Santa Cruz de la Sierra, commonly known as Santa Cruz, is the capital of the Santa Cruz department in eastern Bolivia and the largest city in this South American country. Situated on the river Piray in Eastern Bolivia, the city of Santa Cruz is one of the fastest growing cities in the entire world. And the sprawling markets of Santa Cruz are great places to find useful items like kitchenware, electronics and body products, as well as a wide variety of authentic crafts among a mass of other products. Items are generally very cheap, as the dollar is strong in Bolivia, and local products such as llama wool sweaters and indigenous crafts are substantially cheaper than anywhere in North America. However, shopping in Santa Cruz requires concentration, persistence, and above all patience — it might prove difficult to find exactly what you are looking for.
Handicraft and jewellery
You can find upmarket local products at several unique shops in the city. Seek out jewellery that flaunts the rare stone called the Bolivian, a mix of amethyst and citrine. Skip the mass produced handicrafts in the markets and buy original contemporary designs from regional artists.
For high-quality handicrafts, your best option would be Artecampo. It is the best place to find fine artesanías (locally handcrafted items). Their innovative pieces include leatherwork, hammocks, weavings, handmade paper, greeting cards while Av René Moreno is the place for souvenir shopping. Beware that prices are much higher here than in La Paz for llama and alpaca wool goods. Woodcarvings made from the tropical hardwoods morado and the more expensive guayacán are unique to the Santa Cruz area. Relief carvings on tari nuts are also interesting and make nice portable souvenirs. Locals also make beautiful macramé llicas (root-fibre bags).
For jewellery, one can visit Joyería Andrea. This store specialises in a stone called the Bolivian, a mix of amethyst and citrine.
Bolivia’s largest city may surprise you with its small-town feeling, lack of high-rise blocks and a lightly buzzing, relaxed tropical atmosphere. Many arrive here expecting to find a city of businesspeople and throbbing traffic, but in truth, though Santa Cruz is the country’s business centre and most affluent city, it has kept its tameness. The locals still lounge on the main square, restaurants close for siesta and little stores line the porch-fronted houses and sell cheap local
Meanwhile there are very few places where you can shop for everything you need all under one roof. Usually, you have to do some shopping around. BoliviaBella is for you, so if you can’t find what you need, tell Bella what you want! And don’t forget that you have a lot of outdoor markets in Bolivia and that Santa Cruz grocery stores frequently stock items you wouldn’t expect, like clothing and office supplies.
Markets and malls
There are several major markets in Santa Cruz where you can find an astonishing variety of products. These outdoor markets are crowded, always busy, noisy and frequently don’t smell all that good, but shopping at one can be an interesting experience. Santa Cruz is the nation’s agricultural capital, so markets here tend to have a much wider variety of produce than anywhere else in the country, and additional produce is brought in from other areas of the country nearly every day. Here you’ll find fruit and vegetables, poultry, fish and meat, spices, grains, all types of dry and canned goods, flowers, plants, gardening and landscaping tools, pottery, clothing, shoes, electronics, kitchen and bath items, cosmetics and toiletries and much more. You can find many other exotic and strange things here too like the famous coca leaf, llama or armadillo meat, love potions and magic talismans and exotic live animals like toucans, macaws, monkeys and snakes.
Then there are many supermarkets and micro markets which offer essential items but also a great amount of products. Naturalia organic grocery store has a wide selection of locally produced healthy goodies and a small cafe to try them in. For a good variety of (relatively expensive) fixings to prepare meals yourself, you have to try minimart Hipermaxis and these supermarkets are situated in different places in Bolivia among