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Points of Interest
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Points of Interest in Santa Cruz
About Santa Cruz
In contrast to La Paz and the other major Bolivian cities located high in the Andes, Santa Cruz lies at an altitude of 416 meters, and its climate is distinctly tropical.
- CineCenter (on the 2nd Ring). A movie theater complex with a variety of film offerings, a food court, shopping mall, and some high-end cafes and restaurants. It also has a 3D movie theater, a video arcade, and an indoor playground for small children.
- Estadio Ramón Tahuichi Aguilera (Main Stadium) (inside the 1st Ring). Hosts soccer games and the occasional high-profile concert. Can get crowded during The Clasico when Santa Cruz's two main soccer teams, Oriente Petrolero and Blooming, play against each other. Use caution when at the stadium due to often drunk and rowdy fans.
- Bowling (downtown). Bowling alley. Bowling shoes can be rented there, which is not included in the price per hour. There is a food and beverage kiosk inside. Expensive.
- Plaza 24 de Septiembre (Principal Plaza). The city's main plaza, where locals and tourists alike gather to hang out and observe each other. There are benches and small tables to play chess at, there are numerous pidgeons to feed, and several cafes/restaurants surrounding it. The city's main cathedral is here and is quite beautiful. During the day you can pay to enter the cathedral's small museum and climb to the top of the belltower, where you can get a nice view of the plaza from above.
There are several good restaurants in the north of the city. One of the main clusters of restaurants is spread around Avenida Monseñor Rivero.
- El Aljibe, ☎ (591-3) 335 2277. 4 blocks from the central square, on the corner between Potosí and Ñuflo de Chavez. Very good place to try delicious Camba food in a beautiful setting. The restaurant is named for the traditional style well it has in its central courtyard (aljibe in Guaraní). Costs about 35 bolivianos per main dish. The Majao del Pato (spicy rice dish with duck, egg and bananas) is very tasty, as is the Locro de Gallina (hearty chicken soup). Popular with locals.
- Capri many locations including Avenida Monseñor Rivero and Avenida Melchor Pinto. Excellent pizzeria with Italian style pizza. Owned by an Argentinian of Italian descent. Pizzas cost around 50 bolivianos each and are large enough to share between two people.
- Empanaderia Las Charcas on Avenida Melchor Pinto. One of the best empanaderias in the centre. They are fried while you wait and cost 6 or 7 bolivianos each depending on the filling (the Lechón, or suckling pig, filling is one of the richest).
- Papa Jack is very impressive and new (2011) restaurant located in an ally near Avenida Monseñor Rivero. It is very clean and modern, and has many types of food in it (their definition -casual resturant). The prices around 50 Bolivianos per person.
- Picolo's is one of the local favorites. There, you can get some of the best ice cream in Santa Cruz. Look for the small Jesus statute on your tourist maps, most of them are in the Avenida Monseñór Rivero.
- Casa del Camba on the second ring, Tel: 342-7864. Excellent outdoor style restaurant with option to eat indoors as well. Has live music and dance floor with a traditional Santa Cruz atmosphere. Very good service, clean and reasonably priced. Friday and Saturdays are busy it can handle a lot of people.
- Michelango's, Calle Warnes and Chuquisaca. Serves excellent Italian style food in a great atmosphere.
- The Irish Pub in the main plaza is a great place for meeting other tourists, locals, watching sports on TV and enjoying good food, beer, music and a cozy atmosphere. Service is slow but there is a pleasant terrace that has a good view of the main plaza. Does not have Guinness or any beer other than the usual lagers.
- There are two vegetarian restaurants to be found in one single street. The service isn´t great, but hardcore veggies will be happy there. East from the plaza around 4 blocks. You pay by weight in one, the other has seconds at 12Bs.
- Another good tip for small snacks and eating are the Cafeterias, Cake and Ice stores in the Avenida Ayacucho (more or less the corner España) - Dumbo is quite good.
- Design Center, Second Ring between René Moreno St. and Monseñor Santiestevan St.. There is a big food court with a lot of fast-food options: from vegetarian salads to Argentine-style grilled steaks.
Inside the mall, you can also found several stores of famous brands: Calvin Klein, Hollister, Abercrombie & Fitch...
- Los Lomitos:. A delicious steakhouse offering a mix of traditional Argentine and Bolivian cuisine for a good price.
