VVI - Santa Cruz de la Sierra
The most populous, dynamic and prosperous city in the country, Santa Cruz de la Sierra is the business capital of Bolivia. All that energy however, does not make Santa Cruz just another chaotic Latin-American metropolis. On the contrary, the city surprises visitors with its ample green spaces and concentric layout.
It is a city of immigrants and migrants. There are people from all corners of Bolivia as well as German, Japanese and Brazilian colonies. Even so, the deep rooted customs remain: people meet at the central square to play chess, pass time, and watch the sloths in the trees.
Santa Cruz is the perfect point of access to a little-known Bolivia. Take the time to visit the Jesuit missions of Chiquitania and the national parks of the Bolivian Amazon.
The 24 de Septiembre square is where most of the city’s attractions are located: the San Lorenzo Cathedral, as well as the Sacred Art and Regional History Museums, and Culture House are all there. Nearby, the picturesque Siete Calles Market is an anthropological experience.
Another local experience is trying the Bolivian barbeque at the Casa Tipica de Camba. At night check out the traditionally bohemian Monseñor Rivero street or go straight to San Martin Avenue, in Equipetrol, where lots of bars and restaurants converge.
Visit the Guembe Biocenter, with its beautiful butterfly farms, orchid plantation and natural pools; on hot days, escape to the cabanas on the Rio Piraí, the local beach. The National Amboro Park, at the confluence of the Chaco, Andes and Amazon rivers, is worth a day trip.