Santa Cruz de la Sierra: exciting and relaxed

13 March 2023


In the heart of a tropical region, with its varied landscapes and unique biodiversity, lies a cosmopolitan, elegant city that stands apart from the traditional image of Bolivia. No doubt about it, we’re talking about the refined Santa Cruz de la Sierra!

Nestled in the great plains of Bolivia’s Oriente region, the city at an altitude of 417 metres is the country’s second-largest city and the economic powerhouse of a region whose Jesuit architecture was enriched by agriculture.

Just like the rest of the country, Santa Cruz de la Sierra is a must-see on your tour, which is why Thaki Voyage is delighted to introduce you to this city with its exotic atmosphere, where urban culture harmonizes beautifully with the warm, family atmosphere created by the locals.

Join us on a journey to meet the cruceños, the inhabitants of Santa Cruz, and discover a cosmopolitan population proud of its culture, its camba music, its city and the Gran Chiquitania region. Vamos!

A travel into the hearth of Santa Cruz

Founded in 1561 by the Spanish explorer Ñuflo de Chávez, Santa Cruz de la Sierra was moved to its present location. The city prospered until the end of the 19th century, when a number of routes opened up between La Paz and the Peruvian coast, offering products that were less expensive than those from Santa Cruz.

Its tropical agriculture allows you to sample the delights offered by the Pachamama: oranges, bananas, coffee, sugar cane… Take the opportunity to sip a chicha (fermented corn alcohol, see our article on November gastronomy) or sit down in one of the many international restaurants. Indeed, the city, which is very dynamic on many levels, also boasts a cosmopolitan gastronomy that reflects its very diverse population (the most diverse in the country), made up partly of Cubans and Brazilians, but also Russians and Japanese.

The restaurants close at siesta time, so it’s the perfect opportunity to relax and enjoy a well-deserved siesta after visiting the city’s must-sees.

The architecture features colonial-style buildings. Thaki Voyage will take you through the narrow streets of the city, whose graffiti-filled walls, linked to independence issues, will help you to understand the popularity of this movement and its importance in the hearts of the locals, who are generally fans of a lively nightlife, as the party atmosphere never lags behind in Santa Cruz de la Sierra!

So listen to the music of the eastern plains, the música camba, and enjoy the moment and Bolivia in an experience that’s more to be lived than read!

The essencials

In the midst of this memorable atmosphere, take the opportunity to discover the lively city center and the majestic Cathedral Basilica of San Lorenzo. Founded on the Piazza del 24 Septembre in 1605.

The woodwork on the ceiling and the silver plating on the altar are superb, and the view from the bell tower over the city’s famous main square is breathtaking. It’s the ideal place to relax, but also a strategic point from which to experience the bustling heart of this traditional metropolis, which nevertheless remains one of the most modern in the country. And, as on every trip to Bolivia, you can’t miss the markets, the local produce and the city’s museums.

And if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, the Parc El Arenal, a haven of peace and quiet, is sure to satisfy your need for relaxation, as is the Zoological Garden, where you can admire numerous species of birds, mammals and reptiles, such as the sloth and the squirrel monkey.

Outside the city

Évoquer avec vous Santa Cruz de la Sierra, sans vous parler de ses environs est impossible ! Durant votre escapade urbaine, comblez votre âme d’aventurier, au cours de magnifiques trekking dans la jungle du Parc National Amboró. Cet espace est l’un des trésors de la région et abrite des animaux rares et sauvages. Ces sentiers battus sont donc un passage obligatoire pour les amoureux de nature et de paysages, comme nous le sommes chez Thaki Voyage.

De nombreux parcs sont présents à proximité de la ville, c’est pourquoi, prenez connaissance de l’ampleur de la région, lors d’une excursion au coeur des étendues de sable du Parc régional Lomas de Arena. Le spectacle vaut le détour, entre ses contrastes de jaune et le bleu de son ciel. C’est un paysage haut en couleur qui saura vous éblouir comme l’ensemble de la Bolivie !

En outre, connectez-vous aussi à l’histoire et revivez les gloires du passé dans la localité de Samaipata, où ont été recensées les ruines Pré-incas d’El Fuerte, ou bien revenez sur le destin du Che Guevara en suivant ses derniers pas. Savez-vous qu’il trouva la mort en Bolivie ? Précisément dans le secteur de Vallegrande, à plusieurs kilomètres de Santa Cruz de la Sierra. La Bolivie est une terre d’histoire qui a beaucoup à nous apprendre, alors n’hésitez plus et partez à sa découverte !

Santa Cruz de la Sierra is a wonderful surprise, so plan to spend several days touring the town, as you’ll need them to soak up its very special atmosphere and sublime region.

Stroll around and relax while you’re in the city, and don’t forget that the best time to visit is from May to October, at the risk of a sometimes humid climate outside these months.

Once again, Thaki Voyage would like to share with you its love of Bolivia, as diverse and incredible as it is! Contact us as soon as possible, and we’ll be delighted to share our experience and know-how with you, to create a unique trip that’s just like you.

Mathilde Leroux