looking for a more relaxed atmosphere.

  • Hoteles Turisticos Bolivia: A mid-range hotel that offers comfortable rooms, free Wi-Fi, and a restaurant. This hotel is perfect for families or travelers looking for comfortable and affordable accommodation options.

What to Buy in Atocha: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Atocha has many unique souvenirs and local products visitors can purchase. Here are some popular items to consider:

  • SILVER JEWELRY: Atocha is famous for its silver mines, so visitors can purchase a keepsake jewelry piece made with authentic Atocha silver.

  • ALPACA WOOL PRODUCTS: Alpaca wool is known for its softness and is often used in scarves, hats, and ponchos. Visitors can purchase this unique and high-quality textile in Atocha.

Local Culture and Customs of Atocha

The locals of Atocha are warm and welcoming to visitors, and it is important to reciprocate their hospitality by showing respect for their traditions and values.

Atocha is a traditional town that values family and religion above all. It is important to be modest while dressing, have basics knowledge of Spanish, and seek permission before taking photos.

Best Time to Visit Atocha

The best time to visit Atocha is during Bolivia’s dry season, which runs from May to October. This time of year offers mild temperatures and offers a better view of Atocha landscapes, with clear skies, making it perfect for outdoor activities.

Do’s and Don’ts of Atocha


  • Learn some basic Spanish phrases before arriving in Atocha.

  • Wear comfortable walking shoes or hiking boots.

  • Sample as much Bolivian cuisine as possible.


  • Wear revealing or inappropriate clothing in Atocha.

  • Engage in any political discussions unless you are familiar with Bolivia’s history.

Safety and Health

Safety in Atocha

Atocha is a relatively safe destination, but visitors should take necessary precautions, such as:

  • Always carry a copy of your passport with you.

  • Avoid traveling alone at night.

  • Ask locals and authorities to confirm the safety of the area before exploring.

Health in Atocha

Visitors to Atocha should take care to prevent altitude sickness and dehydration. It is important to stay hydrated, drink bottled water only, and avoid alcohol in the early days of arrival.

Getting to Atocha: Transportation Options and Logistics

Atocha is well-connected with major cities of Bolivia. Here are some transportation options available to visitors:

Airports Near Atocha

The closest airport to Atocha is the Potosi Airport, which is around 170 kilometers away. Visitors can board direct flights to Viru Viru Airport, and from there, one can book a ticket to Potosí.

Bus Stations Near Atocha

Atocha is a town right on the main road, with several minibuses and taxis that operate daily. These can be reached from Potosi, Oruro, or La Paz.

Other Options

Visitors can also rent a vehicle or hire a private transfer to reach Atocha from major cities of Bolivia.

How to Get Around in Atocha

Visitors usually get around Atocha by foot, as it is a small and walkable town. Taxis are also readily available for hire.

Where to Go Next from Atocha: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Atocha has some fantastic nearby destinations that are worth a visit during your trip to Bolivia. Some popular nearby destinations to consider include:

  • UYUNI SALT FLATS: This natural wonder is located just a few hour’s drive from Atocha and is a must-visit destination for adventure seekers and photographers.

  • POTOSI CITY: This beautiful colonial city is located just over an hour’s drive from Atocha, offering a range of attractions, including museums, restaurants, and churches.


With its scenic beauty, unique cultural attractions, and outdoor adventure opportunities, Atocha is the perfect destination for visitors to Bolivia. We hope this comprehensive travel guide helped you plan your trip and make the most of your time in Atocha.