New Tourism Center Welcomes Guests in San Cristobal, Nicaragua
The number of domestic and international visitors coming into Nicaragua is expected to double as the country opened a new tourism center right at the foot of its tallest volcano, San Cristobal.
Chichigalpa, home of sugar and rum and of the country’s tallest volcano, opened last October a visitor center for both local and foreign tourists. The installation of the center was a partnership between the city government of Chichigalpa and the European Union.
Officials said the creation of this center is only one of the initiatives of Central America’s mother project in promoting and developing the Colonial Cities and Volcano Trail with the objective of having a sustainable tourism industry in the region. With the opening of the tourism center, they are expecting an increase in the tourist arrivals before the year ends as well as in 2016.
The flagship tourism project, the Colonial Cities and Volcano trail, offers tourists a different kind of experience and a fulfilling adventure celebrating nature and the history of Central America. In this trail, visitors will witness the rich culture of the colonial cities, namely: Panama City, Costa Rica’s Liberia, Nicaragua‘s Granada and Leon, Santa Rosa de Copan, and Antigua Guatemala.
The trail will showcase the journey to the most captivating scenery of nature’s wonders and creations and the serenity of the beautiful volcanoes of Central America. This includes the Cerro Negro in Nicaragua, Coatepeque in Guatemala, and El Salvador’s Llopango. It also offers more than a sightseeing experience to the breathtaking view that tourists will love along the 1,000-km line of the Pacific Coast. More than that, the Colonial Cities and Volcano Trail offers fun activities to choose from like hiking, cycling, and skiing along volcano sands, which are the top activities for nature tripping among adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers.
All of these activities are featured in the tourism center’s information office including other major tourist spots and attractions. The visitor center is located right at the base of the 5,725-feet San Cristobal volcano. This gives guests a warm welcome and easy access to the trails going up the top of the volcano as well as the hostels which give tourists a great view of San Cristobal, namely: the Hostal Mi Familia and the Hostal Franbelin.
The San Cristobal volcano, which is said to be the youngest volcano, is located at the northwest corner of Nicaragua and forms a grand majestic backdrop to the city of Chichigalpa which is located in the province of Chinandega. The city of Chichigalpa is the center of the sugar and rum industries. Other than the volcanoes that are popular among hikers and beaches that are loved by most visitors, the city also has the largest sugar refinery in the country, which was established in 1890. Visitors can also request for an educational tour with the refinery’s management—an added complimentary service for them to enjoy their stay in the city.
Nicaragua has been banking on tourism development to improve its economy and to alleviate poverty in the country. The national government has long been supporting tourism-related projects. It made history when it hit the 1-million mark of tourist arrivals for the calendar year in 2010.
The country is popularly known as the Land of lakes and volcanoes. Nicaragua has at least 50 volcanoes, only seven of which are reported to be active. The country has become a major tourism destination among adventure seekers and nature lovers. Volcano sand skiing, a favorite activity among local and foreign tourists, is unique to the country, and it is one of the most widely promoted activity for visitors.
The World Travel and Tourism Council, in its 2014 annual research report, stated that domestic travel spendings have contributed more than half to the Travel and Tourism GDP in 2013. The council added that it is expecting at least a five percent increase in the near term.
The report further stated that travel and tourism has directly generated 82,000 jobs in the country and is forecasted to increase by one percent in the next year.
Visitors can reach the San Cristobal volcano by bus from the country’s capital Managua to Chinandega province. Regular flights come in daily at Managua’s international airport.
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