To ensure that visitors can continue to enjoy its tourist attractions, Naguabo created an innovative interpretive tour in virtual and synchronous mode.
It is an individual and personalized assistance service, in charge of a tour guide, where visitors who meet – in person – in the Town of the Enchumbaos, can learn about the history and culture of Naguabe, by phone or video call . Everything, to guarantee safety and physical distancing in times of pandemic.
“From the person wanting to make the tour, we coordinate it by appointment. The visitor arrives at our Tourist Office, we provide them with a package with informative material, which includes brochures, a map and reminders. We explain how to get to the different points of interest, and once the visitor is in each place, the tour begins, according to the technology that the participant has available. A guide will lead the entire journey while sharing valuable information about our town, ”Mayra Nieves, director of the Naguabo Municipal Tourism Office, explained to EL VOCERO.
According to Nieves, the initiative – which was implemented in mid-July – is running on a trial basis, by appointment and free of charge. To date, it has had the participation of a dozen families.
“We are going little by little, to see how it works for us in the way we are working on it. If it is well received, eventually adjustments will be made to make it more formal. But, that would be in a second phase of the project, which will require an investment in specialized personnel and equipment, not through a cell phone as now. For now, those who have participated in the experience have left happy, so we hope to continue innovating ”, shared the executive.
And, like the rest of the municipality, before the pandemic Naguabo offered these cultural tours throughout the town. But with the decree of the ‘lockdown’ and the increase in infections by Covid-19, the service was interrupted for a while. So in order to maintain tourist and economic activity in the town, the Municipal Tourism staff took on the task of drawing up a plan in virtual mode and thus maintaining tourist activity.
“With this, what we want is that families with children can go for a walk and, despite the situation, have a pleasant time. At the same time, that they can get to know our town by reaching the different attractions on their own, that they can get off, take photos and quickly return to the car, as they feel safe, ”he added.
Even though the guide is not with the visitors in person, he provides a complete service that includes suggestions for places to eat and other attractions that may be of interest to them.
The official also explained that as part of the initiative a health security protocol has been established to prevent coronavirus infections. “The visitor has to announce her arrival by phone. If it is a family, only one person can get off to pick up the information material in our offices. As soon as indicated, the visitor gets off, we receive her at the entrance to take the temperature and provide disinfectant. Then, the material is delivered and the communication method to be used is established. Also, the measures on compulsory use of a mask, hand washing and distancing are emphasized ”, he concluded.
What to see …
Some of the places that should be part of the interactive visit to Naguabo are:
• Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church. It is located at the west end of the Public Square. It is a historical monument that began to be built in 1853 and was completed in 1856. The square tower that dominates the current facade was added in 1920. The church is one of the oldest structures in the town.
• Public plaza. Naguabo Square is the second largest in Puerto Rico. Originally it had 64 trees, it also has five sources of which the central one was the town’s aqueduct. In it you can find some historical monuments.
• Chimney of the Central San Cristóbal. Historical monument that was used to process sugar, located in the Mariana neighborhood.
• Ramón del Rivero “Diplo” Theater. The initial name of this theater was Teatro Naguabo. In it, comedies, classics, zarzuelas, graduations, local shows among other things were presented. In this theater Naguabean artists had the opportunity to develop.
• House Town Hall. Its construction began in 1924 until 1929. Originally it was a prison.
• The Malecón de Naguabo. It is a picturesque area facing the sea, known for its restaurants and kiosks specializing in fresh seafood. Among the most requested delicacies are: the fried chillo, the chapin cakes and the famous coconut arepas. If you look at the horizon you will enjoy Cayo Santiago. This gastronomic route runs along Highway # 3, has more than 30 commercial establishments that includes four fishmongers. Its peculiarity is that in the same place that delights your palate with exquisite delicacies prepared with fresh seafood, visitors can enjoy a good sample of Naguabeño urban art.
For more information you can call 787-874-5904 or 787-874-0454 or send an email to [email protected].
Adventure and nature
In the surrounding areas of the Rio Blanco de Naguabo, the private company Montaña Explora run by Ricky López, offers tours of educational, recreational and adventure interest –in compliance with the executive order– only for couples and family groups, by reservation.
These tours can last up to four hours. The experiences are sold by specific packages where they can include walking, swimming, visiting natural streams and jumping into the water. However, one of his most acclaimed adventures is the swing of sighs that he places in a tree that rises 700 feet above sea level. There you can swing while enjoying a privileged view of the Caribbean Sea, El Yunque, the Río Blanco and Río Prieto waterfalls, at an impressive height. (787-516-6194).