Partners: Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, McGill University, Peace Corps

El Valle of Antón is a community that is in the crater of an extinct volcano and is surrounded by mountains that are the remnants of the collapsed volcanic cone. In 2014, we worked with students from the University of McGill in conducting an analysis of a route that would go all the way around this cone by joining side roads and community trails. Results indicated that this new tourist attraction had the potential to increase tourism to the area and even extend the duration of their visits.

Additionally, this project aims to bring tourists in contact with some of the more rural communities that surround El Valle with the goal of helping them to diversify their economic opportunities.  Finally, the project will raise awareness about the geology, geography and ecology of this very special landscape by placing interpretive signs and maps of the route in specific highly visited places within the community.

Since we started in June 2018 we have managed to define the route and now we are finishing validating and enabling it. We have made all the improvements to the route to make it more accessible (construction of new sections and improvements in existing sections). In the next few weeks we will finish placing the signage, however, we need two more phases 1) design and place interpretive signs at points of interest (the communities and attractions of the route) and maps at the accesses to route 2) train local guides how to use the route and members of the communities where the route passes so they can provide food and lodging services. 

IMG 1206-o
IMG 1231-o
IMG 1242-o