Santa Cruz Introduction Walk (Self Guided), Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz is the most populous city and the heart of the second most populous metropolitan area in Bolivia, as well as the capital of the department of Santa Cruz. If you get the opportunity to go to Santa Cruz, your visit will not be complete without exploring its main sights. Take this self-guided walking tour to the best landmarks of Santa Cruz de la Sierra.
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Santa Cruz Introduction Walk Map

Guide Name: Santa Cruz Introduction Walk
Guide Location: Bolivia » Santa Cruz (See other walking tours in Santa Cruz)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 Km or 2 Miles
Author: DanaU
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Plaza 24 de Septiembre
  • Basilica Menor de San Lorenzo
  • Museum of Sacred Art
  • Santa Cruz Cultural Center
  • Museum of Modern Art
  • General Cemetery
  • Church of Saint Andrews
  • Parque El Arenal
1
Plaza 24 de Septiembre

1) Plaza 24 de Septiembre (must see)

Plaza 24 de Septiembre (Principal Plaza) is the city's main plaza, locals and tourists alike gather here to hang out and socialize. There are plenty of benches, small tables for a friendly game of chess, numerous pigeons to feed, and of course several cafes/restaurants surrounding it. The city's main cathedral is located in the plaza as well. During the day, you can pay to enter the cathedral's small museum and climb to the top of the bell-tower, allowing you to get a great view of the plaza and the city below.
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Basilica Menor de San Lorenzo

2) Basilica Menor de San Lorenzo

Located in the Plaza 24 de Septiembre, the original Basilica Menor de San Lorenzo was erected in 1605. However the building that we see today dates from 1845 and was consecrated only in 1915. It is a typical eclectic style and impresses with its stunning arches, ornaments, woodwork on the ceiling, and the silver-plating around the altar. The belfry of the basilica offers amazing views over the city.

The admission fee: Bs. 3.

Operation hours: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday 10 am – noon, 4 pm – 6pm.
3
Museum of Sacred Art

3) Museum of Sacred Art (must see)

Founded 25 years ago by priest Monseñor Carlos Gericke Reiche, the Museum of Sacred Art is located inside the Basilica Menor de San Lorenzo, in the Plaza 24 de Septiembre. The museum features impressive collections of religious paintings, sculptures, golden and silver relics, and other items dating as far back as 1600. Also, there is a selection of precious gems and metals, and robes worn by priests several centuries ago.

The museum is divided into three sections, each displaying items on specific topics. The first room, called the Wood Room, specializes in wooden sculptures, furniture, and many more. The second section features robes embroidered in gold, dating from the 17th century. The last room displays gold and silver pieces, including crowns, candelabras, shields, and others.

Working hours: Monday, Tuesday: 3 pm - 6 pm, Wednesday- Friday: 9 am - 12 pm, 3 pm - 6 pm.
4
Santa Cruz Cultural Center

4) Santa Cruz Cultural Center

Located on René Moreno Street, a few blocks from the main plaza, the Santa Cruz Cultural Center is the largest cultural center in Bolivia. It was built in 2009 and is used for various concerts, art exhibitions and many other cultural events.

Santa Cruz Cultural Center is open from Tuesday through Friday 8 am – noon and 4 pm – 8 pm; Saturday 3 pm – 7 pm.

The new cultural center will be used for art exhibits, concerts and many other cultural events.
5
Museum of Modern Art

5) Museum of Modern Art

Located a few blocks from the Plaza 24 de Septiembre, the Museum of Modern Art is housed in an old colonial building that was once used as barracks and later as a school. The building has a large open courtyard in the middle, just as many buildings dating from the 1600's used to have. The building has 10 rooms, but a only a few of them are used for the gallery. Inside the museum, you can see the works of national and international artists from the 20th and 21st centuries. There are no permanent displays, thus there is always something new to be admired. The museum has no entry fee and does allow photography, but without flash.

Operation hours: Monday – Friday 10 am – 12 noon, and 3 pm – 8 pm, Saturday: 3 pm - 7 pm.
6
General Cemetery

6) General Cemetery

On one hand, the General Cemetery is a place of sorrow and pain, but on the other hand, it is also an interesting landmark which may surprise you. It is quite unlike the cemeteries in most countries. What is so unusual about it, is the fact that when someone passes away his or her family have to pay for a vault for a period of seven years. After the time is up, the remains are buried in the ground. After the next twenty years, they are removed completely. In Santa Cruz, men are buried with their colleagues, children with other kids under a hill of white graves that are filled with different toys, poems, and more. The adults' tombs are also filled with things they loved. There is a lot to explore at this holy place, so don't miss the opportunity to visit it.
7
Church of Saint Andrews

7) Church of Saint Andrews

The Church of Saint Andrews was built in 1849 with support from Archbishop José Andrés Salvatierra Chavez, who was an important figure during the struggle for emancipation. The original building was oriented east-west, unlike the current one that has a south-north orientation. Its original facade was similar to the temples of Jesuit Missions of Chiquitos that had survived until the late 40s. Today, it is an impressive place of worship on Calle Beni and should definitely be included in your list of must see sights in Santa Cruz.
8
Parque El Arenal

8) Parque El Arenal (must see)

Featuring a lagoon with an island in the middle, Parque El Arenal is one of the best attractions of Santa Cruz. It was originally designed as a reservoir of rainwater in the city center, it has now become a great leisure place with stunning views. Locals and tourists alike come to Parque El Arenal everyday to have some fun, taking pedal-boat rides or just admiring its beauty.

Of note is the bas-relief mural created by Lorgio Vaca, a famous Bolivian artist. The work of art depicts historic and present day aspects of Santa Cruz. Another noteworthy attraction located in Parque El Arenal is the Folklore Museum that will be soon re-opened after renovation.

Walking Tours in Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Create Your Own Walk in Santa Cruz

Create Your Own Walk in Santa Cruz

Creating your own self-guided walk in Santa Cruz is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Museums Walk in Santa Cruz

Museums Walk in Santa Cruz

Being a tropical city with great climate, most view Sant Cruz as mainly an outdoors activities destination. However, this city has a lot of history and art as well. Santa Cruz features over 30 small museums and art galleries that may delight your eyes with impressive works by national and international artists. Take this tour to the best museums and art centers in Santa Cruz.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles