Santiago de Chiquitos
Santiago de Chiquitos is jesuit mission town in a perfect nature setting. While its church is not under UNESCO protection, its nature makes visiting this town very pleasing. The local community is very active, respects the nature here and resists any government or private effort to exploit it for minerals and other richnesses. This respectful approach of the local community attracted the eyes and the hearts of somebody in European Union leading UE to finance paving the road from Roboré to Santiago.
There are bus (at the daytime) and taxi (i.e. Taxi Wilson, tel. 71044523, Bs90) connections from Roboré.
Santiago is a small town to walk on foot.
- The church (At the main square).
- Walk out of the town with professional local tourist guides (there is a local tourist guide association). The nature outside is spectacular - mountains (having some marked viewpoints), forests, rocks, swimming spots (pozos). Guides show the way (the way is partly marked, but the marks are not frequent), tell about the local way of living along with the nature (healing plants included) and local customs. The best guides take Bs150 for a day and the money is well-spent. To visit naturally unique protected Tucabaca valley on foot you need 2-3 days, but if motorized (more than Bs400) a day is enough. Pozos are unique: a river cascade falls over a stone drilling a dish there (up to the certain depth, until impossible to drill deeper), filling it with water that drips out to drill the next dish just below it. This way, there are some 5-7 interconnected dishes of different size and depth (i.e. 7 meters) one below the orher. It is a sheer bliss to swim in these or jump right into the middle of a big one. The most water and greenery is in December. The animals and birds activate to hunt in the evening, so you can manage to see parrots, monkeys, eastern condors on the way.
Café Churapa half a block from the main square serves breakfast which is a little expensive (Bs25), but big. They also serve lunch and dinner.
- Church convent serving as guesthouse (At the main square). Single Bs50.
Return back to Roboré (i.e. the way you came in) and continue west (Santa Cruz, Jesuit Missions) or east (Puerto Quijarro, Brazil) from there. A night bus from Roboré to Santa Cruz (there are frequent buses on this route) may cost you Bs50.