travelgrove Travel Guides

Santa Cruz History, Bolivia

Santa Cruz History – Foundation and Early Development

The history of Santa Cruz begins with a colonial settlement, as is the case with most South American cities. Spanish conquistador Nulfo de Chavez was the first to get there and to found a settlement on February 26, 1561. He named the city Santa Cruz de la Sierra (“Holy Cross of the Hills”) and continued his exploration through the jungles and rainforests in the territory. He also founded Buenos Aires and Asuncion, and the three cities grew to become important economical and administrative centers in each of their countries. Several local tribes were incorporated into the culture the colonizers brought along and prosperity soon started characterizing the city. Today Santa Cruz is the largest city in Bolivia and it all started with Nulfo de Chavez’ administration.

Santa Cruz History – The Natives and the Invaders

The process of incorporating the native tribes manifested itself heavily through religion, as Catholic faith was imposed and became very influential in the whole territory. This also happened in nearby Sucre and the Jesuits had a strong word to impose on the natives. Santa Cruz history apparently faces two relocations of the city due to hard local conditions, and the territory on which it stands today is more than 220 kilometers away from its original location. The conquistadors were not all Spanish, as they had with them Germans, Dutch and Italians who worked for the Spanish Crown and therefore left a cultural trace in the area.

Santa Cruz History – The Modern Period

The territorial importance of the city was limited to religious influence for more than two centuries of Santa Cruz history, but after Bolivia gained its independence the prerogatives of the city started expanding and it became more and more important both politically and economically. At the same time, communications improved and a motorway was built that connects the city to Cochabamba in the 1950s. After that, demographics exploded and the region started welcoming more and more immigrants, thus raising the economical level of the city and offering more job opportunities.

Ask our travel experts a question about Santa Cruz

Things about Santa Cruz you may be interested in

Be the first who requests a site listing for this page.

Read our members' reviews about Santa Cruz

No reviews have been added yet for this category. Be the first to add a new one.

Read our members' travel tips about Santa Cruz

No travel tips have been added yet for this category. Be the first to add a new one.


Members Who Have Been to Santa Cruz

See who has been to Santa Cruz and ask them a question (membership required)
the best travel deals provided by TravelZoo...
  •$667Avianca Airlines flightAvianca Airlines
    Washington DC, DC (IAD)  Santa Cruz, BO (VVI)
    11/15/2016 10:10 am
    Santa Cruz, BO (VVI)  Washington DC, DC (IAD)
    11/29/2016 07:25 am
  •$670Multiple Airlines flightMultiple Airlines
    New York, NY (JFK)  Santa Cruz, BO (VVI)
    11/01/2016 12:38 pm
    Santa Cruz, BO (VVI)  New York, NY (JFK)
    11/09/2016 05:40 am
  •$1022Lan Airlines flightLan Airlines
    Newark, NJ (EWR)  Santa Cruz, BO (VVI)
    11/01/2016 12:41 pm
    Santa Cruz, BO (VVI)  Newark, NJ (EWR)
    11/09/2016 05:40 am

Santa Cruz City Ratings

  • Ratingunrated
    City Rankunrated
  • History & Culture: not rated
  • Night Life & Entertainment: not rated
  • Family & Fun: not rated
  • Outdoors Activities: not rated
  • Food: not rated
  • Sightseeing: not rated
  • Shopping: not rated
  • Public Transportation: not rated
  • Must visit this place: not rated
ToolsBookmark and Share

Popular destinations

   Welcome to Travelgrove  register tell a friend bookmark it