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Santa Cruz Services

The main tourist office (Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-12.30 p.m. and 2.30 p.m.- 6 p.m.) is on the northern side of the main plaza in the Casa de Gobierno鈥攋ust walk up the stairs, go through the main doors and it鈥檚 on your left. The staff is very friendly and can give you information on things to do and see around the department of Santa Cruz, and there are plenty of pamphlets.

Unfortunately, like most tourist information offices in Bolivia, they can鈥檛 provide much info on other departments across the country, or offer much travel advice for things like border crossings. For more detailed info on Santa Cruz, especially the national parks, head to one of the recommended tour agencies.

The following organizations also work in Santa Cruz鈥檚 national park:

SERNAP (Ca. 9 Oeste 138, in front of Plaza Italia, Equipetol. Tel:3-339-4310) is in charge of Bolivia鈥檚 protected areas and can issue permits to visit national parks such as Noel Kempff and Ambor贸.

FAN (Fundaci贸n Amigos de la Naturaleza, Km 7.5 Double V铆a a La Guardia. Tel: 3-355-6800, URL: is a conservation NGO who can provide info on national parks.

Hombre y Naturaleza (Ca. Salvatierra 1015, near Ca. Tcnl. F. Romero, off Av. Brazil, in between first and second rings. Tel: 3-339-6012, URL: is a wonderful non-governmental organization who supports ecotourism and conservation across Santa Cruz and the Amazon, and help conserve local culture.

Probioma (Ca. C贸rdoba 7 Este 29, Barrio Equipetrol. Tel: 3-343-1332, URL: supports community ecotourism projects in Parque Nacional Ambor贸 and also run a small ecolodge in the community of El Chochis in the Gran Chiquitania. Contact it directly to visit any of its sites.

The Migraci贸n office (Tel: 3-333-2136) in located southeast of the city center on the second ring, east of El Trompillo Airport.

There are ATMs dotted all over town, with several on the main plaza, and all the major banks have several offices around town. The BCP on Calle 24 de Septiembre is the nearest major bank to the main plaza, useful for cash advances, and many major banks have offices and ATMs along Avenida Monse帽or Rivero and in the Equipetrol zone of the city. For exchanging money, Casa de Cambio Espa帽a (Tel: 3-339-2196, has Moneygram) and Cambio Aleman (Tel: 3-332-4114, has Western Union) are both conveniently located on the eastern side of the plaza, and change traveler's checks for a small commission.

Keeping in Touch
Internet and phone shops are located around and inside Shopping Bol铆var, on the eastern side of the main plaza. There are lots of offers on international calls, from around $0.07 a minute, and several Internet shops with Skype.

The post office is on Calle Jun铆n, near the corner of Calle Libertad, a few steps away from the main plaza. Letters and parcels of up to two kilograms (4.4 lb) can be sent abroad from the main post office (Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m.-noon). For heavier parcels, you鈥檒l need to go the international section (Monday-Friday 8 a.m.- noon and 2:30-6 p.m.) right at the back of the building, past all the postal boxes. There are stalls selling stationary, and brown paper to wrap around parcels, outside the entrance.

There are pharmacies all over the city, with the bigger stores obviously having the most choice. In the center, there are a couple of pharmacies dotted on and around Calle 21 de Mayo. There is a 24-hour pharmacy, Farmacorp Santa Mar铆a (Tel: 3-337-2352) on the corner of Avenida Irala and Calle Vallegrande.

The Cl铆nica Angel Foianini (Av. Irala 468. Tel: 3-336-2211) is deemed the best clinic in town, with quick but pricey service and many U.S.-trained doctors. It also has an ambulance service. Cl铆nica Urbari (Ca. Igmiri 555, third anillo. Tel: 3-353-4000) is a modern, top-notch private hospital with good-quality medical equipment and doctors. The Hospital Universitario Japones (Av. Jap贸n 50, on the third outer anillo, between Avenida Guapay and Av. Paragu谩. Tel: 3-346-2031) provides medical treatment and emergency services to the general population. The medical equipment is good and the doctors are professional, but waiting times can be long. The foreign-funded ProSalud clinics (central office: Av. Isabel la Cat贸lica 810. Tel: 3-353-3820) spread around the city provide good quality, inexpensive medical treatment, but be prepared to wait in line (go to to see a map marked with clinic locations).

Lavander铆a Espa帽a (Ca. Espa帽a 160. Tel: 3-332-8283) does laundry for just over $2 a kilo; it can do it in a day if you get it in early in the morning (Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 2:30-7:30 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 2:30-4 p.m.). There鈥檚 also a dry cleaning service here and they have a second shop at Ca. Buenos Aires 546. You can find a number of laundromats dotted along Calle Mercado between Calle Vallegrande and Avenida Ca帽oto, which generally charge around $1.50 a kilo. Most hotels also have laundry services.

There are a number of photo developing stores found along Calle Ingavi between Calles Col贸n and Independencia. The Foto Relieve stores (Tel: 3-336-2249/1422) provide all digital services as well as catering for professional request and camera repairs. There is an Agfa store on Calle Velasco near Calle Ayacucho.

01 Feb 2012

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Local specialties to look out for in the Santa Cruz area include Baroque-style wood carvings, ceremonial masks and high-quality hammocks...

Santa Cruz, Bolivia

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