Nothing symbolizes Bolivia's gilded mineral age like tin baron Simón Patiño's European-style Palacio Portales. Though he never actually inhabited this opulent mansion completed in 1927, it was stocked with some of the finest imported materials available at the time – Carrara marble, French wood, Italian tapestries and delicate silks. The gardens and exterior were inspired by the palace at Versailles, the games room is an imitation of Granada’s Alhambra and the main hall takes its design inspiration from Vatican City.
The property also houses an arts and cultural complex as well as a teaching center, and the gardens are a wonderful place to pass the time with a book while waiting for your tour to begin. The house is located in the upscale neighborhood of Queru Queru; take micro E north from east of Av San Martín. Tours in Spanish are more frequent and at different times than the English options.