Santa Cruz is located in the south central section of Bolivia. The city is settled by the Rio Piray (river) and is within easy reach of the Andes Mountains to the west.
Santa Cruz's streets are designed as concentric circles, each ring a little wider than the last. Visitors often describe the city as having a small-town feel, and it's not unusual to see basic adobe buildings sitting right next to European-style cathedrals. Santa Cruz also boasts a large number of close-by national parks, some which are world-renowned.
Santa Cruz is home to the Guembe Biocenter, the world's largest butterfly sanctuary. The Jardin Botanico is a large botanical garden that garners a lot of attention as well. Cotaca is a small town 15 miles away known for its pottery and artisans.
Santa Cruz has many natural wonders, like La Rinconada, a lagoon filled with rain forest lily pads, including some of the biggest in the world. National parks of note include Yvaga Guazú, Amboró and Noel Kempff. Lomas de Arena is an area filled with large sand dunes and is a popular hangout for locals.
There are many short but difficult hiking trails in the Santa Cruz area. You will find these at the national parks surrounding the city.
Article Written By Monty Dayton
Monty Dayton is a professional freelance writer who has worked for the ACLU, Touchstone Publishing LLC, the University of Alaska, Fairbanks and many other employers. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Alaska and loves writing about travel, the outdoors and health topics.