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What To Do In Santa Cruz

by William Gist

With a distinctively tropical climate, Santa Cruz De La Sierra, Bolivia is experiencing an economic boom with its many unique tourist attractions leading the way.

Santa Cruz De La Sierra, Bolivia is a tourist hotspot. The city has many restaurants serving local and international cuisine.

National parks and nature preserve with an abundance of native wildlife: comfortable and conveniently located hostels, and stunning landscapes.

Santa Cruz sits roughly 1,300-feet above sea level with a warm, humid tropical climate. Many tourists traveling to the region find it to be easy and convenient as a vacation destination.

What To  Do In Santa Cruz Bolivia


Santa Cruz has come a long way from being the small trading outpost of the colonial days to being the commercial center of the country. Let’s take a look at some of the things to do.

Visit Bio Centro Guembe Eco Park

A pristine 59-acre park and a unique spectacle of nature everyone will enjoy.


Guembe Eco Park is located roughly 20-minutes outside of Santa Cruz. What’s unique about this park is that it hosts the largest butterfly sanctuary in the world.

You’ll have the opportunity to take a guided nature tour, ideal for families, individuals, and small groups.

You’re sure to see monkeys roaming freely, various bird species, such as Toucans, Macaws, and peacocks all mingled together.

After the nature tour, if the weather is hot and you need too cool down, jump in one of the parks 15 large swimming pools for a refreshing dip. All of the animals within the park have either been rescued or donated.

Explore Jardin Botanico Santa Cruz

Immerse yourself in the botanical gem of Jardin Botanico. This botanical garden encompasses nearly 500-acres of forestland, natural lakes, exotic plants, and a cactus garden.


The large variety of plants and wildlife make it a perfect location for photography, relaxing, and watching the animals. Many visitors report seeing sloths climbing trees.

This park is huge, and guided tours are available to help you navigate the enormous park. The further in you go, the easier it is to get lost.

Another recommendation from recent visitors is to bring adequate mosquito repellant.

Jardin Botanico is about a 35-minute drive outside of Santa Cruz. People spend around 3 – 5 hours in the park but for the more adventurous travelers, campgrounds are available for a small fee. See layerculture.com for advice on finding the perfect travel tent for camping.

Explore The Catedral De Santa Cruz

Breathtaking panoramic views and ancient relics symbolize Catedral de Santa Cruz.


From atop the clock tower of this 400-year old cathedral, panoramic views of Santa Cruz stretch out before you.

Inside the cathedral, you’ll find the Museo de Arte Sacro, which houses gold and silver relics from centuries ago.

As one of the city’s most iconic landmarks, it’s centrally located directly across from 24 de Septiembre Square. There is a mass held daily, and visitors are free to attend.

Surrounding the church, you’ll find a plethora of restaurants and shops, as well as a large public square.

The cathedrals impressive baroque and neoclassical architecture make it an ideal location for meeting friends and taking pictures. Tens of thousands of tourists visit the Cathedral every year.

Eat At El Aljibe

Packed with flavor and history, El Aljibe serves traditional Bolivian cuisine.


This quaint old colonial house specializes in traditional Bolivian food, which is becoming difficult to find in metropolitan Santa Cruz.

This is due to the abundance of restaurants serving international cuisine. El Aljibe is also a museum with an extravagant display of pictures and century-old artifacts.

You can get a tour of the museum before your meal. The food is prepared fresh daily, and the servers are very knowledgeable about what’s available. Therefore no menus are available.


The prices are very reasonable for travelers on a budget. One major drawback for tourists is that the staff speaks only Spanish. Dining at El Aljibe is an authentic Bolivian cuisine experience you’ll savor for years.

Visit The Small Town Of Samaipata

Experience the unique culture of Samaipata over the weekend. Roughly 20 km west of Santa Cruz is the small town of Samaipata.


Samaipata is home to Germans, Dutch, American, and a few other European nationalities. Samaipata has shops and an open market selling fresh produce and other goods.

Once in Samaipata be sure to check out Amboro National Park, which comprises three distinct ecosystems. The park is known as one of the most ecologically diverse places on Earth.

A highly recommended cafe in town is La Cafette, which serves coffee, delicious desserts, and excellent lunch and dinner options with friendly staff and owners. La Cafette is centrally located at Calle Ruben Terrazas #15 Acera Oeste de la Plaza.

Explore Parque Urbano

Parque Urbano or City park is the largest leisure green space in the city. Not only is it one of the oldest parks in Santa Cruz, but the park has also been recently renovated and encompasses nearly 50 acres.


The park sits between 1st and 2nd avenue in southeastern Santa Cruz. This is a very popular park, and on weekends it’s crowded with locals. It has a 1.5 km running track, basketball court, plenty of big trees providing shade, a soccer field, and a playground.

This park is very kid-friendly and has a fairground with many small rides for the kids. Sundays are especially unique as dozens, and dozens of vendors come in with different types of food.

What To Do In Santa Cruz, Bolivia


There is no shortage of fun, engaging, and affordable things to do in Santa Cruz De La Sierra, Bolivia.

From vast forests and mountain ranges in the country’s National Parks to the restaurants and nightclubs on the streets of Santa Cruz, this city has blossomed into a tourist destination for people from all over the world.

Its unique culture and colorful history are the main attraction for tourists seeking unique, authentic Bolivian experiences.