We left Argentina by plane, since the long and bumpy bus ride into Bolivia did not appeal to the troops. We arrived in the economic capital of Bolivia: Santa Cruz. It’s a large, modern city, but there’s not much to see or do there. Mostly, it is used as a base for exploring the surrounding countryside, including places like Samaipata, a small corner of paradise located in the mountains, 2 1/2 hours by car from the city.
Samaipata is a very tranquil little place, and a very laid back bohemian atmosphere pervades the streets. It is situated at the junction between four different ecosystems: amazonian jungle, highlands, fields, and forest. Located on a nearby sandstone outcrop lies the pre-Inca site of El Fuerte. We booked a couple of nights mid-week in the poshest resort in town, located on a hilltop with a splendid view of the surroundings, and we had a lovely time exploring the region.