At a low-lying 500 metres above sea level it is an ideal place to prepare for higher ground in a tropical and warm Latin setting. People watch and sightsee in the city's centre main square, 'Plaza 24 de Septiembre' amid its colonial buildings. Here you will able to observe Bolivia's diverse population, from its ethnic Andean groups, Cuban doctors, Brazilian settlers, dungaree-wearing Mennonites, Japanese immigrants, European workers and local Crucenos.
Up until the late 1960s Santa Cruz was an isolated town between the Andean cities and Brazil. Now the city is a metropolis offering a wide range of hotels and restaurants. Despite the vast deforestation that the region suffered due to this growth, it is still possible to experience some unique wildlife in some of the city's parks and outskirts.
The 'Lomas de Arenas' park 25km from the city features sand dunes covering over 3,000 hectares. There are birding and nature opportunities on the way to the park and you can expect to see sloths, caimans and over 280 bird species.
Santa Cruz is an important transport hub and the gateway to important cultural and natural sites such as the Chiquitania and its Jesuit missions, the wetlands of the Pantanal, the dry Chaco and the lush Amboro National Park.