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Every Sunday sleepy Tarabuco with cobbled streets and low mud brick buildings is transformed to a bustling market town. People from the surrounding country flood the streets – creating a show of traditional Bolivian dress, and opportunity to experience a trading day in the county. Tagged as the best known market in Bolivia, it was well worth the day trip from Sucre.

We traveled to Tarabuco on the Saturday afternoon to get an idea of the little town before the mayhem of the markets. We found an extremely cheap hotel (25 bol each, $4) and managed to find some nearly edible food on the square- tasteless chicken soup, and fried chicken and chips from the street.

There were  handicrafts and textiles aimed at tourists, goods needed for everyday Bolivian country life, from cocoa leaves to pretty hats, candles and household goods, and two large farmers markets with very cheap and fresh produce, and plenty of places for a filling almuerzo (lunch).

A few typical styles that we spied- the traditional Tarabucian man wearing a montera (a leather hat), a thick sheep wool poncho, white trousers and awarquas (sandals) made from old tires; the traditional woman waering a thick black robe, awarquas and a black hat, (if the hat has beads hanging from the front it means she is unmarried); there are also more modern women wearing a lace blouse, pleated skirt to the knees, and a cardigan.

After happily soaking up the colour and atmosphere, observing the locals, trying some stews for lunch, and buying our veges for dinner, we grabbed a 1 boliviano ice cream and jumped on a micro back to Sucre.

We decided to spluge and upgrade to the room  with a view at our lovely hotel, so we spent the afternoon gazing over the city, and chilling.


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