Two years ago, ecotreasures discovered the San Cristóbal Canyon, located in the Municipalities of Barranquitas and Aibonito, Puerto Rico. Our canyoneering tour was guided by Para La Naturaleza’s staff. We make reference of the article titled “The Wonders of the San Cristóbal Canyon”, published under the “extreme adventures” section of ecotreasures magazine. You may read about the San Cristóbal Canyon’s grandeur that we witnessed.
Roberto Cerpa (a/k/a Robert), María Cristina López and Nicolás Cruz properly guided us as we immersed in a fabulous experience that involved hiking, discovering a river and waterfall, rappelling, and swimming in a spectacular natural pool as well as learning about the history and nature of the San Cristóbal Canyon.
Recently, Robert shared with us that his job as an interpretive guide entails connecting people with the San Cristóbal Canyon, and assuring that participants understand Para La Naturaleza’s mission: “to create transformative experiences while being in contact with nature”. Guiding the canyon visitors and taking care of safety aspects, tour duration and compliance with participation requirements as well as interpreting the canyon area’s natural value, animal and plant life, and how the canyon’s conservation benefits us are among Robert’s tasks. Following our participation in San Cristóbal Canyon extreme adventure tour, we attest the fact that Robert’s guidance complies with the above. (translation ours)
Considering that Robert has served as Para La Naturaleza’s interpretive guide during the last seven years and renders an outstanding service to guard and educate, you may like reading about his insights and opinions with respect to his job, the San Cristóbal Canyon and nature per se as follows:
1) What contributed for or motivated you to become an environmental interpretive guide?
“The love towards my country, and the opportunity of being able to educate while having fun.” (translation ours)
2) What attracts you the most about your job as an interpretive guide during the San Cristóbal Canyon extreme adventure tour?
“I like lots of things about my job. In general, I must mention that I have the grand opportunity to be exposed to the canyon’s nature, learn how it acts, and admire its beautiful scenery. Oh! I cannot forget that I have the chance to share all this with our visitors." (translation ours)
3) What do you find to be most interesting about San Cristóbal Canyon’s areas, considering nature and other aspects?
“As a geologist, I find a magnificent opportunity to comprehend natural processes and interpret the system’s geomorphology and structures in the canyon—as a scientist, that fills me with passion.” (translation ours)
4) What do you find to be distinctive about San Cristóbal Canyon’s areas, considering nature and other aspects?
“The canyon is distinguished by its steep structure, the beauty of its waterfalls, its pools’ impressive colors, and its biological diversity.” (translation ours)
5) Which environmental conservation practices you tend to perform during the San Cristóbal Canyon extreme adventure tour?
“Visitors are educated about the natural value and services delivered by nature. Make people be sensible about the fragility of the resources available in the place. Finally, the participant is suggested to take action anyway (either by means of a body of water’s cleanup, forest restoration through reforestation, or support of conservation efforts).” (translation ours)
6) What message you wish to communicate young and adults in relation to nature’s role and benefit in Planet Earth, and human beings’ role towards nature?
“My message always focuses on learning about our surroundings. Once we have knowledge, we attain understanding and comprehension. By means of that, respect and love for conservation of our environment are achieved.” (translation ours)
To explore the San Cristóbal Canyon by means of the canyoneering tour, you may contact Para La Naturaleza at 787-722-5882, or make a reservation through the organization’s website (paralanaturaleza.org). Para la Naturaleza also offers a low impact and less strenuous tour that allows visitors to learn about the history and nature of the San Cristóbal Canyon.
Note: Para La Naturaleza stresses that every recreational visit to San Cristóbal Canyon needs to be scheduled in advance with such organization. It is important to explore this site along with Para La Naturaleza’s guides who are trained about safety measures. A visit to San Cristóbal Canyon without the proper guidance may be dangerous so it is not recommendable to visit the canyon alone or without the supervision of an experienced guide. Thus, exploring the San Cristóbal Canyon should be done along with certified guides with expertise on canyoneering.
According to Para La Naturaleza, professionals with a specialty in San Cristóbal Canyon’s management consider that a visit to the canyon by a limited number of persons along with an expert guide and with the essential safety equipment for an extreme adventure leads to a better experience than that of people who hike in the canyon unaware of dangers.