Santa Cruz (Bolivia)

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Eco-friendly travel guide to Santa Cruz (Bolivia) advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.


  • Air quality: 4 / 5
  • Exploring by foot: 3 / 5
  • Exploring by bicycle: 3 / 5
  • Public transportation: 3 / 5
  • Parks: 2 / 5
  • Outdoor activities: 3 / 5
  • Locals' English level: 2 / 5
  • Safety: 3 / 5
  • Accommodation: US$10 - $30
  • Budget per day: US$20 - $90

Responsible Travel

This city is Bolivia's capital, with a total area of 1345 km2. It is situated near the Pirai river on the eastern side of the city. It was first founded and established in the year 1561. This place has a tropical savanna climate, and the average temperature lies between 28.2 degrees Celsius to 18.7 degrees Celsius. The average rainfall of this city is 1231 mm annually.


Air Quality and Pollution

Air quality and pollution level in Santa Cruz is generally good, with an overall mean concentration of 5.1 g/m3. The air here is safe and healthy for travelling. Due to the city's moderate climate and ocean-side location, the pollution level remains under control. As there is low population of about 70,000 citizens and sparse industrial activity, there are no additional activities that lead to air pollution in the city. Hence, air quality measurements are relatively low, mainly because of lower transportation emissions in the city. The government of this city has been trying a lot to save the environment from pollution over here by taking severe measures and creating awareness amongst the citizens living here. These small efforts of the government has lead to the significant upgradation of the air quality in Santa Cruz.


Respect the Culture

The culture and traditions of Bolivia are much fascinating than it sounds. There are over more than a hundred Bolivian traditions practiced in the city; In fact, Santa Cruz and other Bolivians practice immigrant cultures, contributing their lifestyles and beliefs to Bolivian customs and traditions. The local government has taken several measures to make the country a great destination for tourism, because of which visitors can experience this amazing part of the country. To maintain peace and serenity in the society, one must follow each custom and tradition that the people of a particular place follow for a better experience. People are humble and kind in this country; hence, you will love their involvement in your trip to Santa Cruz. Always remember when you travel abroad you should always maintain some respect and dignity towards that place and always try to create a soulful environment around yourself and interact with everyone with full enthusiasm.


Top 10 Places to Visit

Lomas de Arena de El Palmar

This park is located 16 km from the city. Tourists are attracted here by snow-white dunes and lagoons, protected by a forest, which is home to rare species of animals and birds. It was created to protect forest plantations, which play an important role in protecting and strengthening the dunes and also provide shelter for many species of animals and plants.

Noel Kempf Mercado

At 440 kilometres from the city, there is a large national park Noel-Kempf-Mercado, which is now included in UNESCO sites. It is one of the largest nature reserves on the Amazon. The reserve features five different ecosystems, a variety of plants, birds, and animals. The park's territory is also famous for the abundance of picturesque rivers, lakes, and waterfalls. Particularly striking among them is the Arkoiris Falls, located in the middle of the impenetrable jungle. The waterfall is 90 meters high and 50 meters wide.

Fuerte de Samaipata

This archaeological site is one of the most attractive sites for historical excursions in Bolivia. The monument is located at an altitude of 1950 m above sea level and has no analogues in South America. In the period around 300 BC, this was a settlement and ritual center for the ancient Indian people. There is also a unique monument of pre-Columbian traditions and religious beliefs - a rock 250 m long, dotted with numerous petroglyphs. And to the south of the hill are the ruins of an ancient Inca city.

Museum of Church Art

This museum is the owner of one of the smallest book on the planet with ‘Our Father’, printed in several languages. You must visit this museum during your visit to Santa Cruz.

Arkoiris waterfall

The waterfall is formed in the bed of the Pauserna River, which belongs to the Amazon basin. In the afternoon, the sun's rays fall so that a bright rainbow appears above the waterfall. The waterfall is located on the edge of the huge plateau KaparuMaseta. It is bounded almost along its entire perimeter by almost vertical cliffs up to 300 meters in height. The area of the plateau is about 3000 sq. Km. Around Arkoiris Falls, there is an impenetrable jungle that you can explore.

