Mombacho Volcano Reserve in Nicaragua shows the way for Ecotourism

Nicaragua has tremendous potential to develop into a major center for ecotourism because of the abundance of natural wealth in the country. Large tracts of the eastern coast and numerous islands in the lakes and sea are uninhabited. These can be developed with care so as not to disturb the natural environment and ecosystem. Nicaragua looks to foreign investment in large scale to develop this potential sensibly.

The country is rich in biodiversity with tropical rain forests, mountain regions and volcanic ranges. It has seventy-six protected regions, including twenty-three privately owned natural reserves. The total protected area represents 18% of the country’s area. The private reserves like Miraflor are accessible to tourists and offer an insight into how successful sustainable development can be. A visit to any of these is an experience to be cherished, rich in a variety of environmentally friendly projects which help the economy and bring in wealth to the locals.

The country has a plethora of natural resources such as thousands of varieties of plants, aquatic creatures ranging from amphibians and fish to reptiles and mollusks. The forests are a veritable paradise with thousands of insects, birds and mammals. The rural folk are dependant on the natural resources of their region for their livelihood but once ecotourism in Nicaragua develops on a larger scale they can be employed gainfully in tourist oriented jobs and the natural wealth will be left undisturbed.

The Mombacho Volcano Natural Reserve near Granada is among the very few cloud forests in the flat regions of the Nicaraguan Pacific. There is a biological center here and visitors can take guided tours with the biologists working here. The reptile Salamander mombacho is unique to the reserve – you will not see it any where else in the world in its natural surroundings. Camping is also allowed in the reserve. The experience of walking through the foggy woods is invigorating and one quickly realizes the vital importance of preserving the natural heritage of the world for the generations to come after us. Unless Nicaragua takes steps to act now many precious resources may be lost forever.