Leave Bolivia’s Western Highlands behind and head for Santa Cruz, the country’s largest city and the gateway to Bolivia’s tropical lowlands. Charming and atmospheric, Santa Cruz has no towering glass skyscrapers. Camba music pours out of bars in the main square, while well heeled locals kick back and enjoy their lunch hours. Bon vivants will adore the diverse restaurant scene and lively nightlife, while anyone who has spent time fighting off sickness in La Paz will enjoy the change in altitude.
Airports in Santa Cruz
Viru Viru International Airport (VVI) serves Santa Cruz, and is Bolivia’s largest airport. This is the airport you’re most likely to fly into if you’re arriving on an international flight. The smaller El Trompillo Airport (SRZ) is closer to the city centre, but offers fewer commercial flights.
Airlines that fly to Santa Cruz
There are no direct flights to Santa Cruz from the UK.
You can fly to Viru Viru Internationalfrom Europe with Air Europa and Pullmantur Air, both from Madrid. Other airlines flying into Santa Cruz include Aerolineas Argentinas, Amaszonas, American Airlines, Avianca Ecuador, Boliviana de Aviacion, Copa Airlines, EcoJet, Gol Airlines, LAN Airlines, LAN Peru, TAM, and TAM Airlines Paraguay.
Flights to El Trompillo Airport are operated by Aerocon and Transporte Aero Militar.
Getting into Santa Cruz
From Viru Viru International:
Public mini-busses (known as “micros”) are the cheapest option from the airport to the city. The busses don’t stick to a schedule, but depart whenever they are full. The fare is around 5* BOB (roughly 50p). There’s a taxi rank outside the airport too, and the trip into the city centre should cost around 60* BOB (about £5.90).* Taxis are the only option at night. Car hire is also available at the airport from Avis, Localiza, and Hertz.
From El Trompillo:
Micros 40 and 42 pass near the airport, and have a fixed fare of 2 BOB (about 20p)*. Taxis are also available outside the airport.
*Prices subject to change
When to fly to Santa Cruz
It’s best to avoid Santa Cruz during the rainy season (November to April) as the lowlands tend to suffer the worst weather. In general it’s best to visit Bolivia from May to October. Although August is the most popular month, the weather is still excellent in September when the crowds have left.
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Airports near Santa Cruz
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