San Jose's mission

San Jose's mission was unique and remarkable. This building is inherent in the late Baroque style. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that practically no structures are left in Bolivia that has a similar architectural style. In neighbouring countries Argentina and Paraguay, there are similar buildings, but only in a dilapidated state. The church was built in four stages. The construction of the main building was completed in 1747. The construction of the judicial board was completed in 1754. More than five thousand people took part in the construction of this structure.

Plaza 24 de Septiembre

There are not many interesting places to see in Santa Cruz. One of the few is the main square, Plaza 24 de Septiembre. Personal vehicles are prohibited at both ends of the square, making it an oasis of tranquillity compared to the rest of the city's bustling part. The decoration of the square is the Basilica Menor de San Lorenzo. The first church was built here in 1605. Travelers can climb the clock tower and look at the panorama of the city.

Ethno-folklore museum

The Ethno-Folklore Museum (Museo Ethno-Folklórico) has a small collection of baskets, musical instruments, and other interesting handicraft exhibits belonging to the Indian cultures of the Bolivian plains. The museum is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to noon and from 2:30 pm to 6:30 pm. The museum is located in Parque El Arenal, a popular holiday destination for locals who can rent catamarans and swim in the lagoons.

Artekampo

One of the most effective places to buy arts and crafts is the Artecampo store. The small, brilliantly coloured building is one of the foremost fashionable outlets for tourists. This store's address is Calle Monseñor Salvatierra 407, Center for the Department of Santa Cruz. The name of the town is translated from Spanish as "Holy Cross on the Hill." This town was established on 26th February 1560, on the banks of the Pira stream.


Yvaga Guazú park

If travellers don't have much time for these parks, Yvaga Guazú is the right place. It is located outside the city, on the 12.5 kilometres of the road to La Guardia. To get there, you can go to Terminal Bimodal or the first roundabout Doble via a la Guardia. There, catch the red minibus with the sign "El Torno." A guided tour with a Spanish-speaking guide would costs around 70 bolivianos.


Explore

Santa Cruz is a cosmopolitan hub with numerous restaurants, museums, and nightclubs. It is Bolivia's commercial centre as people from worldwide come here to experience every bit of this fascinating city. The city is popular among tourists as it is the largest city in Bolivia. There are many things to explore here due to its tropical savanna climate, gorgeous wildlife, vibrant nightlife, low-lying altitude, and unique culture. From bustling metropolis, up-scale restaurants, and colonial architecture to adventurous outdoor activities, there's plenty of things to do when you visit this beautiful place. To help make the most of your trip, here are some of the best things to see and do in and around Santa Cruz:


City Parks

City parks in Santa Cruz reflect this region's tropical culture, with loads of gardens and plazas bursting with sounds of chirpy birds, park benches, and shady trees. These parks allow you to partake in numerous outdoor activities such as biking, rollerblading, skateboarding, to play volleyball, and many others. Here are a few places you might want to visit once in your journey in Santa Cruz:

• Plaza 24 de Septiembre

• Parque El Arenal

• La Rinconada

• Playland Water Park


National Parks

Tourists are allowed to experience incredible treks, cascading waterfalls, jungle forests, and rare wildlife encounters. While exploring these national parks, you will come across rugged terrain, winding rivers, and some spectacular mountain landscapes. Here are few most diverse ecological hot spots in the city:

• Guembe Biocentro Resort

• Lomas de Arena

• Amboro National Park

• Kaa-lya National Park


Beaches

Santa Cruz has some of the best beaches in the golden state, housing 34 beaches in total; from overwhelming experiences to adventurous outdoor activities, each beach is different. Most beaches in the city are family-friendly, with amusement parks, lighthouses, and many more. With jaw-dropping sceneries to amazing sea views, Santa Cruz is a must-visit destination to travel to while coming across Bolivia. The most popular beaches and worth driving beaches of Santa Cruz are:

