Introduction to Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz is the capital of the department of Santa Cruz and is the most populous city.
It is Bolivia’s largest city and economically the most affluent city in the country.
It lies at an altitude of 416 meters and has a tropical climate.
Although the presence of discos, country clubs and burger joints speaks of its westernisation, the city hasn’t been completely transformed and its architecture will still remind you of its colonial past. The small town feeling creates a relaxing atmosphere and the quality restaurants and abundant nightlife make it a good option for a traveler.
You can go around the city by bus, which is known as ‘micros’. Shared taxis, called ‘trufis’, are available too. They are more comfortable and faster than micros.
Famous Attractions in Santa Cruz
Plaza 24 de Septiembre is the main plaza of the city. You can spend a leisurely time at this plaza which is popular among the locals and tourists. You will find the sight of people sitting on benches, playing or feeding the pigeons.
The main cathedral of Santa Cruz, Basilica Menor De San Lorenzo, is located at the main plaza. This beautiful cathedral has a small museum with paintings, religious icons and sculptures, dating back to the colonial era. You can climb on the top of the bell tower of the cathedral and get a good view of the plaza.
Casa De La Cultura is where all cultural exhibits, concerts and recitals are held. There is also a permanent exhibit of crafts made by the indigenous people on display here. For all those who want to have a feel of the culture of the city, this place, is a must-go for them.
Enjoy the displays of the flora and fauna of the region at Museo de Historia Natural.
There are cultural trips organized to the Jesuit Missions. The 10 churches that remain in the Chiquitania region of Santa Cruz are beautiful examples of the blend of Catholic and local religious beliefs. They have been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site and are a venue of an international festival of Baroque.
The riverbanks of Pirai River are an ideal location for picnics where you can gather and socialize and enjoy typical camba food from Cabañas Río Piraí which is nearby.
Lomas de Arena de El Palmar has large sand dunes and fresh water lagoons where you can enjoy swimming.
Santa Cruz is wonderful option for people who love outdoor activities. You can book excursions and trekking to Parque Amboró and Noel Kempff. Outdoor enthusiasts are sure to enjoy the river boat trip in the Amazon region.
The city also has a famous soccer academy,Academia de Futbol Tahuichi Aguilera where innovative training methods are used to train the young players.
Outside the city
Yvaga Guazú is 12.5 kms out of the city and a good place to go.
Some 40 kms west of the city is Parque Nacional Amboró where you can be witness to the rich biodiversity of the region. There are a number of native plant species here and with bird types counting at 830, it has the highest bird type count of all the protected areas in the world.
Samaipata is located just 2 1/2 hours east of Santa Cruz. You can take shared taxis to Samaipata and then go for trips along El Cerro de los Condores, visit the El Fuerte archaeological site with an ancient fortress or go to a set of waterfalls known as the Cascadas las Cuevas.
There are many buses to Cochabamba, The Garden City, with a 10 hour travelling time from Santa Cruz. This metropolis is one of the oldest cities in the country.
Where to sleep in Santa Cruz
Arenal Hotel Santa Cruz
340 Calle Beni, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, Bolivia
Phone: 591-23-37533 / Fax: 591-22-04347 - Rates start from USD 62
Hotel is strategically located in the heart of the city near Plaza & is near to museum, cathedral, shops & banks.
Buganvillas Hotel Suites & Spa Santa Cruz
Avenida Roca Coronado N 901, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, Bolivia
Phone: 591 3 3551212 / Fax: 591 3 3535680 - Rates start from USD 190
Buganvillas Hotel Suites & Spa is positioned close to city centre Santa Cruz & is five kilometers away from El Trompillo Airport . During free time, tourists can visit the popular Monsenor Rivero Avenue or check out the collection of species at Santa Cruz Zoo.
Camino Real Hotel Santa Cruz
Equipetrol Norte Y 4To Anillo, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, Bolivia
Phone: 591 342 3535 / Fax: 591 342 2323 - Rates start from USD 122
The hotel is strategically located at the heart of the south side of La Paz within the most important residential & commercial area of the city.
Hotel Caparuch Santa Cruz
1717 Avenue San Martin, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, Bolivia
Phone: 591-34-23303 / Fax: 591-34-20144 - Rates start from USD 69
Positioned in the city centre, the Hotel Caparuch Santa Cruz is placed in the San Martin Avenue, in the Sirari neighbourhood.
Hotel LP Santa Cruz
Ejercito Nacional Avenue 290 And Juan Garay Near Blacut Square And Cine Center, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, Bolivia
Phone: 591 3 3548888 - Rates start from USD 65
Set on the corner of Ejercito Nacional Avenue No 290 & Juan Garay, Hotel LP is across football stadium Estadio Ramon Tahuichi Aguilera & steps from the quaint park Plazuela Blacutt. El Trompillo Airport is one kilometer away.
Los Tajibos Hotel Santa Cruz
455 Avenue San Martin Barrio Equipetrol, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, Bolivia
Phone: 591-34-21000 / Fax: 591-34-26994 - Rates start from USD 159
The hotel is a tropical oasis on a 6-hectare extension of exuberant vegetation, birds, & waterfalls, next to the most exclusive residential neighbourhood of Santa Cruz. This hotel is only 10 minutes from the city centre & 15 minutes from Viru Viru International Airport.