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In our other stop, in tropical and thriving Santa Cruz we feel the 'other' Bolivia. Ethnic origins of the eastern tropical peoples, and the warm and humid climate, lend a different 'air' for arriving visitors. Santa Cruz's development is due mainly to its large agricultural output of sugarcane, soybeans, wood, cotton, cattle, oil and natural gas, while prevailing warm Amazonic trade winds from the northeast, keep this modern city's people at a cheerful disposition.
Twenty years ago Santa Cruz still had the flair of a frontier town, with dusty streets and horse drawn carriages, nowadays although it still retains some of that frontier feeling, the city is home to modern hotels, urban parks, and Texas style eateries. Outlying regions of Bolivia's largest department, includes Jesuit Missions of historic importance, and some of the country's most spectacular national parks, such as Noel Kempff to the east and Amboro National Park which borders the peaceful destination of Samaipata, a sleepy sub-Andean town where "El Fuerte", the famed and mysterious pre-Hispanic religious sculpted sacred rock awaits us.*(Thor Heyerdahl's comments in his "Chariots of the Gods)..