Updated October 1st, 2018.
By far most naturally beautiful place I visited in the whole of Bolivia! The town of Samaipata doesn’t have much more to offer than a few small streets with cafes, restaurants, hostels and tour agencies, but just outside you will discover national parks and scenery that will take your breath away!
Spend a few days here, take a break from the hectic life of a backpacker and and enjoy being in the tranquility of nature in all it’s glory!
Read more about backpacking Bolivia!
Where to Stay in Samaipata
- Hostal & Camping ‘El Jardín’: A chilled out hippie place set in a peaceful natural setting. You can stay in dorms (35 Bolivianos) or on the camping site (only if you bring your own tent) and there’s a communal kitchen.
- Hostal Andorina: A little bit more expensive (75 Bolivianos with breakfast), but definitely worth it! Nice hostel and atmosphere with kitchen and amazing rooftop views.
- Hostal ‘Los Aventureros’: A short walk outside the village, this hostel offers dorms, handmade tents for two (although they are not as nice and special as described on their website!) and WIFI.
What to do In Samaipata
These Inca ruins are 9 kilometres outside of Samaipata. You can either take a shared taxi or if you’re feeling energetic, you can walk there.
After 2 kilometres walking along the main street in the direction of Santa Cruz, you will see a sign on the right side. Take the road up the mountain and start to enjoy beautiful views! At the entrance, they will charge you 50 Bolivianos to get in.
20 kilometres away from Samaipata (in the same direction as El Fuerte) you will find some beautiful waterfalls, where you can swim and sunbathe.
The path to walk there begins right next to the street. To get there take a shared cab or ask any bus driver, who passes the main street next to Samaipata and is going from Sucre to Santa Cruz.
Parque Nacional Amboró
This park is nature at it’s finest! Just 40 minutes away from Samaipata you will find the park entrance where you have to pay 15 Bolivianos to enter.
You can only enter with a guide, but the tour is definitely worth it, as private transport would be very expensive and the guide can give you useful information about nature and animals in the park.
I recommend the agency Tucandera Tours (calle Bolivar). (The more people, the less you pay.) We were five people and payed 130 Bolivianos each (including transport, guide and entrance fee). Prices are fixed but you can try to bargain, as there is a lot of competition between the tour agencies in Samaipata.
Once in the park there is a 10 kilometres relatively easy circular walk through thick forest. Twice along the way, the forest opens and you will have an amazing panoramic view from above the mountains!
Keep your eyes and ears out along the path for many interesting plants and trees, listen to rare birds and if you are lucky see a spectacled bear!
The part of Amboró that you can visit from Samaipata is the southern one. The northern you can only visit from Santa Cruz. Many agencies offer day trips to here but as it is further away, the tours start at 6am and are more expensive.
In Samaipata the tours start around 9am and are better value for money in terms of adventure and time spent in the park.
How to Get There
- By collectivo: from Santa Cruz (30 Bolivianos), they leave at Av. Omar Chavez Ortiz/ Soliz de Olguin and take you directly to the central plaza in Samaipata.
- By bus: from Sucre (around 100 Bolivianos). Take a bus from the terminal that goes to Santa Cruz. They all stop and let you out on the main road 5 minutes walking from Samaipata
Where to go Next
- Santa Cruz: Loads of stuff to do in and around Santa Cruz: Visit the Urban or Arenal park, the botanical garden or the Güembé biocenter.
- Sucre: It is said that Sucre is the most beautiful city in the whole of Bolivia. Walk around the central plaza, nice churches and green parks or walk the route of 7 waterfalls. Take the red bus number 12 for about 1 hour outside of the city.
About the writer: This article was written by Anne Schmitz. Check out her Facebook page ‘Anne’s Road’ here!