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April 1st, 2013 


Santa Cruz, Bolivia



 Santa Cruz is the eastern capital of the nation of Bolivia. The city has grown tremendously in recent years and has a population of more than one and a half million, making it the largest city in all of Bolivia. Located within the Amazon region of South America, Santa Cruz offers visitors the trip of a lifetime with beautiful tropical scenery.

 Santa Cruz offers tourists with an exciting look at Incan and Spanish history. The city was originally founded by Spain in 1561. After several conflicts with the indigenous people of the region the city was moved closer to the banks of the Pirai River in order to provide protection. Remnants of the native people are found throughout the city along with many original Spanish cathedrals and buildings. The city is dotted with historical places such as museums, churches, native settlements, and large rivers that include the enormous Amazon.

 Santa Cruz provides travelers with a wide variety of places that visitors can travel to and enjoy. The culture and people of Santa Cruz are entirely distinct from that of any other region in the world. Around the city are found many small colonial era villages such as the Jesuit Missions, Urubicha, and Samaipata. Local villagers and craftsmen use skills that have been handed down for generations to create some of the most interesting musical instruments in the world. Pottery creations are beautiful and can be purchased from local potters at excellent deals. Local foods include majao, locro, and masaco. Majao is a risotto type dish and is served with duck or chicken. Locro is a soup created from rice, potatoes, onions, garlic, and oregano mixed with hen or chicken. Masaco is a smashed plantain combined with sun dried meats. Travelers are welcome to taste local dishes but will be surprised at the large quantities of western civilization foods available at all restaurants.

Exciting sites that are closer to the city include:

 The Santa Cruz Zoo, which is one of the largest zoos in all Bolivia and features reptiles, birds, mammals, and fish from around the Santa Cruz region as well as a wide variety of exotic and endangered plants and animals.


 The Pirai River was the original reason why the city was settled. Visitors can walk the banks of the river and view long rows of thatch-roofed houses and restaurants. The river is a favorite spot for locals to visit during the hot summer days.

 Samaipata is an archaeological that is believed to have been the ceremonial center of pre-Hispanic Bolivia. An enormous rock has been sculpted out of the hill and details the history of native traditions. Credit for the sculpture is given to the Incas, who once lived across much of the Bolivian region.

 The Noel Kempff Mercado National Park is one of the largest parks in the entire Amazon Basin. The region is engulfed in beautiful green forests, lush savanna, and large evergreen Amazonian forests. More than 4000 different species of plant life and close to 700 different bird species are spotted throughout the park.

 Thinking of heading to Santa Cruz? Bolivia’s largest international airport, Viru Viru International Airport is located a short 10 mile ride from Santa Cruz city center.

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