Silver Route

Peruvian silver was a major commodity for the Spanish crown. It came from the Cerro Rico mines near Potosi, Upper Peru (today in Bolivia). The silver was taken to La Paz (Paz) on llama and mule trains, and then through the mountains to Lima via Cuzco. From Lima the silver was shipped north to Panama where it was carried again by mule train across the isthmus to Portobelo and Nombre de Dios, both in today's Colon Province, Panama, and both major ports of call for the Spanish Treasure Fleet for over two hundred years. From there the silver and other goods were transported by the Flota de Indias to Havana and to Spain.

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by Stephen Luscombe