Santa Cruz is a wild city with...
Santa Cruz is a wild city with more than one million people in the border of the Amazon rain forest. The city is pretty modern and it has all the luxuries of the develop world. You can flight directly from Miami by either American Airlines or LAB Bolivian Airlines. The city is in the middle of a flat green savanna and 25 miles east from the last ridge of the Andes.
In Santa Cruz you can find all sort of people from the local “Cambas” with their Spanish ways to indigenous people from the highlands and their open air markets, Mennonite farmers of German and Dutch descent, Rice growing Japanese farmers, Arab merchants, Brazilian ranchers, and Chinese restaurant owners, all of them mixed in this crazy booming town.
Santa Cruz has the ambiance of the city in the frontier. In the downtown area the colonial architecture mixes itself with modern buildings, expensive imported cars, fashionable boutiques and street vendors. The fun is mostly in the northeastern neighborhood of Equipetrol, with broad avenues with palm trees, hotels, restaurants, young people and nightclubs, where the night is day and the day is to relax.
It is a city to have fun and the best place to start your Bolivian adventure! The food is excellent! Santa Cruz has a great variety of restaurants with Bolivian and world cuisine. Here I have eaten the best Chinese food ever.
The women are beautiful; they are of all races and different mixtures. I have never seen so many beautiful women together as in Santa Cruz, they have a lot of class and stile.
Finally, I miss the outdoors; Santa Cruz is close to the rainforest, the Andes, the Chaco, the Pampas, rivers and Inca ruins. Is great if you are into exploring nature.
Espejillos is a small resort...
Espejillos is a small resort and campsite 20 minutes west of Santa Cruz crossing the Piraí River. This is a little paradise in the middle of the rainforest. Check out more pictures of Espejillos in my travelogues!
Río Piraí (Santa Cruz - Bolivia)
The Pirai River runs on the west of the city of Santa Cruz. Across the river is a protected area, thus there are no constructions (only woods and environmentally friendly old-style farming). On the east riverside there is a place call "Las Cabañas del Piraí", this is a great place. It is a strip of huts with palm tree roofs where you can eat, drink and dance. Here locals serve only very typical meals or pastries from the region. During the weekend lots of people come here and have a blast. Although the river is currenty, and the water mixes with sand, people bath in the river (the water is relatively clean, at least is not polluted).
"El Río Piraí"
People spend the whole day on sandy and widespread beaches of the river, sun tanning, playing soccer or beach volleyball. The river is shallow and the water is temperate to warm. Many people like to stay until sunset to have the view in the picture.
There she is, "el amor de mi vida" (the love of my life), happily waiting for some pastry to be ready to eat with coffee. Try the following pastries: cuñapé, zonzo, pan de arroz, empanada de queso, tamal and paraguayo.
"Flowing from the Andes to Laguna Negra"
The Pirai River flows down the Andes passing by Santa Cruz and 100 km (62 miles) north it enters into the Amazon Rainforest flowing through huge swaps and lagoons, this fascinating place is known as "Laguna Negra" or black lagoon (this is one of the least visited and most amazing hidden treasures of the Bolivian Rainforest!).