Do not use Ruta Verde for expeditions. They charge four times what hotels would charge.
It's a wonderful place with such a spiritual feel. I also will return one day.
Samaipata is underestimated, with such a variety of landscapes and a great climate. We're German and were impressed by the local services, an amazing place to stay, and quite some good restaurants like Latina Café and La Chakana, as well as local stuff. We loved hiking in Amboró park and above Cuevas waterfalls. Other areas like the jungle and sandstone mountains were not accessible due to heavy rains.
Smaipata is a beautiful and special place with good food (Try Cafe Latino....especially the chicken curry). There is a new tourism project that we loved called Bella Vista. Half jungle and half high mountains.
I cannot keep Samaipata out of my mind. It's a unique, very spiritual place, and I will return there one day, maybe to live. I was down assisting my daughter with some scientific work she was doing in the desert near Pampagrande; we took a long "take a shower and eat good food" weekend. A very special place.
Santa Cruz de la Sierra, commonly called Santa Cruz, is the most populous city located at the heart of the second-most populous place in Bolivia, and is also considered as the most economically prosperous city in the country and one of the fastest-growing cities in the world today.
Founded by a Spanish explorer named Ñuflo de Chavez in the sixteenth century, this city was moved several times throughout its history, until it was final established in the late sixteenth century at the Pirai River. In its early years, this city is merely a small outpost town, with little attention from the authorities of the country and the general population, until the end of World War II, when there was a comprehensive reform in agrarian and land systems that commenced the city’s fast surge to prosperity. Today, this city makes up around 35% of the entire country’s gross domestic product and gets around 40% of all foreign investments in Bolivia. This easily made the city the most important center for business in the country.
Unlike La Paz (Bolivia’s administrative capital city) and other major cities across the country situated high in the Andes, Santa Cruz lies at just over four hundred meters altitude with a distinctly tropical climate.
There are a lot of great excursions guests can book at the city of Santa Cruz from your hostel, such as trekking in Park Amboro and Noel Kempff, Jesuit Mission’s cultural excursions, or riverboat trip in the Amazon region. For soccer fans out there, this city can be a haven, as it is the home of the most famous soccer academy in the world today -- Academia de Futbol Tahuichi Aguilera, an institution that trains young players to become professional players in the future.
The Yvaga Guazú nature park houses different plants and animals. The Pirai River on the other hand, means so much for the locals, as people gather in the riverbanks to cool off, have a picnic, and socialize. Near the Cabañas Río Piraí are stores and stalls that offer food typical to the area.
There are a lot of mid-range and budget-friendly hotels and hostels in Santa Cruz. Many budget hotels in particular are close to the bus terminals, making it easy to explore the city. Budget hotels range from brand new hotels to standard rooms, all promising to offer laid-back and relaxed places for backpackers and travelers to stay. For mid-range budgets on the other hand, has some three-star and four-star hotels that take pride in superb hospitality.
Hi, I'm Angelica Burrage,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Santa Cruz de la Sierra hostels. Welcome.