The fascinating site of El Fuerte is the key attraction in the surrounding countryside, but too many tourists see nothing else before they shuffle back to the bright lights of Santa Cruz. The opportunities to explore the surrounding countryside are immense in this beautiful region of rugged, forested mountains, divided by lush valleys whose lower slopes are covered by rich farmland, where hummingbirds, condors and flocks of green parakeets are a frequent sight. The low mountains surrounding Samaipata make for excellent hiking – just follow any of the paths or tracks leading out of town. You can also access the Samaipata section of nearby Parque Nacional Amboró.