Samaipata is a small town nestled in the valleys of Santa Cruz, the biggest department in Bolivia. 120 km. away from Santa Cruz de la Sierra, and at 1.750 meters above sea level, this town that lies in the eastern beginnings of the Andes is home to 7.000 inhabitants from more than 35 countries. The town that we know today was founded on the 30th. of May of 1.618 under the name of “City of the Purification Valley of thoe Holy Virgen”, and the ancient name of Samaipata comes from the Quechua and literally translates to “Rest in the Heights”; both Purification Valley and Rest in The Heights, combined together, could not describe the place better.
Whatever you’re looking for that’s unusual in the day to day life of a city, Samaipata has it. Really. If you’re looking to relax or just chill, take a break, a change in your life and well being, a moment to reflect, to think, to meditate, to click. If want to walk around, hike or long day tours. If you want to read, drink wine, sleep well, share with your loved ones or just plain entertainment. You can find it here. From ancient history to alternative medicine with millenary plants and healthy food. Coffees, bars, mountains. Award winning orchids with curative powers. Flora and fauna. Workshops and retreats. Whatever you’re looking for, it’s here, that’s why Samaipata is so special, that’s why it’s called “Samaitrampa” (Samaitrap), because you will want to stay longer. Sometimes much longer, like, forever.
Samaipata’s begginings are not clear, although it is believed it all started with the Chanes around 2.500 years ago, the estimated age of the biggest petroglyph in the world: the Carved Stone, commonly referred to as El Fuerte because of it’s Inca past. This place has been known as home, map, sacred site and military fort of more tan 4 cultures. Other unique attractions found in this area are the natural ones. You can start by wandering in the Cloud Forest inside the National Amboró Park and see Giant Ferns, trees that can be up to 2.000 years old and can only be found here, in Australia and New Zealand. The park is also one of the most biodiverse places in the world, it is home to thousands different types of birds, reason why it is so famous among birdwatchers. Near Samaipata you can do hundreds of trekking and hiking routes with rivers and spectacular views, the best one is a half an hour drive from the hotel (a 5 to 8 hours walk though), it is known as “Codo de los Andes” (Andes Elbow) and near there you can find the pretty waterfalls of Cuevas. Another very well known waterfall is La Pajcha, 1.5 hours away from town and on route to the Condor’s Nest, one of the best place in Latin America to spot condors; these giant beautiful birds are one of the closest thing to a dinosaur we currently have, just in case. The biggest and oldest cave paintings in Bolivia can be found near here, although this fact is yet to be officially confirmed. Coffe plantations and vineyards are also part of what Samaipata has to offer; we are lucky to have a vineyard right next door, “Bodega Uvairenda”, the only wine maker that’s exporting wine from Santa Cruz. Add to all of these a gentle weather, really nice people and an indescribable vibe or energy, and you have a unique place in the world, one that’s not only waiting but calling for you.