This short itinerary is perfect for travelers who are interested in Bolivia's religious sites and colonial history. Begin your trip with a walking tour of the cosmopolitan, historic city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra before continuing on to tour the missions of Santa Cruz, San Javier, and Concepción. End your adventure with a day in Biocentro Güembé, a sprawling nature resort with a butterfly observatory and tropical bird aviary. 

Highlights

  • Take a walking tour of the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra
  • Explore three different Jesuit missions and historic churches
  • Enjoy a free day in Biocentro Güembé, a relaxing nature reserve

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Santa Cruz de la Sierra Santa Cruz de la Sierra
Day 2 San Javier - Concepción Concepcion
Day 3 Concepción - Santa Cruz de la Sierra Santa Cruz de la Sierra
Day 4 Day-Trip to Biocentro Güembé Santa Cruz de la Sierra
Day 5 Departure  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Jesuit church in Santa Cruz
Jesuit church in Santa Cruz

Welcome to Bolivia! A driver will be waiting for you when you land at Viru Viru International Airport (VVI) to take you to your hotel in Santa Cruz de la Sierra.

The verdant and tropical lowland city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra has 1.5 million inhabitants living at 400 meters above sea level, and the average daily high is 86 degrees. After you check in, you can relax in the hotel, take a dip in the pool, and have a cool drink with lunch. In the afternoon, your guide will take you on a two-hour walking tour around the city. At the end of the day, you’ll have a typical “Cruceño” dinner.

Day 2: San Javier - Concepción

The Jesuit Mission in Concepción
The Jesuit Mission in Concepción

You'll begin your day with a visit to the Jesuit Missions of San Javier. A tour guide will pick you up at your hotel and drive you to the colonial town, where you'll tour its historic church, a designated UNESCO cultural heritage site. You will then travel an additional four hours through savannas and forests before arriving in the town of Concepción, where you'll tour the church and mission grounds.
 
At the end of the day, you will be transferred to your hotel, where you’ll have some free time.

Day 3: Concepción - Santa Cruz de la Sierra

A courtyard of a Jesuit mission
A courtyard of a Jesuit mission

After breakfast, you will visit the largest center of the missions with amazing views of the local Jesuit church, a true gem built in the 18th century. You will then visit a Colonial church in Baroque style before heading to the missionary museum where you can see the original scores of the Renaissance-Baroque hymns.

After lunch, a driver will return you to your hotel in Santa Cruz de la Sierra where you'll have the evening free.

Day 4: Day-Trip to Biocentro Güembé

Butterfly inside the observatory at Biocentro Güembé
Butterfly inside the observatory at Biocentro Güembé

Today, you'll take a day-trip to experience the biodiversity of the Bolivian lowlands inside Biocentro Güembé, a nature reserve and resort located just 25 minutes from downtown Santa Cruz. There, you can visit the enormous butterfly observatory, or visit the aviary among the treetops where you will be able to see macaws, toucans, peacocks, and other tropical birds. You'll have lunch on your own, and after that, you can take a swim in the numerous refreshing swimming pools surrounded by ornamental gardens and natural lagoons that border the 53-acre park.

Day 5: Departure

Bell tower at a mission in Santa Cruz
Bell tower at a mission in Santa Cruz

It's time to say goodbye to Bolivia! After breakfast at your hotel, a driver will pick you up at the door and transfer you back to Viru Viru International Airport for your flight home.

Map

Map of Jesuit Missions of Bolivia - 5 Days
Map of Jesuit Missions of Bolivia - 5 Days