• Santa Cruz Main Beach

• Seabright Beach

• Santa Cruz Harbor Beach

• Panther Beach

• Rio Del Mar Beach

• Bonny Doon Beach

• Capitola Beach


Landmarks

Landmarks give us a sense of place, which includes monuments and natural wonders. These places connect us to a destination and inspire people from all over the world to travel. In Santa Cruz, several spots have their own history and culture. Some of the places one should not miss while travelling to Santa Cruz are:

• Tahuichi Soccer Stadium

• Monsenor Rivero

• Urubo

• La Plazael Rio Pirai


Museums

Throughout the city, cultural institutions and museums beckon people to explore new cultures and histories through their curated collections and transcending exhibitions. There are several galleries and local museums in all corners of the city, many known for their incredible restaurants and cafés. Here are some museums in Santa Cruz you might not want to miss:

• Museo Guarani

• Cathedral de Santa Cruz

• Modern Art Museum

• Santa Cruz Cultural Center


Eat

Santa Cruz's cuisine is as varied as its topography, as the culinary scenarios in a part of the country are very evolving. Young chefs say that here culinary habits are dictated more by climate and cultural traditions than by season. Although you won't find much in the region's sophisticated cuisine journey, there are quite a few places with interesting special and national specialities. Each region in this country has its highlights of traditional cuisine. Therefore, you should always look for different regions in a particular place for exploring the local food and even the famous restaurant for variety of tasty cuisines.


Traditional Local Restaurants

Although the progress towards becoming a foodie-friendly destination is still in process, Santa Cruz has got some pretty amazing dining options for food lovers worldwide. From high-profile restaurants to local ones, you can find varieties of cuisines wherever you go. Here are a few places which might be of your interest:

• La casa del Camba

• Jardin de Asia Restaurant & Lounge

• Los Hierros

• Mischelangelo Ristorante

• La Rinconada


Vegetarian and Vegan

You can find dozens of vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Santa Cruz. Vegan breakfasts, lunches, and dinner options are available at most Santa Cruz restaurants specializing in ecological-friendly cuisine. Not only in cuisine, but the entire décor of such restaurants will also be another treat for your eyes. Some great places in Santa Cruz for vegan lovers are:

• Malabar Restaurant

• Saturn Café

• Pearl of the Ocean

• Dharma’s

• Alfresco


Street Food

Apart from local restaurants, you can enjoy traditional local street food everywhere in the region. Small vendor shops or stalls are present worldwide to provide their customers with the best they got. Here is some famous street food you must try while exploring Santa Cruz.

• Majadito de charque

• Sopa de mani

• Cunape

• Pan de Arroz


Drink

You can find several drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, in this region. From fizzy drinks to beers, each kind is available in shops, restaurants, and bars almost everywhere in Santa Cruz. Bolivian culture shows that the locals consume alcohol in large quantities, especially at fiestas and private celebrations. Drinking with locals can be great fun in serious pastime. Here are a few drinks you will find at any corner of the city:

• Refrescos

• Fruit juice

• Soft drinks

• Tea

• Coffee

• Hot chocolate

• Beer

• Wines

• White grape brandy


Tap-water

The tap water of this city is not fit for drinking; therefore, it is advised that you must not drink it directly from the tap. However, you can perform some additional purification methods to purify the water, such as boiling or installing a different water filter. You can also purchase bottled water which are widely available around the city. Drinking water from the tap may cause some sort of illness to you therefore you should always take precautions and avoid drinking water from the tap.


Organic Cafés

Organic cafes are different from regular characters as it serves organic dishes. There are organic cafes present in this city that serves various cuisines. If you do not want to eat there or hurry, you can even tell the Cafe to pack your food so that you can take it away. This cat is offered breakfast, brunch, and lunch options that include different cuisine and even the fruit juice served in these cafes made up of fresh fruits without using any chemicals. If you are too health-conscious, you can even order a salad bowl prepared from non-toxic and natural fruits and vegetables. Some of the organic cafes close until 3 pm; therefore, these cafes do not provide dinner.


