(Redirected from Oruro, Bolivia)

Oruro (Hispanicized spelling) or Uru Uru[1] is a city in Bolivia with a population of 264,683 (2012 calculation),[2] about halfway between La Paz and Sucre in the Altiplano, approximately 3,709 meters (12,169 ft) above sea level.

Uru Uru
Oruro Socavon.jpg
Diablos de la Autentica.JPG
Oruro, Bolivia-0.jpg
Correo Central de Oruro.jpg
Oruro y el Lago Uru Uru.jpg
Faro de Conchupata.jpg
RN4 Bolivia Altiplano 03 2019 Cahuasi-Caracollo.jpg
From the top, left to right: Virgen del Socavón Church, Diablada, View of the city, Central post office, View of the city and Lake Uru Uru, Lighthouse of Conchupata, Altiplano between the towns of Cahuasi and Caracollo seen from the RN4.
Flag of Oruro
Coat of arms of Oruro
Oruro is located in Bolivia
Location within Bolivia
Oruro is located in South America
Oruro (South America)
Coordinates: 17°58′S 67°07′W / 17.967°S 67.117°W / -17.967; -67.117
DepartmentOruro Department
ProvinceCercado Province
FoundedNovember 1, 1606
 • MayorRossío Pimentel
 • City1,633 km2 (631 sq mi)
3,735 m (12,254 ft)
 (2012 Census)[1][dead link][dead link]
 • Urban
 • Metro
Time zoneUTC-4 (BOT)
WebsiteOfficial website

It is Bolivia's fifth-largest city by population, after Santa Cruz de la Sierra, El Alto, La Paz, and Cochabamba. It is the capital of the Department of Oruro and the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oruro. Oruro has been subject to cycles of boom and bust owing to its dependence on the mining industry, notably tin, tungsten (wolfram), silver and copper.


The city was founded on November 1, 1606, by Don Manuel Castro de Padilla as a silver-mining center in the Urus region. At the time it was named Real Villa de San Felipe de Austria, after the Spanish monarch Philip III. It thrived for a while, but it was eventually abandoned as the silver mines became exhausted.[3]

Oruro was reestablished by European Bolivians in the late nineteenth century as a tin mining center.[4] It was named after the native tribe Uru-Uru. For a time, the La Salvadora tin mine was the most important source of tin in the world. Gradually, as this resource became less plentiful, Oruro again went into a decline. Its economy is still based on the mining industry.[4]


While traditionally based upon mining, Oruro has become increasingly popular for tourism since the late 20th century. In the early 21st century, Oruro's economy grew through trade and economic connections with Chile, especially for exporting products to Pacific markets. It transported products by road through Chile to the Pacific port of Iquique to open new connections to external markets; it also used the rail connection through Uyuni to the port at Antofagasta for exports.[5] Thanks to increased road building, Oruro has become important as a waystation on the overland route of goods from the Atlantic port of Santos, Brazil, through Puerto Suárez and Santa Cruz to the capital, La Paz.[6]

The city is served by the Oruro Airport.

Culture and educationEdit

Despite its economic decline, the city attracts numerous tourists to its Carnaval de Oruro, considered one of the great folkloric events in South America for its masked "diablada"[7] and Anata.[8] The Oruru Carnival was discovered in 1559, when the Augustinian priests were on the land, the festival is in honor of the Virgin of Candlemas.[9]

Carnaval de Oruro, Bolivia, 2007

The Oruro Symphony Orchestra is based in the city. Aymara painter and printmaker Alejandro Mario Yllanes (1913–1960) was born here.[10]

The Universidad Técnica de Oruro, noted for its engineering school, is located in Oruro.[11]


Oruro lies north of the salty lakes Uru Uru and Poopó. It is three hours (by bus) from La Paz. Located at an altitude of 3709 meters above sea level, Oruro is well known for its cold weather. Warmer temperatures generally take place during August, September and October, after the worst of the winter chills and before the summer rains. From May to early July, night time temperatures combined with cool wind can bring the temperature down to about -20 °C. Summers are warmer, and, although it is an arid area, it has considerable rainfall between November and March. The Köppen climate classification describes the climate as a cold subtropical highland climate, bordering on a cold semi-arid climate, abbreviated Cwb and Bsk.[12] Due to the warm days and dry winters, snow is not a frequent occurrence as much as the bitter cold (especially at night); however, flurries can fall usually once every few years, most recently July 4, 2015.[13] The other three most recent snowfalls were those of 13 June 2013,[14] 1 September 2010 (with accumulation),[15] as well as one in 2008.

