From Santa Cruz it takes about 2.5 to 3 hours. Shared taxis at : 30bs per person, whole taxi will cost 120bs or 130 with pick up, taking private option is recommended as Bolivians can fit incredible amount of people in to the small car
Expresso Samaipata (Av. Omar Chavez Ortiz 1147 esquina Soliz de Olguin - Telf. 333-5067). From the terminal, take bus number 8 for 1.5B to get there, or a taxi for 10B. They leave with at least 4 passengers. Takes between 2 hours in most cases, but can be as much as 4 with a landslide or some road works.
El Fuerte (2do Anillo Av. Grgota esq. Aruma - Telf. 359-8958)
Basically you have to hire a guide to see everything except for the Cuevas waterfalls and the ruins, so if you aren't into the whole guided tour thing your options may be limited here. Although, to be fair, Samaipata is still a good place to relax for a few days even if your a true independent traveler.
Cafes. Hang out in one of the nice little Cafes on the square. Drink some coffee, eat some food, and use the WiFi.
Markets and Street Vendors. Go to the market and haggle over the price of eggs. They get really mad, which is hilarious. They will try to give you awful fruit and veggies, and their 'pride' in their 'work' will make them become indignant and send you out of the Mercado. Better deals and higher quality fruits and veggies are to be had in the street, not in the covered market.
El Fuerte - Inca frontier
El Fuerte. This UNESCO World Heritage site is not really a fuerte but a holy place the pre-inca and Incas used to stand on ceremonies. If you can see the Incas in one's mind's eye, the place would be very impressive. Entry price is 50 Bs for foreigners. The very hike (~8 km one way) to this site from Samaipata is an experience by itself.
Amboro Park. Offering hikes in the cloud forest. You can hire a guide from one of the agencies downtown. This is more of a must, because there are no trails and you won't be able to hike by yourself. Tours are on a scale based on people going, and could be as cheap as 100 Bs. for 4 people. Normal prices are about 175 Bs. or so.
Other tourist attractions are the following areas:
Bella Vista and Volcanes mountain ranges (Sandstone mountains with different types of forest, rivers and jungle in canyons and valleys)
Cuevas - easy to visit waterfalls with a beautiful area to discover on your own. You can swim and hang out at the little beaches. Great views of the lush green mountains and stony cliffs surrounding the area. Pagina de Web: ; Website  Cost is 10 Bs. entrance fee plus whatever a taxi costs. Should be about 30-40 Bs.
Condor Mountain, to visit on clear days. The hike will take a long day with 4 hours car driving and six hours spectacular hiking. A perfect alternative to the Colca Canyon in Peru. Condors almost always appear around midday. Day tours are offered to CM and the waterfall.
La Pajcha waterfall, close to the condor mountain, great for camping
There´s some great but simple canyoning through spectaculair canyons, self guiding hikes but not in rainy season December-February
Other destinations are Vallegrande, Pucará and La Higuera (where Che Guevara was killed) and Laguna Quirusillas. The highway from Santa Cruz city to Samaipata is very scenic.
Descanso en las Alturas-Pizzeria, Calle Bolivar Final, ☎ (00591)944-6072. edit
Tierra Libre, (by the main square, just ask). Great, delicious and original bolivian dishes with a twist. Massive portions. Really friendly owner. Also has a beer garden. Perfect! Chicken Teriakiav. 40 BOB. edit
La Oveja Negra, (two blocks from main square). 6pm+. Dutch owned gringo favourite bar/rest. Substantial portions of chicken/veg curry, chilli con carne, goulash. Plus sumptuous apple crumble. Kind owners. Board games and darts tooav. 30 BOB. edit
Posada del Sol restobar. Try newly open Restobar at Posada del Sol! Food is great and drinks are first class! edit
Finca "La Víspera" An Unsurpassed Paradisiacal Retreat, where the owners welcome those visitors who long for silence and nature.  Guesthouses, Horses, Camping, Garden Café.
La Posada del Sol, . Three blocks from the main plaza on a hill with spectacular views. Boasts a great breakfast, and includes a made-to-order menu for guests available all day. Prices are a bargain and service is attentive. Owners can arrange tours, hikes, bus tickets, and assist with transportation.edit
Residencial Vargas - simple rooms from 20 Bs. Lovely owners.
Andoriña Hostal, Art & Culture, Calle Campero (2 1/2 blocks before main square), ☎ 00 591 (0) 3 944 6333 (email@example.com), . checkin: 24 hours; checkout: 24 hours. Great views from balconies and rooms, fresh breakfast included. Here you can meet other travelers. The owners focus on more sustainable tourism and have lots of tips for hiking and other activities.40BOL inc breakfast. edit
El Jardin, Calle Arenales final s/n (2 cuadras del mercado), ☎ 0/73119461, . Rooms for 30B per person. Camping for 15B with oven and barbecue. Also some clay igloos for 35B per person. Independent shared kitchen. Cafe, library. You can sleep for free if you work in the garden. Hippies love the place, the owners are a friendly young couple. In the sunshine all day long. firstname.lastname@example.org
Vivero Sarita, 2 blocks from the Village Plaza, ☎ 591-7-368-4035. checkin: 11 AM; checkout: 12 Noon. For a truly cultural experience, stay with Dona Sarita in her rustic beautiful and peaceful guesthouse which is closest to the Village Plaza, Market and Restaurants. Her lush garden showcases over 400 species of plants, flowers and ferns. The fresh coffee made from the coffee beans in her garden, her delicious dishes and welcoming warmth gives a feeling as a home away from home for a very affordable price. Hot water showers, dorm or private rooms are available and fresh breakfast is included. She also has a local contact named "Don Gilberto" who is the original hiker tour guide of the village. Call for reservations or just arrive.edit
Bus to Sucre is 70 bolivanos. However, road is in really bad shape and journey can easily take whole day. Flight from Santa Cruz is very cheap (less than $50) and takes only 30min! Taking a bus is not really safe, either.
Bus to Cochabamba from nearby town Mairana is ~40 BOB. Ask locals in Samaipata when does this bus leave. From Samaipata to Mairana is half an hour and 30-50 BOB (depends on the number of persons) with shared taxi.
There is no cash machine in town. Cooperativa la Merced will give cash advance on Visa or Mastercard during working hours, you can also get cash advance in nearby Mairana. Best take enough cash with you from Santa Cruz.