Breweries

There is a local beer company present in this city that produces beer for the entire country. The name of these companies is Bolivian Brewers and Santa Cruz Beer Company. These two other leading bravery is present in this city that produces beer and sells beer in the entire country. These two other only previous presents in this should be that other breweries are also present in this city, but they are microbreweries. Microbreweries are smaller in size and production. These microbreweries produce beer, which is not more than 25 gallons; therefore, they have a distribution reach up to the city. There are different types of beers which can be enjoyed in this city.


Activities

There are a lot of different things which you can do in this city. The first and most exciting thing you can perform in this city is to visit the local markets where you can purchase many different items made up of hand. There are national parks where you can see and explore other animals and can understand their life cycle. You can even trust, and boarding as there is an area covering around 3000 hectares covered with soaring dunes will shop there are beaches where you can visit and relax and refresh yourself by visiting these beaches. Some museums display different artefacts related to art com awards, culture, and traditions. You can learn about the culture and tradition of this city by visiting these museums.


Yoga and Retreats

There are yoga studios present in this striptease where you can perform yoga. You can take the membership off any yoga studio you wish to visit and learn yoga from various experts present in that studio. Yoga is an ancient practice that helps in a lot of ways. Some of the benefits of practising yoga include that it helps increase the flexibility of the body and increases the body's strength. Yoga is beneficial for those who are suffering from problems related to joints. It calms your mind and helps in reducing stress. Meditation is one of the best thing that you will learn while you perform yoga which will help you focus and remain calm in every situation.


Accommodation

Accommodation includes all those places where you can stay while visiting foreign sites. The city's total area is around 1345 square kilometres, and many people visit this city to enjoy the nightlife of the city and the beauty of this place. Therefore there is a lot of accommodation of different categories present in this city. There is what does arts present in this city, which offers some luxurious facilities, including a private swimming pool, personal chefs, and large rooms. Some of The accommodation options include beach resorts near the beach, so even if you feel bored and have nothing to do, you can visit the nearby beach by walking. There are many benefits of staying in these resorts, which include you can experience a luxurious lifestyle. The next accommodation option includes hotels that are the most common and the most preferred accommodation options present.


Green Hotels

According to different services, green hotels are better than regular hotels because while serving their customers, these hotels help in the Conservation of Nature. The methods which this hotel adopts are eco-friendly, which creates less damage to the environment. Some of the teachers involved that the waste management of these hotels are very well and there are many husbands placed all over the hotel area, and the tourists are requested that they dump their waste only in the dustbin. Out of all the garbage, eligible ones are sent to the recycling centre, which eventually reduces waste. The cleaning agent I used by room cleaning service includes non-toxic ones, which have fewer chemicals. This hotel maintains a lot of trees.


Hostels and Guest Houses

Not many of the hotels presented this city, but almost everyone is easily affordable. These hotels are immaculate, and you also get a complimentary breakfast free of cost. You can get a good company in this hotel to not worry even if you are travelling to this city alone. These Hostels provide 24 hours reception service, so if you want to complain or inquire about anything, you can visit the reception area anytime. You can even accommodate these hostels at any time.


Apartments

Apartments are Flats which can be taken on rent. Flats are best for those who want to stay in the city for a longer time and require privacy because in these apartments there will be no one to disturb you so you can enjoy yourself with your friends or family without any disturbance. The third best feature of the apartment includes security. These apartments' guarantee includes CCTV cameras and guards that ensure that the apartment is entirely secure and safe. This city has beaches and some flats which are present near those beaches. It would help if you tried to accommodate those apartments as those apartments will give you the best view and provide freshness.


