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Santa Cruz is Bolivia's most cosmopolitan city and, in many ways, the least representative of the country as a whole. Its low altitude and tropical climate only reinforce this distinction.

The city's population is diverse and its centre pulses with business. Perhaps as a consequence of its commercial energy, tourism in Santa Cruz is less about serious sightseeing, and more about shopping sprees, and enjoying the range of bars and restaurants.

Indeed, visitors won't find many iconic Bolivian landmarks or attractions. That said, Santa Cruz is a good base from which to venture into the wider region. Favourite day trips include trekking in Amboro National Park, visiting the nearby cultural hub of Samaipata, and exploring the many old Jesuit Missions in the area.





Jesuit Missions

Jesuit Missions of the Chiquitos

The Jesuit Church sent missionaries to a number of Bolivia's rural areas in the 16th century, with instructions to 'civilise' and convert indigenous tribes. Today, travellers can visit the churches they built and cultivated. Many vibrant villages lie around these beautiful colonial structures, which...  see full details



Samaipata, Bolivia

Samaipata

The tiny village of Samaipata lies two hours' drive southwest of Santa Cruz. Its home to an array of local tribes and some beautiful examples of Spanish colonial architecture. Visitors will encounter several important attractions, including El Fuerte, which is a set of pre-Incan...  see full details



Amboro National Park, Bolivia

Amboro National Park

Amboro National Park is a nature reserve in central Bolivia. Its wildlife population includes more than 800 species of birds, and many endangered animals such as the puma, jaguar and spectacled bear. Hikers will encounter a diverse terrain, which covers the northern Chaco, Andes...  see full details


Tour operator G.A.P Adventures has for the past 14 years specialised in unique, small group, grassroots adventure travel experiences in the world's most wild places, going off the beaten track into the heart of the destination to meet the locals who call it home. G.A.P. Adventures offers several expeditions to the Bolivian Amazon and Andes.
Intrepid Travel, one of the world's leading suppliers of small group adventures, focuses on getting off the beaten track, interacting with the locals and having real life experiences throughout Bolivia.