Climate data for Oruro
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 16
Average low °C (°F) 3
Average precipitation mm (inches) 116.4
Source: Weatherbase[16]

Main attractionsEdit

  • Museo Patiño, former residence of "tin baron" Simón Iturri Patiño
  • Museo Mineralógico (Mineralogical Museum): has exhibits of precious stones, minerals, and fossils
  • Museo Etnográfico Minero (Ethnographical Mining Museum): housed in a mine tunnel, depicts methods of Bolivian mining
  • Museo Nacional Antropológico Eduardo López Rivas (National Anthropological Museum): displays tools and information on the Chipaya and Uru tribes, and about Carnaval de Oruro.
  • Churches: Catedral Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, Santuario de la Virgen del Socavón, Iglesia de Cunchupata
  • Inti Raymi, a mine


Because of a high proportion of German-speaking residents, many of whom came as immigrants to work in the mines, the area once had a German school, Deutsche Schule Oruro.[17]


Twin towns – sister citiesEdit

Notable people from OruroEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Yaticha Kamani / Ministerio de Educación, Aymara aru thakhinchawi, Chuqi Yapu 2011
  2. ^ "World Gazetteer". World-Gazetteer.com. Retrieved 23 April 2017.[dead link]
  3. ^ Oscar Cornblit. Power and Violence in the Colonial City: Oruro from the Mining Renaissance to the Rebellion of Tupac Amaru (1740-1782). Trans. Elizabeth Ladd Glick. New York: Cambridge University Press 1995.
  4. ^ a b "Oruro: History". Lonely Planet.
  5. ^ Ancalle, Milka Ruth Cayoja (2012). Oruro Como Centro Estratégico Comercial Internacional de Bolivia: Competitividad y Consecuencias del Proceso (PDF). (Master's Thesis, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile). Institute of Urban and Regional Studies, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 February 2014. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
  6. ^ Ancalle 2012, p. 27
  7. ^ Kartomi, Margaret Joy & Blum, Stephen (1994). Music-Cultures In Contact: Convergences And Collisions. Basel, Switzerland: Gordon and Breach. p. 63. ISBN 978-2-88449-137-2.
  8. ^ G. N. Devy, Geoffrey V. Davis, K. K. Chakravarty, Knowing Differently: The Challenge of the Indigenous, ISBN 1317325680 (2015). Quote: "The Anata is a festivity celebrated since the early 1990s in the city of Oruro, but it is linked to pre-Hispanic agricultural practices in the rural highlands related to fertility. The most public expression of the Anata in Oruro is a danced parade that is ..."
  9. ^ Lecount, Cynthia. "Carnival in Bolivia: Devils Dancing for the Virgin." Western Folklore 58, no. 3/4 (1999): 231-52. Accessed May 13, 2021. doi:10.2307/1500459.
  10. ^ Raynor, Vivien. ART; "Works by a Vanished Bolivian Painter", New York Times. 5 April 1992 (retrieved 2 May 2009)
  11. ^ "Official Facultad Nacional de Ingeniería (National Engineering School) webpage" (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2006-10-05. Retrieved 2006-11-24.
  12. ^ "Oruro, Bolivia Köppen Climate Classification (Weatherbase)". weatherbase.com. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  13. ^ "La Paz, El Alto y Oruro se visten de blanco por densa nevada". Periodico del Estado Nacional de Bolivia CAMBIO. Archived from the original on 2015-07-16. Retrieved 2015-07-16.
  14. ^ "Después de tres años nevó en la ciudad de Oruro". La Patria.
  15. ^ "Nieve, nubosidad y lluvia primaron en la última jornada". La Patria.
  16. ^ "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Oruro". Weatherbase. 2011. Retrieved on November 24, 2011.
  17. ^ "Deutscher Bundestag 4. Wahlperiode Drucksache IV/3672" (Archived 2016-03-12 at the Wayback Machine). Bundestag (West Germany). 23 June 1965. Retrieved on 12 March 2016. p. 18/51.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 17°58′S 67°07′W / 17.967°S 67.117°W / -17.967; -67.117