Couchsurfing

Couch surfing is a method of living in a locals house without paying them. Instead of paying, you can help to Host family by assisting them in their daily household work. Couch surfing is not that common, but hosts are present in this city who are ready to welcome you. Couchsurfing is a short-term accommodation option, and also it makes you dependable on a stranger. One important point of couch surfing is that this city's crime rate is low, which means you can safely do Couch surfing here. While couch surfing, you can understand the culture and traditions of that city, and you can even observe how the locals treat the tourists of that city.


Camping

Camping is an adventurous activity which is performed in this city. There are different places where you can camp. There are beaches where you can camp which has its own benefits, including the fresh sea breeze which helps to get a better sleep at night and provides freshness to the mind and body, which also helps in relaxation. There are often camping tours available in this city which are organized by different agencies or groups.


How to Get There

There are no direct ways to reach this city, but you can reach here with indirect flights. There is other options present, such as travelling through domestic flights from nearby towns. Next is that there are intercity buses which can also help you to reach this city. Moreover, private taxis can be hired on rent to reach this city from neighbouring towns. We can even self-drive your vehicle only if you are present in neighbouring cities.


Air

There is an airport present in this city but smaller in size, therefore, it does not have good connections with the rest of the countries. You can reach here through some limited countries; accordingly, there are high chances that you might have to take an indirect flight to cities like Rio de Janeiro and other neighbouring towns. You can even travel from domestic flights if you are living in the same country. Flights are a convenient method of travelling, especially overseas.


Bus

Few buses can help you reach this city from Argentina, so this city has an international bus facility from nearby countries. It is the capital; therefore, some buses reach here from the neighbouring cities so even if you are living nearby, you can travel through intercity buses. However, it would help if you avoided the journey during the nights because of this city's crime rate. The buses are incredibly comfortable. These buses are equipped with WI-FI and are fully air-conditioned. The charges of these buses are not much high.


Train

There is a train station present in this city which covers around 850 kilometres in length. There are international trains present which run to and from the City of Brazil. It means that if you are living in Brazil, you can visit this city by train. There are intercity trains which run in this city helping people to reach this city through these trains. Even the rent of these trains is not much.


Hitchhiking

Hitchhiking seems unacceptable here, as the crime rates are very high. People usually opt for other ways of exploring the city and travel at their own risk. If you are on a budget, then you should probably think twice while choosing this method. Instead of this you can prefer other transportation means like bus, train etc which will be much safer to travel than hitchhiking.


Others

There are no other ways of travelling directly to this city; however, if you live near this city, you can self-drive your vehicle to reach this city. More to this, there are private taxis which can help you to reach this city from the nearby towns. Travelling through any mode of transportation at night can be dangerous. Therefore you must avoid travelling at night. Also, taxis for a long distance can be very costly and also it will create pollution.


Moving Around

Moving around during the daytime is perfect, but you must be alerted while moving around at night. There are cases of robberies and snatching which have happened with a lot of tourists. There are different ways to move around in this city. You can take a cycle on rent to roam around in this city. There are trains through which you can save a lot of time. You have variety of options to choose from, therefore it will be easier for you to choose one of them according to your plans.


Walk

Walking is good for health as it helps a person to remain fit. Walking and moving around the city is good for your health and saves a lot of money by walking. More to this, this city's crime rates are not reasonable; therefore, you must avoid walking at night. While walking, you can explore the city in detail. There are walking tours organized in this city where you will also get a guide.


Bicycle

Bicycling has a lot of benefits. Therefore, you can move around the city through cycling. Moving around through cycling is beneficial for your health as it helps to provide strength to the muscles and helps a person remain fit. Some other benefits of cycling are that you will not create pollution with this help of travel option. If you are present in the city for fewer days, you can rent a cycle instead of purchasing it.


Electronic Vehicles

Electric vehicles are best to control pollution because the electric car does not create pollution. These vehicles are low maintenance. Therefore, they can be maintained easily. There are electric taxis in electric cars that can be hired or taken on rent to move around the city. These taxes do not charge much. Also, these vehicles do not consume natural resources.


