We visited Bolivia in February of 2019, and primarily explored Santa Cruz de la Sierra, and its surrounding areas. We stayed at the Martiott Santa Cruz, using or Marriott points of course.
We explored the city of limits of Santa Cruz and then ventured about 15 minutes out to Plaza 24 de Septiembre, a central square around which the entire city was built, nearly 500 years ago. While in Central Square we visited the Cathedral Basilica of St. Lawrence, also called Santa Cruz de la Sierra Cathedral, which is the main Catholic Church in the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia. It is located in the city center, opposite the 24 de Septiembre Square. We also visited Samaipata, a small town in the eastern foothills of the Bolivian Andes. It’s a gateway to Amboró National Park, with its cloud forest, waterfalls and diverse birdlife. From Samaipata village center, we journeyed just east of town to the ruins of the ancient archaeological ceremonial and UNESCO World Heritage site El Fuerte. Here is where we had an amazing time learning about how this site was the home to three different cultures, the Chané, Inca and Spanish. On the opposite side of town, with a short hike, we visited the Las Cuevas Waterfalls, a beautiful, hidden oasis of three distinct waterfalls, among the rich, green mountains. It was absolutely stunning! Lastly, we were a bit adventurous and rented a dune buggy to visit Lomas de Arena, a mountainous range of beautiful sand dunes.