Given that it was my last full weekend in Bolivia (I’m leaving in the middle of the night next Saturday), I wanted to make the most of it. Almost everyone I encountered recommended visiting the village of Samaipata and the surrounding region. Two of the biggest attractions in Samaipata is ‘El Fuerte’ which is a Pre-Columbian archeological site founded around 300CE as well as Centro Ecologico Cuevas which contains the Las Cuevas Waterfalls. 

Samaipata is approximately a 3 hour drive from Santa Cruz de la Sierra (we took a bit longer due to traffic and some detours). Jo-Annie and I hired a car and driver for the day and left at sunrise on Saturday morning. We reached El Fuerte de Samaipata and reach around 10 am. The site spans across 49 acres of land and the peak of the fort over looks the Amboró National Park. El Fuerte became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998 and contains buildings from three different cultures: Chanè, Inca and Spanish. We explored the site for a few hours taking in the history of the buildings as well as the magnificent beauty of the surroundings. 

We had a nice lunch in a restaurant in Samaipata before heading off to Centro Ecologic Cuevas. There, along with even more gorgeous greenery, we were able to see three beautiful waterfalls. The park was maintained very well and the small entrance fee is definitely worth experiencing nature with as little human interference as possible. It was absolutely stunning. 

There was a lot more stairs than anticipated so we were definitely worn out by the time we got back to our hotel but with all the city noise, pollution and always being surrounded by cars and cement buildings, it was great to spend an entire day surrounded by nature. In my book, both El Fuerte and Las Cuevas Waterfalls should definitely added to everyone’s must-see list when in Bolivia!

Glimpse of Amboró National Park from El Fuerte
Glimpse of Amboró National Park from El Fuerte
Glimpse of Amboró National Park from El Fuerte
Glimpse of Amboró National Park from El Fuerte
El Fuerte de Samaipata
El Fuerte de Samaipata
El Fuerte de Samaipata
El Fuerte de Samaipata
Las Cuevas Waterfalls, taken at Centro Ecologico Cuevas
Las Cuevas Waterfalls, taken at Centro Ecologico Cuevas
Las Cuevas Waterfalls, taken at Centro Ecologico Cuevas
Las Cuevas Waterfalls, taken at Centro Ecologico Cuevas