Potosi with an elevation of 13,400 feet is one of the highest elevated cities in the world. The city sits at the base of a towering cone-shaped mountain which is nicknamed "rich mountain" for its silver. This mountain has been the cause of much beauty and sadness through history, During the 16th Century because of the wealth the city was one of the most populated in the world. However, for those that worked the mines their lives has been a very difficult one. The town itself has very impressive colonial architecture.
The city of Potosi is at a height of 4,090 metres, making it one of the highest in the world. Whilst the centre is pleasant enough, the main attraction here are the tours up to the silver mines. However, these tours aren’t for the faint hearted, with the miners working in absolutely appalling conditions, the scenes from the tour can’t help but have a lasting impact on you. The unique nature of this tour makes it an essential experience when in Bolivia, but just be prepared to be shocked by what you see.
Potosi may not look like much now, but it was once one of the richest and most important cities in the world. Thanks to the cerro rico (the giant silver mine, which is still in use today), Potosi was the Spanish Empire's Cash Cow. There remains much of the great colonial infrastructure. Check out the Casa de Moneda and the impressive Cathedral. If you can I would also recommend taking a mine tour from the actual miners.
This place defines grit. Also known as Poto-no. An economic run by 15 year old miners using homemade dinimite, drunk. All the money is sent out of the town, and any capitalist with a stake in the action only visits here when business requires. The drink of choice is pure alcohol mixed with a check of coca leaves, and the city is at 14,000 feet so do not wander to far because this is the last place you want to get lost. A rough, tough place, but a place to be seen to really understand the history of Bolivia's struggle. Go on a mine tour, but at your own risk.