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San Lorenzo

A colonial mix of cobbled lanes, balconied houses and dusty streets gives you the feeling of stepping back in time when arriving in San Lorenzo. The scenic square in the middle of the town is over-looked by the early 18th Century church with its original architecture and the plaza’s huge palm trees.


Situated at roughly 2,000 meters above sea-level and 16 kilometers from Tarija, the town enjoys an idyllic climate. Its 5,000 inhabitants are of Spanish descent, with light coloring and their own dialect. The festival of San Lorenzo, in August, is one of the most traditional and authentic celebrations in Tarija and dates back to 1606.


There’s a short, scenic walk you can take from the center, if you head north from the square along Calle Gilberto Zilvetty you’ll eventually reach a monument of a cross – turn right here along the cobbled street of 1 de Mayo and it’ll take you along a short country path past chickens and fields with pretty views of the surrounding countryside. There’s a river at the end of it. This walk is probably best enjoyed at weekends as they’re building a new road before the river, so it might not be quite as peaceful during these times.


Just off the main plaza, you’ll find the house of independence hero Coronel Eustaquio Mendez. Now converted into a museum, it displays various memorabilia such as swords, spurs and old locks as well as having a pleasant courtyard at the back with a well and a huge wooden mural on the far wall.


There’s a market right next to the Church where you can buy artisan crafts and local food specialties.


To get there take a minibus from the corner of Domingo Paz and J.M. Saracho ($0.35). They return from the eastern side of the plaza at regular intervals.



Other neighborhoods in Tarija: Tomatitas And Coimata Falls, El Valle De La Concepción, Chaguaya, Around Tarija and Padcaya.

26 Sep 2008

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