12 Oct. 2012 - Bolivia is known for its hundreds of varieties of orchids, at least 150 of which will be on display at the 12th Annual Orchid Festival in the Jesuit mission town of Concepción (in the state of Santa Cruz, bolivia) today through Sunday. The event is organized each year by the Municipal Government of Concepción and the CEPAD (Center for Sustainable Human Participation and Development).
The event attracts about 4000 visitors per year. In addition to orchid displays and sales, visitors can enjoy typical local foods, hiking, painting contests, wood carving exhibits, orchid cultivation courses, photography, artisan fairs, and other artistic events.
Hotels and inns fill weeks in advance and local families open their homes to tourists during this time. The bus company that normally covers the Santa Cruz to Concepción
route (TransGuarayos) increases increases its bus runs from 6 to 12 per day. The trufi (shared taxi) company that also covers this route (Cooperativa Concepción) also increases the number of round trips available. Many visitors also drive the 290 kilometers (approximately 5 hours) along the paved road that connects Santa Cruz
and Concepción, or hire local taxis.
The Orchid Festival of Concepción began in 2001 as a tourist project. In 2005 the municipal government passed an ordinance to ensure the conservation of the Cattleya nobilior
orchid, by declaring its habitat, a local area called "El Encanto", a protected area.
One of the interesting added events, which will take place on Saturday, is a 20-kilometer hike from Concepción to a small village called Candelaria, where a lunch of typical foods and drinks, music and horseback riding will await hikers.
Another attraction will be a visit to the nearby village of Guayaba, located 4 kilometers from Concepción, to learn about the local Chiquitano culture
. Visitors will be able to speak to community leaders, learn about how their community is organized, and how the local inhabitants live.
Two short orchid cultivation workshops will also be offered by José Luis Panoso, of the AOB (Bolivian Association of Friends of the Orchid).
1. Concepción is located 290 kilometers from
2. The weather forecast for this weekend is 26ºC with partially cloudy skies.
3. Buses normally charge Bs. 35 and trufis normally charge about Bs. 40 to Concepción; however the prices may increase just for this weekend.
4. Hotels and inns are filled, according to the Hotel Chamber of Concepción.
5. The festival itself is free. Additional events may include a cover charge.