Oruro is a city in Bolivia located about equidistant between La Paz and Sucre at approximately 3,710 meters above sea level. It is the capital of the department of Oruro. Don Manuel Castro de Padilla first founded the city on November 1, 1606. As a silver mining center in the Urus region. At the time, it was named Real Villa de Don Felipe de Austria after the Spanish monarch, Philip III. It was eventually abandoned as the silver mines became exhausted. Oruro was reestablished in the late nineteenth century, as a tin mining center. For a time, the La Salvadora tin mine was the most important source of tin in the world. Gradually, this resource was also exhausted, and Oruro again went into a decline. The city does manage, however, to attract tourists to its carnival, the Carnaval de Oruro, considered one of the great folkloric events in South America for its masked "devil dances". The city of Oruro lays north of the salty lakes Uru-Uru and Poopó and it is just three hours (by bus) south from La Paz.
STATISTICAL DATA OF ORURO DEPARTMENT: