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ESSENTIAL SANTA CRUZ — 4 days/3 nights

Santa Cruz & the Eastern Lowlands

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Essential Santa Cruz will enable you to sample the very best of Bolivian daily life and history combined with breathtaking landscapes in and around Santa Cruz, and featuring privately guided tours.

This trip is unique in that it combines the incredible natural history and scenery of the tropical woodlands and fertile plains at the southern end of the Amazon basin, with some of Bolivia’s most interesting cultural elements such as the vibrant, cosmopolitan city of Santa Cruz, and the 18th c. Mission churches of the Chiquitania.

At 416 meters above sea level, Santa Cruz is located in the Eastern Lowlands of Bolivia. It is warm and distinctly tropical most of the year, and is a perfect tropical vacation spot with a charming, hip ambiance and a combination of relaxed and adventurous lifestyles. Plenty of restaurants, bars and open air front beach lounges to lay back and chill out with friends and locals...

In the days when Eastern Bolivia was still unsurveyed and lacked political definition, the Jesuits created an autonomous religious state from which they spread throughout southern South America. Missions were founded in remote areas previously unexplored by Europeans, including the Bolivian Chiquitania where the height of mission architecture is represented in its unique and well-preserved churches.

You will have the opportunity to explore each mission individually, admiring the amount of time and effort that has been put into the construction of each church. With the incredible mix of both natural and cultural features, this trip promises to satisfy the interests of everyone!

Trip option #1 is a subtle combination of relaxed, tropical vacation and adventure in and around Santa Cruz. You will spend three nights at hotel with visits in and around the city. In option #2 you will spend two nights at hotel in Santa Cruz and one night at hotel in the World Heritage Site of Concepción. Option #3 enables to spend additional time in the Jesuit Missions area, and visit up to 6 World Heritage Sites.

WHERE?

• SANTA CRUZ - Far from the altiplano in the huge eastern lowland plains of Bolivia is Santa Cruz de la Sierra, a city where the warmth of its people is only exceeded by the heat of its climate. Santa Cruz is rapidly becoming  the principal gateway to Bolivia:  it is the center of the country´s economic growth, has the best international airport in the country, and is at a low altitude – only 416 m. (1,350 ft) above sea level. The rapid economic development has not affected the colonial character of the old backstreets nor the famous good humor of the city's inhabitants.

• AROUND SANTA CRUZ - Santa Cruz displays outstanding biodiversity typical of the Upper Amazon Basin, as well as a number of cultural remains from past civilizations. Easy access from the bustling city to nearby parks: beautiful slices of paradise await, surrounded with exotic plants and animals; walk through self-guided ecological paths and exuberant forest as you look for butterflies and orchids; explore pre-Columbian remains at Samaipata archaeological site and World Heritage Site (UNESCO)...

• JESUIT MISSIONS OF THE CHIQUITOS - The Jesuit Missions of the Chiquitos are truly monumental treasures and are officially listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our excursions combine history, religious art, culture, and beautiful countryside as found in very few other parts of the world. Our 2-day trip includes a visit to San Xavier (built 1691) and Concepción (1709). Optional add-on also includes San Ignacio (1748), San Rafael (1696), San Miguel (1721) and Santa Ana (1755).

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WHAT?

Cultural Exploration - Adventure Touring - Artists Excursions - Community Projects - Photography

WHEN?

Year-Round Departures (depart virtually any day of the week).

May - October is dry season.

Option #1 - Easy Santa Cruz

Day 1 - Arrive Santa Cruz; Tour the city.

Explore the city of Santa Cruz and visit its main attractions before heading off to see the natural beauty of the Guembe Bio-Center which showcases diverse species of plants, animals and live butterflies.

Days 2 & 3 - Choose among a variety of nature-oriented activities at one of the lush tropical gardens and entertainment centers around Santa Cruz. Drive along Amboró National Park—one of Bolivia's main ecological hotspots. Discover Samaipata archaeological site and World Heritage Site (UNESCO)—a unique testimony to pre-Hispanic traditions and beliefs in this part of the Americas. [B]

Day 4 - Day at leisure in Santa Cruz for optional activities; Transfer to airport. [B]


Option #2 - Santa Cruz & Jesuit Missions

Day 1 - Arrive Santa Cruz; Tour the city.

Day 2 - Visit San Xavier Jesuit Mission (Unesco World Heritage Site), including the beautiful baroque church and surrounding village. [B]

Day 3 - Visit Concepción Jesuit Mission (Unesco World Heritage Site) and meet with master artisans in charge of the conservation of the site. Back to Santa Cruz. [B]

Day 4 - Day at leisure in Santa Cruz for optional activities; Transfer to airport. [B]


Option #3 - In-depth Jesuit Missions

Day 1 - Depart Santa Cruz to visit San Xavier Jesuit Mission (Unesco World Heritage Site), including the beautiful baroque church and surrounding village. [B]

Day 2 - Visit Concepción Jesuit Mission (Unesco World Heritage Site) and meet with master artisans in charge of the conservation of the site. On to San Ignacio de Velasco Jesuit Mission. [B]

Day 3 - Visit to three more missions noted for their originality and rich expressive architecture: San Rafael, San Miguel, and Santa Ana. Back to Concepción for the night. [B]

Day 4 - Morning at leisure in Concepción for optional activities; Transfer back to Santa Cruz. [B]


Bolivia Short Trip #1 - Essential Santa Cruz

Meals Included: Breakfast [B], Lunch [L], Dinner [D]

Depart any day! Custom dates and prices available.
Contact one of our travel consultants for details.

Solutions for families, small and large groups – feel free to request a custom quote.

We organize tailor-made tours at competitive prices throughout Bolivia for individuals, couples or groups, off the usual tourist routes and accompanied by accredited local guides, to get you in direct contact with stunning Bolivian landscapes, the people and local culture.

Choose the duration of your Bolivia trip, the places you want to visit, type of accommodation, schedules, ways to get around and even your budget. Everything exactly as you prefer!

Contact us so that we can prepare a detailed tailor-made itinerary for you, based on your travel dates and personal conveniences.

If you are a group of 10 or more travelers, you can take advantage of the favorable conditions that Fremen Tours Bolivia has planned for you.

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