Kempff National Park
The Kempff National Park is one of the most preserved jungle terrain of Bolivia. It got its name from a scientist Noel Kempff, who was murdered by drug smugglers in 1986.
Little known by travelers, this park offers an impressive natural beauty with wide savannahs and astonishing rock formations. It possesses thanks to its isolation on the border to Brazil still lush jungle vegetation and abundant wildlife with many endangered species of animals like tapirs, jaguars, monkeys and birds.
Santa Cruz is one of the wealthiest cities of Bolivia with a population of 1,1 million inhabitants. Since the 1970, Santa Cruz was famous for its Colombian- Bolivian cocaine trade. Until today this characteristic still exists, but Santa Cruz experienced as well a big agricultural boom with large plantations of sugarcane, rice, cotton and soybean. The plantations were built on the lowlands east of the city and brought many new settlers and new investments into the city. Santa Cruz people are proud about this new success, ignoring that vast areas of tropical forest which are destroyed and lost for the agriculture fields.
In the city, various sights attractions are interesting to discover like the museum with Jesuit relics, the big cathedral, the zoo or the "Casa de la Cultura" with exposition of native crafts and art. One pleasant day trip goes to the Jesuit mission of "Concepcion", "San Ramon" and "San Javier" , which still contain interesting ruins and restored churches of the 17th century or make a trip to the pre-Incan ruins at "Samaipata" and "Chiqutania".
There are many options for relaxation in and out of the city like the central "plaza", the "Arenal Park" or "El Rio Pirai", a recreation area outside of Santa Cruz.