Tarabuco Market is the best place to experience the unique indigenous Yampara culture, and get amongst the locals in their eye-catching traditional costumes.
Tarabuco Market is held on Sunday. The day trip to Tarabuco, about 65 km southeast of Sucre, is one of the highlights around Sucre.
I took a bus organised by a tour agency: 7 a.m. departure from the corner of Ravelo and Aniceto Arce streets in Sucre centre and 25 bolivianos return.
An alternative is to catch normal buses like the locals and pay around 15 bolivianos.
By the time the bus dropped us off at the main plaza in Tarabuco about 2 ½ hours later, the market was already in full swing.
The small streets of this little mountain village were full of stalls and people, many of them with their merchandise spread out on streets.
The main courtyard, a little bit off the main plaza, is a good place for some cheap hearty breakfast before you set out on your wander around the market.
Not only can you find the usual local produce, meat (displayed out in the open in the sun) and textiles at the market, but other weird and wonderful like: big dried red chilies and chili powder just like the kinds you see in some Asian countries like Korea, pieces of dried fat piled up high, bagful of coca leaves, and a variety of herbs and other ingredients used in their traditional medicine.
Some of the locals were in their distinctive traditional attire the Yampara culture was recognized and famous for. The men wore ponchos with horizontal stripes of the regional colours which mainly consisted of brown and black, and black “casket” hats with the contoured rim. The women wore cylindrical tall hats with lots of sparkling decorations in the front, and donned indispensable cloth wraps on their backs that were used for carrying everything from a baby to firewood.
Tarabuco Market is popular with tourists who want to buy their souvenir ponchos (handmade, cotton, over 200 bolivianos each) and textiles (handwoven, 150 bolivianos and up for a small size). The choices are far better than in Sucre tourist shops but be warned of the outrageous tourist prices.
Cal Orck’o, Sucre, Bolivia