Public Bus

Public buses are an excellent option to move around the city, discovering new things. While travelling on a public bus, you can meet a lot of people. The tickets for these public buses do not cost much; therefore, they are easily affordable. However, local versus have their fixed-route, so reaching your destination can take some extra time. You can even hire a bus to move around the city if you're travelling with a large group.


Tram, Train and Subway

There are trains present in this city which are easily affordable. These trains can help you to move around the city. You can even book some of the trains online. Booking training online can help you with less spending on cash. Trains are the best mode of transportation when you want to cover a vast area. Therefore, it can help you save your time.


Sustainable Shopping

Sustainable shopping involves purchasing sustainable products. There are different categories of sustainable products. Suppose you want to purchase fruits and vegetables to make dishes in your apartment or any other accommodation where you have a kitchen. In that case, you must always choose organic fruits and vegetables over everyday fruits and vegetables. Organic fruits and vegetables come under sustainable shopping. Here are grocery stores that keep organic fruits and vegetables because they are preferred by locals and tourists and beneficial for health. There are second-hand stores that come under the category of sustainable shopping. Second-hand products are counted under sustainable products because these products do not require raw materials and other resources; therefore, there do not damage or harms the environment by any means. There are second hands stores from which you can purchase essential items because chicken products cost lesser than the standard product.


Food Markets

1. Yuri Market

2. IC Notre

3. Mini Market


Flea Markets

1. Lazaretto

2. Chorizos Cuevae

3. La Ramada


Second Hand Stores

1. Amalie

2. Toda Fierro de segunda mano

3. Le Mans Cristo


Eco-Fashion

1. Salve Bolivia

2. Vans Santa Cruz


Recycling

There are recycling centres present in this city that recycles many things, including paper and plastic, which are recycled the most. According to the service, it was found that this city recycles around 5225 tonnes of plastic every year. The plastic that is Recycle eliminates the use of new plastic production, which requires raw materials and natural during its production. Other than this, there is a paper that is recycled the most in this city. As the article and Cardboard I recycled in a large quantity, this eliminates trees' cutting down to produce trees. Other elements are also recycled, such as steel and tin, which are re-casted and are given different shapes. Tins are mostly recycled and are used to make empty containers for other beverages.


Waste

The waste management of this city is not good enough to keep this city clean. Therefore you can witness a lot of waste and its improper management. Some NGOs are continually working to clean the city. Waste only gets eliminated with recycling, and no further treatment is provided to the trash. There are open landfills present in this city which is continuously creating a lot of pollution. There are no strict policies for industries to clean their chimneys and other industries to treat their water before releasing them into water. Therefore, lenient policies are a reason there is a lot of waste in this city.


Work and Study Abroad

The education pattern of this city is divided into an 8-2-2 structure of education. Primary education starts when the child reaches the age of six years. It involves eight grades. Later this, the child gets secondary education, further divided into two main cycles – primary and secondary education. The lower secondary involves two 9th and 10th, and upper secondary education involves two grades which are 11th and 12th grade. Primary education lies between the age of 6 till 13, and it is generally compulsory and free. So 8-2-2 means eight years of primary education, two years of lower secondary education, and two years of senior secondary education.


Exchange Student

The universities of this city have the access of the student exchange program. The student exchange program has many benefits, including that you can easily explore the place while studying with the help of this program. It can help a person to become confident and open to global perspectives and interact with a lot of new people. While living in abroad, you can even learn the language of that city and also the cultures and get involved in cultural festivals.


Au Pair

An au pair is a person who stays with the local, and takes care of their child. There is no involvement of funds in this work; however, if the family wants, they can pay you by themselves. It helps you in getting shelter and meals in exchange for taking care of the child. This work can help you to stay in any town for free.


Volunteering

Volunteering involves working for an organization for free of cost. Other than this, volunteering can help you to understand the problems and suffering of other people. There are organizations present in this city that help to make this city clean; therefore, they are always searching for volunteers to contact them. Few organizations help to eliminate waste by selecting those which can be recycled.


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