There's Nothing Special About Santa Cruz!!!

by BoliviaBella
(Santa Cruz de la Sierra)





The other day someone said to me "there's nothing special about Santa Cruz." Gasp!


Considering I've spent the past fifteen years delving further and further into what can be beautiful and positive about life in Santa Cruz, the comment was painful!

True, Santa Cruz (like any city) has some pretty big problems, some areas that aren't nice looking, urban chaos, growing crime rates, reckless drivers, thoughtless people who don't make the slightest attempt to keep the city clean, etc. True, tourist attractions in Santa Cruz haven't been promoted for 60 years like they have in La Paz, Sucre, Oruro, Potosí and other places. True, you have to have a lot of patience and the tolerance to accept some things you cannot change if you choose to live here. True, Santa Cruz doesn't fit your typical stereotype of the "Andean" Bolivia tourists are so attracted to (mostly because they are unaware that there are other parts of Bolivia to be attracted to).

What is untrue, is that there is nothing special about Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz is a young city and not yet well known. Its tourist attractions (which are many and very beautiful) are also young and not well known (and rarely well promoted). The city and its people are full of little surprises and these surprises are what cause so many of us to fall in love with the region. Santa Cruz doesn't pour its heart out to you all at once.

Santa Cruz is the kind of place you want to have a good and lasting relationship with. It's not a rush-in-rush-out tourist area where you only get to know what's on the surface. (Unless the surface is all you're interested in getting to know).

Don't get me wrong. I happen to be a very visual person. I take everything in with my eyes, so I get it! I really do! But I always keep in mind that behind the bursts of color, scents and sounds, there is life worth knowing more about.

If like me, you're the type of person who is into really learning about and truly experiencing places and people...then expect Santa Cruz to seduce you slowly. It's when you choose to open yourself to the possibility that you'll find there is so much more than meets the eye.

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Dec 27, 2010
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Sant Cruz, I love You
by: tom

I was in SC in November 2010 for one week as a tourist, and it was my first visit. I fell in love with the city, climate, people and food. The city has so much to offer tourists. The best way to explore the city is by foot. A must is to see the Main Plaza at night with the Cathedral all light up. Amazing. The people I found were very welcoming and kind. I made a few friends while visiting SC, especially my taxi driver who turned out to be the best tour guide I ever had. He so concerned that I was having a good time, and he would always reommend places to visit. He should give up being a driver and open his own tour company for SC. If you like warm and hot weather, SC is the place. The vegation is incredible: beatiful trees and flowers all over the city. It is a fast growing city I could tell, and I hope it doesn't change too much because I will return next year for another memorable visit. I have wonderful memories of SC; you just have to get out there and explore the wonderful city!!



Dec 17, 2010
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its too big
by: Anonymous

Santa Cruz is getting too big.

Dec 17, 2010
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i sort of agree and sort of don't
by: Anonymous

I think you don't really have to stay in Santa Cruz a very long time to love it here. Maybe some people won't enjoy the hot weather though. And if its the dirty markets you don't like, well there are dirty markets in the whole country.

Dec 17, 2010
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thanks for this
by: Anonymous

Your love for Santa Cruz and Bolivia is obvious all over your site. It would be very easy for anyone to give up on this country considering everything that is going on here lately, especially if your a foregnier and you have the choice to live somewhere else.

Dec 17, 2010
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you're right
by: J. Paul

I understand what you're saying. I wasn't very convinced about Santa Cruz until I had visited several times. Its virtues are not immediately apparent. Touristically it hasn't been developed as much as other areas but over the years I've watched as that changes. Now it has many beautiful places and attractions tourists would love, but you're right, they aren't promoted enough and people don't know about them. And for people who are considering living here, you have to take in the full picture of everything that is happening all over the country to decide if living here is right for you. La Paz may be a cool tourist city, but I personally could never live there, it's just too choked up with protests and politics all the time. I would find that extremely irritating. The people in Santa Cruz take a while to warm up to as well, if you're a foreigner. They're friendly and welcoming, but seem shallow. People think this about them because there is a lot of emphasis on beauty and modelling, etc. But when you begin to make friends and get to know them, they are really nice people! Very smart, with lots of ambition. They aren't content to settle for less that's why they are always looking for ways to make things better, even if they make a lot of mistakes. Santa Cruz has never had all the advantages that other cities in the west have had. The successive governments haven't given it much interest (or didn't until they found oil and gas). It's not a major tourist area, it's not a capital city, it's not a diplomatic center, etc. So you have to ask yourself, then why is Santa Cruz attracting more people to it (both foreigners and Bolivians) than any other city in Bolivia?

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