- Fridolin. is a lovely pastry and coffee bistro that has excellent desserts. The savory food is however not-that-great and very expensive (30Bs. for a very small pizza).
- Alexander's Cafe: (2 locations: on Junín, 1 block West of central Plaza; and on Avenida Monseñor Rivero.). A slightly pricey but delicious café that offers good food (including vegetarian options) and fair trade coffee. Like Starbucks, it's a great place to hang out for a few hours with their WiFi. Service is sometimes slow.
- Yogenfruz (Located in the Cine Center food court and also on the Monseñor...). Sells wonderful frozen yogurt that rivals all the other ice cream shops in the city! You can choose your fruit and watch them make it for you.
- Bits and Cream (Canoto, inside Cine Center, near the central Plaza). Similar to Cold Stone Creamery in America, you pick you flavors of ice cream, toppings and they will mix it up for you. Sometimes they even throw your ice cream across the room and catch it for you!
- Pollo Moderno. Don't miss out on the chance to eat what most Bolivian families go out to eat for! Though restaurants selling pollo a la broasted abound, this is just one particularly good one. Chicken comes with rice, platano, and French fries.
- El Mandarin (Avenida Irala). Delicious Chinese food, offering excellent service and a clean, pleasing atmosphere. Other great choices include Shanghai (Avenida 26 de febrero #27) and Palacio del Dragón (Avenida Irala 679, tel. (591) 3-3335340.
- Café 24 (On SE corner of main plaza). Breakfast (mediocre, 22Bs.), juices, sandwiches, salads, wine, espresso, etc. Has good Argentinian style empanadas. Nice atmosphere to while away the hours with their WiFi. Can get smoky but has a separate non-smoking room.
- Kiwi's Coffee, Calle Potosi #395 (downtown, between Calle Warnes and Calle Republiquteas), ☎ 3227748. M-F 7AM-9PM, Sa 9AM-9PM, Su 3PM-9PM. Offers quality hot and cold beverages, including great iced cappuccinos, accompanied by fresh pastries for a moderate price. English-speaking environment. Has a New Zealand theme, and is cozy and comfortable with sofa seating available. The only smoking permitted indoors are shishas or hookahs (Arabic water pipes) which can be rented. Also has WiFi internet available. Moderate.
- Plaza Rock Cafe (upstairs by the Principal Plaza). Open late and often hosting live rock music, this little bar is great at night. It offers light food, coffee, and lots of alcohol. It is decorated with rock-memorabelia and has footage from rock concerts projected onto the walls, making it a nice place for rock aficionados. Expensive.
Avenida Busch is a good place to start a longer night. There are several Pubs there and you are still close to the center. If you want some classic italian cappuccino, espresso, frappuccino or croissant there is the "Espresso del Oriente" Cafe-Pub on Bolivar Street 272 located two and a half blocks far from the main Plaza. A during-the-week runner is the Irish Pub at the main Plaza.
Equipetrol is the party place, try any club or disco there.
Av. Monseñor Rivero is a popular boulevard if you want a coffee or a drink.
- Bar Lorca (On the corner of the main Plaza, next to the cathedral and Cafe 24). Very beautiful bar with a large courtyard and Moorish tiles. Has a stage and live music on most nights. Good selection of cocktails and also has a food menu. Free WiFi.
- Café 24 (On SE corner of main plaza). As well as being a cafe/bistro during the day this turns into quite a nice little bar during the night. Good selection of drinks and there is frequently live music.
- La Bodeguita (Calle Castelnau, off Monseñor Rivero). Based on Hemingway's favorite haunt in La Habana, this is a pleasant Cuban bar. Good place to drink mojitos and Cuba libres while listening to live Cuban music (varies depending on the night but they sometimes have Nueva Trova, as well as the ubiquitous Buena Vista Social Club Covers). Cheaper than most of the places actually on Monseñor Rivero
- Duda Bar, Florida 228 (Between Spain St and 21 de Mayo St), ☎ 76025522. A a very old beautiful house in downtown Santa Cruz. The decoration is eclectic, kitsch but very cute. The art collections is provided by local artists, it is always changing. “Cachivachero” also, but with taste.
This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Santa Cruz (city, Bolivia) on Wikivoyage.