Santa Cruz downtown “El Centro” has preserved its colonial taste. The Plaza in the middle of El Centro is surrounded by well preserved building of colonial stile.
In the Centro you should visit the Cathedral and the museum inside of it (Museo Catedralicio), “Casa de la Cultura”, “Museo de Cera”, “Iglesia de San Francisco” one of Santa Cruz oldest and best preserved churches. Right in the Centro there is also plenty of shopping centers and stores to visit. If you want to buy craft you can get some right on the main square, but if you want the best and most authentic go to a store call “Arte Campo” in the corner of Calle Vallegrande & Calle Manuel Ignacio Salvatierra about 6 block from the main square.
Aside from El Centro, Santa Cruz is a modern city with a lot of green everywhere.
One of the cool places to go outside of the Centro is the area around Avenida Monseñor Rivero between the Cristo monument and the palace of justice (building in the picture). On this boulevard there are plenty of cafes, restaurants and ice-cream shops (even a McDonalds).
Favorite thing: The colonial part of downtown Santa Cruz viewed from the north. The lagoon in the picture is the artificial lagoon of a city park called Arenal where you can rent boats and buy crafts made by artisans.
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!
Fondest memory: 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.
Focal point of the city is the 24 de Septiembre Plaza with classical OLD WORLD beauty mindful of SPAIN where you will see similar buildings.