Volcano boarding revitalises Nicaragua tourism

first_imgCerro Negro, outside the city of León, has emerged as the top global destination for so-called volcano boarding, a dirty and sometimes dangerous activity.Every day, visitors from around the world hike the 45 minutes up the volcano, plywood boards tucked under their arms, wearing a suit of denim, thick gloves, and protective goggles. From the north western corner, boarders can see for miles: tracts of green farmland on the outskirts of León where locals grow cassava. Flanking Cerro Negro are other volcanoes on the Cordillera Los Maribios mountain range, which runs north to south for 40 miles.Volcano boarding has emerged as a main attraction for adventurous visitors to Nicaragua and transformed the economy of León, a city of 210,000 residents. According to the city’s tourism office, roughly 5,200 foreigners visited León 10 years ago. Last year, that number increased to more than 20,000 per year.It’s not just the tourism industry that benefits. A community cooperative representing residents around Cerro Negro, called Cooperativa Pilas-El Hoyo, manages a ranger station there that collects entrance fees from visitors. The money generates revenue for local schools, potable water deliveries, and small-scale infrastructure projects. It also is helping fund rehabilitation centres for protected species, like a local iguana.last_img read more

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