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Eco-Tourism in the Chiquitania
It is possible to visit this part of Santa Cruz in Two Days or more. In this tours or trips you may combine Santiago De Chiquitos with another Jesuit Mission like San Jose de Chiquitos and others attractions like the Chochis village Aguas Calientes and some native communities or villages besides Santiago de Chiquitos. When visitors have more time available it possible to extend the trip to Kaa Iya National park or Otuquis national park in the bolivian Pantanal
- Standard Itinerary:
Santiago chiquitos Tours
San Jose De Chiquitos, Chochis and Aguas Calientes
3 Days 2 Nights
From the city of Santa Cruz
San Jose de Chiquitos, Chochis, Santiago de Chiquitos, Aguas Calientes and Tucavaca Valley
The commence of one of this Santiago Chiquitos Tours is at 08:00 in the morning.
Today´s destination Santiago de Chiquitos village
After about one hour driving we cross a river called "Rio Grande right after a police control point.
Please carry with you your passport or your country I.D. if your are from a country which is part or the MECOSUR agreement. Also please bring the small sheet of paper that you get when entering the country
On the way we cross vast fields of Soya, sunflower and other commercial grains
along the highway we can see many entrances to Mennonite colonies, they are here because the land is good for agriculture.
After about 3 1/2 hours driving on we will arrive at our fist destination of today is San Jose de Chiquitos.
This town was the third reduction founded as a mission of aboriginal "chiquitanos" by the Jesuits in March 19, 1697
In this place we can visit the museum related to it
We may have lunch in San Jose de Chiquitos.
In the case that for some reason the visit to the church o museum is not possible to do it today we would have to do it on our way back to Santa Cruz City
After San Jose de Chiquitos we return to the highway to keep going to reach Chochis. Located about 90 kilometer from San Jose de Chiquitos
During this trip on the paved highway , we will have the opportunity to appreciate the beautiful red tinted mountains that seems to glow with the sun down reflects on it like. Specially for the first time visitors.
Chochis is on 250 on sea level. And it has about one thousand five hundred inhabitants.
As we get close to Chochis we can see a special mountain named also Chochis (strong wind)
After having the feeling of being mixed with redish and green montains of the highway we arrived to the square of Chochis. This place is special for people that like the tranquility and the beautiful landscapes
In Chochis we could walk to visit one of its main attractions. Which is the Sanctuary Mariano de la Torre, the distance is only about 3 km. Also if visitors prefer you can go in the car
Sanctuary Mariano de la Torre is a Church was built on a hill and it was designed and by the artifice of the restorations of the Churches of the Jesuit missions of Chiquitos Hans Roth in 1988
Here you can appreciate the ability and talent of this person as well as the his recognition for the nature and for the local tribes, because in this place we can see wood carving showing native species of trees. And a native man and woman in theirs original size
Beside from wood carving what we can see is the usage of large amounts of local construction material. As red stones which seem to be used in all the walls and this looks as a very good combination with the surrounding mountains right outside the building.
(Please keep in mind that the visit to Chochis is more likely to be done on our way back to the city of Santa Cruz.)
After Chochis we get on the highway towards Aguas Calientes.
Aguas Calientes which is a small community almost on the side of the highway a few blocks block in driving in the community we get to a river known also with the same name of the community. In this river the water have a temperature of approximately 40 ° C with a sandy riverbed.
On both sides of the river in the part where there is no human presence the vegetation is exotic and lush.
This part of the river is called "Los Hervores"
"Los Hervores" (The Boilers) is known like this because there are some places of the river where the depth is below the the knee with small spots of water and sand that seems to boil and the sand bubbles rise to the top of the water current. At these Hervores the temperature seems to be higher than 40 º C. The surface of the sand is not dense enough to support the weight of a person, so some one who step in this parts of the river may suddenly collapse down the whole, but ony half of the body
Although this does not represent any physical thread, you may take care of your photo equipment or similar instruments. These parts are easy to see because the water is very clear
Upstream the river is deeper but still hot
Many local and nearby people as well as from the city of Santa Cruz and other parts of the country come to Aguas Calientes looking for to find relief from some physical problems.
Dinner would be in a small place in the village
Overnight in Santiago de Chiquitos
After breakfast we should start the day with a lot encourage for trekking.
We can start walking right from the village or we can use the vehicle for 3 or 2 kilometers to get closer to the trails. In some parts the trail is uphill.
The trekking time this day can be six or seven hours, usually over here the sun is very strong and the vegetation is very low. We recommend you to take all the items you need for this kind of trekking.
The trekking is not fast, rather is slow and always enjoying the great views.
These views are different depending on how heigh you are and on what side of the plateau of Tucabaca Valley.
Once we have walk around the top of Tucabaca Valley we need to get back to the town of Santiago de Chiquitos for lunch.
After lunch an a short rest, we should get ready for another trekking toward the caves of Juan Miserendino.
We leave the hostal or hotel again towards the reserve of Tucabaca but the entrance to the plateau this time is from a different part. On the way in the distance we can see the top of the plateau.
The trail to the caves go through a secondary forest with some typical trees
Once on the top the trails goes also through a flat pampas place
The "Arco is a well known reference in Tucabaca Valley
Fiinally we get to the entrance of the cave after about 2 or 3 hours of trekking
The first part entering the cave es very narrow, low and dark. ( You need a torch light)
After a few meters inside the space gets big. At one moment it is possible to see a bit of sunlight. But more inside the path gets again very small
After visiting Juan Miserendino Caves we need to get back to the town of Santiago de Chiquitos
Dinner and overnight in Santiago de Chiquitos
After breakfast we should start our return to the city of Santa Cruz
The return is on the same road, and lunch may is going to be in San Jose de Chiquitos or in some other place down the road.
If We missed to visit San Jose or Chochis on the first day we have the chance to do it today
We will be in the city of Santa Cruz about 16:00 hours
Once in the city we drive to your hotel
End of one of our Santiago Chiquitos Tours
(DO NOT BRINGS THINGS YOU MAY DO NOT NEED)
- A Cap or a Hat ( No to be used under the trees or branches)
- Sun Glasses
- A Warm Sweater
- Swimsuit ( You may not have time to use it in one day tours)
- Insect Repellents
- Long-sleeved shirt- Pants
- Passport (Original) Or identifications documents valid in Bolivia
- Plastic bags to protect whatever you do not want to get wet
- Trekking Shoes or others proper Shoes.
- Bring your own medication for your personal needs
- Personal items you may need
- Extra food, cookies or sweets of your choice