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Big Deal Tours

Potosi, Bolivia
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Big Deal Tours
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S and D wrote a review Jun 2020
Calgary, Canada8 contributions2 helpful votes
We visited Potosi and at first weren't sure if we should do a mine tour knowing the tragic history of Cerro Rico and the potential safety issues with the mountain itself. Talking with Pedro at Big Deal Tours convinced us that a private tour could answer all our concerns. Pedro and our guide in the mine, Wilson, aka "El Rey Leon" (The Lion King) led us on a tour of old and new processing plants, the miner's market and a mine. Pedro and Wilson are ex-miners and their knowledge and experience were the keys to the success of the tour. In the end we did everything in the mine, going up and down ladders, skirting around deep holes in the tunnel floor, etc. that everyone else does on group tours, but we always felt safe in Wilson's capable hands. Make no mistake about it, the life of a Cerro Rico miner is exceptionally hard, but going on this tour actually helps ex-miners have a living outside of mining. Pedro and Wilson were safety focused, professional, knowledgeable and enthusiastic. If you go to Potosi, go on a mine tour with Big Deal Tours - it's an eye-opening experience. Thanks Pedro and Wilson for an exceptional tour!
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Date of experience: September 2019
1 Helpful vote
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Jack C wrote a review Mar 2020
3 contributions
I was very conflicted about whether to do the tour, as I'd heard lots of differing views and stories about the tours of these (in)famous mines in Potosi. Overall though, I'm so glad I did it. Regarding the mines themselves, I didn't feel particularly unsafe at all. I'm sure there are areas which are incredibly dangerous, but the tunnels we went down felt secure. The tour guides themselves were really great guys and very informative. It was so interesting hearing the stories of myth surrounding El Diablo and just about the lives of the miners. Of course there is an ethical question, that I myself debated before going, but with Big Deal Tours, I felt no such qualms. Considering the company is run by ex-miners and the tour was given by ex-miners (who managed to get out of that life because of the tourism), the presence of tourists is much welcomed. The company also organises a massive party for the miners at the end of the year I was told. So I am sure there are some exploitative companies, particularly if you're seeking the cheapest price, but I really didn't get that feeling with Big Deal Tours. A few things that you should be aware of before doing the tour. You do HAVE to buy gifts for the miners before going in - this incredibly strong alcohol and cocoa leaves basically - but these are so cheap that it really isn't a big deal (no pun intended). Also, you are taken early on into the processing plant - which is a fully working, fully lacking in any kind of health and safety processing plant. That's probably the most sketchy part of the tour. But what do you expect? It's a fully functioning mine you're going down so of course there are a few risks. However, after my experience, compared to some of the stories I read online, I felt so much safer than I thought I would, and it's so worth it for what you see and learn. Definitely go with Big Deal Tours. Thanks very much!
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Date of experience: February 2020
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Conor M wrote a review Mar 2020
County Dublin, Ireland19 contributions40 helpful votes
Recently went on the silver mines tour with this group. Really fun and interactive. Learned a good bit about the mining history of potosi. Tour guide was great and very funny. Highly recommend!
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Date of experience: March 2020
2 Helpful votes
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Moritz wrote a review Jan 2020
Germany7 contributions
It was wonderful! Included a tour through an active mine. A lot of interesting information and a very nice guide!
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Date of experience: January 2020
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melmar wrote a review Jan 2020
11 contributions2 helpful votes
We visited the mine a few days ago and it was an interesting and also kind of sad experience. There weren't more clients so we had a private tour for the two of us. Wilson was our Guide and he spoke good english. He told us that when there are no tourists he can guide, he also still works in the mine. First we visited the market and bought some presents, later we entered the mine. There were no other tourists. It's actually a mine where people are still working very hard. You can see the real conditions. By choosing this tour we felt like we could support the miners at least a little bit...
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Date of experience: January 2020
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